safety http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6787/all en-US 9 Ways You Put Your Life at Risk Every Day http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-put-your-life-at-risk-every-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-you-put-your-life-at-risk-every-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-drinking-cola-151810423-small.jpg" alt="woman drinking cola" title="woman drinking cola" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you watch cable news, you'd think that we were all at risk of dying from Ebola, falling airliners, or terrorist attacks. But the reality is that the greatest risks to our health stem from activities we take part in nearly every day.</p> <p>Statistically, we are far more likely to get hurt or die doing relatively mundane activities than jumping from planes or getting eaten by sharks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-dangerous-things-hiding-in-your-home-right-now?ref=seealso">The 5 Most Dangerous Things Hiding in Your Home Right Now</a>)</p> <p>Just in time for Halloween, we give you nine common things we do (or don't do enough of) that are a risk to our health. Just prepared for a little scare&hellip;</p> <h2>1. Getting in a Car</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx">National Highway Traffic Safety Administration</a> reported 30,800 fatal crashes involving motor vehicles in 2012 in the United States. That's nearly 15 fatalities for every 100,000 licensed drivers. (And of course, this rate rises among people who were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.) Despite major advancements in automotive safety, accidents make up about a quarter of all accidental deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. These numbers provide ample support for walking and taking public transit if at all possible. Generally speaking, the less you drive, the safer you'll be.</p> <h2>2. Drinking Sugary Beverages</h2> <p>Research from Harvard University <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/sugary-drinks-fact-sheet/">has linked the sugar content in beverages</a> to more than 25,000 obesity-related deaths in the United States and 180,000 worldwide. A can of soda can have more than 30 milligrams of sugar, or 20% more than the World Health Organization's recommended daily intake for an <em>entire day</em>. This much sugar puts you at risk for conditions like diabetes and heart problems. You can avoid sugar in your drinks by grabbing diet versions, or switching to other drinks <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/252999-benefits-of-green-tea-honey/">like green tea sweetened with honey</a>. And what's so bad about plain old water?</p> <h2>3. Eating a Lot of Meat</h2> <p>Meat has its benefits, in the form of proteins and many vitamins. But there is evidence that too much red meat will put you at risk for various health problems, including heart disease. Researchers at <a href="http://healthland.time.com/2012/03/13/just-how-unhealthy-is-that-steak-the-deadly-dangers-of-eating-red-meat/">Harvard reported that a single extra serving of meat</a> each day increased mortality by 13%. And that number jumped to 20% among subjects who ate processed meats like hot dogs or bacon.</p> <p>You don't necessarily have to become a vegetarian to reduce your health risk, but it's possible to get protein from other sources, including fish, chicken, nuts, and whole grains.</p> <h2>4. Sitting!!</h2> <p>There's mounting evidence that sitting for long stretches of time is hazardous to your health. It's a major problem for anyone who works in an office setting, in particular. Numerous studies report that prolonged sitting can contribute to a wide range of maladies including heart disease, bad back, muscle degeneration and circulation problems. One report that looked at studies between 1989 and 2013 <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0080000">concluded that sitting for more than 10 hours a day</a> contributed to a 34% increase in mortality rate compared to people who sat for one hour a day. But there's a lot you can do to counteract this. Cut down on your TV watching, or watch while at the treadmill at the gym. If you work in an office, get a standing desk (or even a treadmill desk.) Bottom line: just get moving! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-standing-desks?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Standing Desks</a>)</p> <h2>5. Not Sleeping Enough</h2> <p>The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep, but gets barely more than six, according to multiple studies. The <a href="http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/howmuch.html">National Institutes of Health reports </a>that an ongoing sleep deficiency contributes to kidney problems, heart disease and stroke, and increases your risk of obesity and diabetes. Not to mention, a lack of sleep makes you more vulnerable to accidents; driver fatigue contributes to about 100,000 car accidents and 1,500 deaths each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.</p> <p>In short, it's time to catch up on your sleep. Doctors advise going to bed at the same time every night and keeping away from food, television and electronic devices near bedtime. Regular exercise also helps.</p> <h2>6. Not Getting Enough Sex</h2> <p>Simply put, having an orgasm is good for you, especially if you are a man. An article in the former British Medical Journal studied more than 900 men between 45 and 59, and found that those men who had &quot;high orgasmic frequency&quot; had a 50% lower mortality rate than those who had fewer orgasms.</p> <p>There's also some evidence that sex will improve your mood and <a href="http://www.aafp.org/afp/2004/0815/p757.html">reduce your risk of prostate cancer</a>.</p> <p>So, go and have more sex. (Safe sex, with someone you love, of course.) Your life depends on it.</p> <h2>7. Going Out in the Sun</h2> <p>When you actually take time to read about the impact of ultraviolet rays from the sun, you suddenly feel like it's better to just stay inside forever. UV rays will damage your skin, and too many sunburns will place you at risk for several types of skin cancer, including the deadly melanoma. The American Cancer Society reported that there will be an estimated 76,100 cases of melanoma in 2014, with 9,710 deaths.</p> <p>Of course, there are ways to prevent sun damage. Avoiding tanning beds at all cost is advisable. And when you do go out in the sun, avoid going out in the middle of the day and apply a broad-spectrum sunblock with an SPF of at least 30.</p> <h2>8. Entering Your House</h2> <p>To be clear, it's not so much the entering as what can happen to you once you go inside. Specifically, heavy things have the potential to fall on you and hurt you.</p> <p>The Consumer Product Safety Commission <a href="http://www.cpsc.gov//PageFiles/171154/InstabilityorTipoverReport2014Stamped.pdf">reported that between 2011 and 2013</a>, an annual average of 38,000 people went to emergency rooms after a tipover of a television, furniture, or an appliance. More than half of these incidents involved children, and the vast majority of the 430 deaths were among kids aged 10 and under. But adults still got hurt more than 16,000 times. In 2015, the CPSC will implement a $400,000 campaign to educate people about the potential for television and furniture tip-overs.</p> <h2>9. Accumulating Debt</h2> <p>Debt is not just bad for your financial wellbeing, it may also be bad for your health. A recent study from Northwestern Medicine reported that <a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2013/08/high-debt-could-be-hazardous-to-your-health.html">young people with higher loads of debt</a> reported higher blood pressure and poorer mental health. A Gallup Poll in 2014 reported that 34% of young people with <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/174317/student-debt-linked-worse-health-less-wealth.aspx">no debt said they were thriving physically</a>, compared to 24% among those with more than $50,000 in debt.</p> <p>Avoid debt, if you can. If you have debt, pay it off as soon as possible.</p> <p><em>Any risks I've overlooked? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-put-your-life-at-risk-every-day" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Ways You Put Your Life at Risk Every Day" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-put-your-life-at-risk-every-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-a-dental-discount-plan-save-you-money">Will A Dental Discount Plan Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/more-children-hurt-in-crocs-related-accidents">More children hurt in Crocs-related accidents.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-giving-burglars-the-key-to-your-home">Are you giving burglars the key to your home?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/crocs-bite-shoes-pose-danger-on-escalators">Crocs bite! Shoes pose danger on escalators.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Consumer Affairs Health risk safety Wed, 22 Oct 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Tim Lemke 1240477 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Weird Ways to Keep You and Your Stuff Safe http://www.wisebread.com/7-weird-ways-to-keep-you-and-your-stuff-safe <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-weird-ways-to-keep-you-and-your-stuff-safe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3125086563_ea5a5a766a_z.jpg" alt="anti-vandal paint" title="anti-vandal paint" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've got home security systems and car alarms and bike locks. Yet our belongings still get stolen from time to time. When the mainstream anti-theft devices just aren't cutting it, it may be time to get creative. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cant-afford-a-home-alarm-system-you-probably-already-have-one?ref=seealso">Can't Afford a Home Alarm System? You Probably Already Have One</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the top seven outside-the-box things you can do to protect your assets.</p> <h2>1. Invest In Kidnap Insurance</h2> <p>So your beautiful blonde-haired, blue-eyed twenty-something is studying abroad in Colombia. And you're thrilled he's embarking on this eye-opening, cultural experience until you read that Colombia is a hot bed for kidnappings. We kid you not, one person was <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2013/0621/Kidnapping-in-Colombia-The-role-of-abductions-in-decades-long-conflict">kidnapped in Colombia on five</a> different occasions.</p> <p>What's a parent to do? You could put the kabosh on the trip and accept that you won't be receiving a Father of the Year Award &mdash; or you could purchase <a href="http://www.forbes.com/2009/06/11/kidnap-ransom-insurance-leadership-ceonetwork-ceos.html">kidnap insurance</a>. This type of highly unique travel insurance comes at a cost of several thousand dollars a year. Experts say the best plans cover not only a reward paid to informants who can provide tips that lead to an arrest, but also things like lost income, psychiatric expenses, and loss of fingers.</p> <p>Yes, we know, these aren't pleasant thoughts. The price tag isn't pleasant, either. But for journalists, business executives, and other frequent travelers, some form of kidnap and ransom protection may be a smart idea. A less expensive way to go about it is <a href="http://blog.brickhousesecurity.com/gps-blackberry/">The Executrac</a>, an app ($29.95 with a $19.95 monthly subscription) that turns any smartphone into a covert GPS tracker with a panic button.</p> <h2>2. Plan for Death When You Say, &quot;I Do&quot;</h2> <p>If you came to your end this very moment, what would happen to your family, your dog, your home, your internal organs, your online passcodes, and your social media accounts? Even if you're young and healthy, experts say it's all worth thinking about.</p> <p>Perhaps you want to commission <a href="http://www.lovedonesart.com/">artwork made with your ashes</a> blended in paint. Or, like Michael Jackson, <a href="https://www.everplans.com/blog/the-10-biggest-inheritances-ever-left-to-pets">maybe you want to leave $2 million to your pet chimpanzee</a> payable upon your death. Services like <a href="https://www.everplans.com/">Everplans</a> can help delineate such requests, starting with a free online personal will developer.</p> <p>The company's founders started creating the will developer as a young married couple concerned about the future. They recommend others start the process as soon as they begin to build their own family. It might seem premature, but the alternative to this kind of planning can be grim.</p> <h2>3. Channel Your Inner Kevin McCallister</h2> <p>When you'll stop at nothing to keep your belongings safe, it's time to implement the booby trap. The term was coined in 1850 and has been wreaking havoc on enemies, thieves, and otherwise unsuspecting victims ever since.</p> <p>In a modern day example, a Missouri homeowner fed up with pranksters driving their cars in his yard <a href="http://www.bnd.com/2014/07/20/3310581/off-the-beat-did-homeowner-go.html">buried a bed of nails in the ground</a> along the perimeter of his property. Tire tracks on the front lawn? Not on his watch.</p> <p>A word of warning: Some of these rigs can trigger police involvement, leading us to very cautiously recommend the booby trap, which is only sometimes legal. Please: be safe.</p> <h2>4. Paint It Neon</h2> <p>Investigators dealing with a rash of car battery thefts in Richmond County, Georgia two years ago recommended residents invest in a can of brightly colored paint. Car batteries &mdash; and other items whose value isn't tied to its outward appearance such as lawnmowers and construction equipment &mdash; can benefit from a coat of <a href="http://www.wfxg.com/story/19473021/investigators-working-to-prevent-vehicle-battery-thefts">high visibility paint that deters theft</a> and makes it easier for police to identify and return your item to you in the event that it does get stolen.</p> <h2>5. Make It Slippery</h2> <p>Got a problem with trespassers jumping the fence around your property? There's a paint for that. Aptly named <a href="http://www.decoratingwarehouse.co.uk/buy/paints&mdash;coatings/anti-graffiti-coatings/coo-var-anti-climb-paint&mdash;vandalene-/416">anti-vandal paint</a>, this slippery residue makes climbing near impossible when applied to fences, support beams, gutters, or gates. The paint, which can also be used to stop graffiti artists, is colorless, weather resistant, and <a href="http://www.anthonylatimerandson.co.uk/?page=antivandal_painting">it never dries</a>.</p> <h2>6. Strap a GPS Tracker On It</h2> <p>If Spot has a tendency to roam, it's not a bad idea to consider investing in a dog collar with GPS tracking capabilities. Embedded with mini GPS units, these collars can <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/04/how-to-track-a-lost-animal/index.htm">pinpoint your pet's exact location</a> should he stray from the yard. The <a href="http://www.whistle.com/gps/">WhistleGPS</a> (preorder for $129) tracks not only your pet's location, but all of his activities in an easy-to-use app on your smartphone. The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Tracking-Unit-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B004HFRA7A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1406467661&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=garmin+gtu-10">Garmin GTU 10</a> ($200) allows the pet owner to configure up to 10 &quot;geofences.&quot; If your dog crosses the boundary, you get a warning emailed to your account. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-lost-keys-fast-with-a-teeny-tiny-tile?ref=seealso">Find Lost Keys Fast With a Teeny Tiny Tile</a>)</p> <p>Dog collars aren't the only things that come GPS-equipped. The list of things you can track using this advanced location technology is endless &mdash; <a href="http://wallet.thetrackr.com/">wallet</a>, <a href="http://www.securusgps.com/eZoomGPSforAssets.aspx">speed boat</a>, <a href="http://bluetrackgpstrackers.co.uk/shop/gps-trackers/bluetrack-prime-1-gps-tracker/">luggage</a>. Kanye West, who is internationally known for taking things one step too far, allegedly installed a GPS tracker on Kim Kardashian's cell phone so he can <a href="http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/560194/20140724/kanye-west-stand-hearing-wife-s-ex.htm">keep track of his wife</a>.</p> <h2>7. Hide It With Camouflage</h2> <p>If you live in a wooded area, you can quite easily use <a href="http://camoclad.com/products/sheet-goods/">camouflage paneling</a> to conceal your storage sheds, vehicles, and boats. You can also hide your home. Even if you don't live in the forest, you can camouflage your living quarters in other ways to blend in with the natural surroundings. There's a home in Atlantic Beach, Florida, for example, that's <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qekezUcALys">built inside a sand dune</a>.</p> <p>Casa do Penedo in Portugal's Fafe Mountains is perhaps the ultimate example of covert housing. <a href="http://obviousmag.org/archives/2009/12/casa_rochedo.html">The home is made of four giant boulders</a>, giving it a rugged aesthetic that would probably be pleasing to the likes of Barney and Betty Rubble. There's no electricity, but there is a swimming pool and living room fireplace. Not bad for a house made of nothing but rock, right?</p> <p><em>Ever heard of a crazy, creative way to keep things safe? Let us know in comments below!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-weird-ways-to-keep-you-and-your-stuff-safe" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Weird Ways to Keep You and Your Stuff Safe" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-weird-ways-to-keep-you-and-your-stuff-safe">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-25-gadget-that-keeps-my-home-and-family-safe">The $25 gadget that keeps my home and family safe.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-calls-you-can-make-now-to-save-hundreds-to-thousands-of-dollars">Five calls you can make now to save hundreds to thousands of dollars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Frugal Living General Tips Insurance insurance protection safety security Wed, 06 Aug 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1175047 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Surprising Ways Your Smartphone Can Keep You and Your Family Safe http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-your-smartphone-can-keep-you-and-your-family-safe <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-surprising-ways-your-smartphone-can-keep-you-and-your-family-safe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-smartphone-458844997-small.jpg" alt="family smartphone" title="family smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="147" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They used to be a luxury, but now, almost every American home has at least one smartphone. With their ability to organize and simplify so many of our daily tasks, it's no surprise that today's iPhones, Androids, and Windows-based gadgets are allowing us to be safer than ever before. Here are some of my favorite ways to use my smartphone to keep me and my six kids secure! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-men-and-women-use-smartphones-differently?ref=seealso">How Men and Women Use Smartphones Differently</a>)</p> <h2>Weather Warnings</h2> <p>Last month, my property suffered damage from a tornado. Living out in the country, we have no warning sirens, so it's important that I have an alert system that stays with me and is updated in real time.</p> <p>In addition to the &quot;alert&quot; feature on my phone that is tied into my zip code and sets my phone off when a storm warning is issued for my area, I can use any number of apps to check radar and even follow the social media accounts for the meteorologists for my part of the state. This past storm, I was able to get the kids into the cellar just in time to avoid softball sized hail and an actual tornado touch-down that tore 100-year-old trees out by the roots. I was very thankful for technology!</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: Check your local TV station's website for a link to their specific weather app. Most will be tailored to the viewing area. The Red Cross also has an app for a <a href="http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps">variety of environmental emergencies</a> unique to your climate and region.</p> <h2>Traffic Reports</h2> <p>I remember the days of sitting in my car at 5:01 p.m. and listening to my local AM radio station for the traffic report. While it was helpful, it was no match for the real-time reports you can get from phone apps and even the GPS service available on most phones. While using your cell phone is prohibited while driving in my jurisdictions, it's OK to have your traffic app or GPS mode running while your phone is in your seat or placed safely on the dash. Avoiding an accident isn't just a time-saver; it could be a life-saver!</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>:The <a href="https://www.google.com/mobile/maps/">Google Maps app</a> does a pretty good job of alerting you to accidents on major highways and the interstate. If you don't have an Android phone, the <a href="http://www.mapquest.com/traffic/">Mapquest version</a> works well.</p> <h2>First Aid</h2> <p>If you are a parent, you know very well that some kids have an insane desire to put everything into their mouths. For those moments, a call to Poison Control may be advisable, and, if you plan ahead, you can program your phone to connect via a shortcut on smartphone screen.</p> <p>If the situation isn't life threatening, a quick reference to some basic first aid tips might be called for. The Red Cross makes first aid apps available for the<a href="http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/first-aid-app">people members</a> of your family, <a href="http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/pet-first-aid-app">as well as pets</a>!</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: While poison is serious business, sometimes a game is called for. The <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/choose-your-poison/id419949128">Name Your Poison app</a> teaches kids and parents that common poisons can easily be mistaken for safe materials &mdash; like candy.</p> <h2>Emergency Contact</h2> <p>Most of us don't carry around little cards in our wallet telling medical personnel or the police who to contact if they find us unconscious. Most of us do, however, carry around our smartphones.</p> <p>If you don't already have an &quot;emergency&quot; contact designated in your phone's contact list, do so right now. Otherwise, your phone might also have some unique features to help you in a life-threatening situation. My Samsung Galaxy, for example, will automatically connect me with my designated contact with three short pushes of the power button, and it will record sound, take photos, and send along GPS coordinates until I deactivate emergency mode. Other smartphone have similar features in their settings screen. (Consult your user's guide for more info.)</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: Medical professionals recommend an &quot;ICE&quot; (In Case of Emergency) contact clearly labeled on your phone, but many rumors claim that doing so leaves your phone open to viruses. <a href="http://www.snopes.com/crime/prevent/icephone.asp">Snopes clearly debunks this myth</a>.</p> <h2>Food Allergies</h2> <p>Not everyone is allergic to peanuts or pineapple, but if your kids are, it can seem like the whole world is against you. While it may be obvious to you that certain foods contain allergens, not all caregivers are savvy to the language of food labeling. Giving your kids access to information on food ingredients via a handy app empowers them to choose safe foods when they aren't obvious to everyone; <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/food-additives-2/id287917148?mt=8">Food Additives 2</a> gets good review from parents of allergy-sufferers.</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: Food allergies don't go away when you dine out. <a href="http://www.allergyeats.com/?gclid=CNTKvZSJ974CFSlgMgodTRYARQ">Allergy Eats mobile dining guide</a> helps you make safe decisions when on the road and at your favorite restaurant.</p> <h2>Child Location</h2> <p>If little Johnny wandered off without his phone, tracking him down may be difficult. Since most kids carry their phones with them at all times (even into the bathroom), there is a good chance you can find him with a good GPS location tool. <a href="http://www.securafone.com/subpages/securafone.php">Securafone</a> is a comprehensive tool that not only offers geographic location services, it alerts you when a child may be driving over the speed limit or texting while driving.</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: In the case that your child really does go missing, having a &quot;kit&quot; on hand with their info and identifying features can be the difference between finding them and not. The <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2011/august/child_080511/child-id-app-content">FBI offers</a> a high-tech version of the traditional &quot;ID Kit&quot; for most smartphones.</p> <p><em>Do you use any smartphone safety apps not mentioned here? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-your-smartphone-can-keep-you-and-your-family-safe" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Surprising Ways Your Smartphone Can Keep You and Your Family Safe" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-your-smartphone-can-keep-you-and-your-family-safe">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-photoshop-fixes-for-your-family-photos">7 Easy Photoshop Fixes for Your Family Photos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-back-to-school-iphone-apps">10 Back-to-School iPhone Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-terrifying-things-that-can-happen-when-someone-steals-your-phone-and-how-you-can-protect-it">11 Terrifying Things That Can Happen When Someone Steals Your Phone (And How You Can Protect It)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-can-fix-your-finances">These 5 Apps Can Fix Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Family Technology apps first aid safety smartphone Mon, 07 Jul 2014 17:00:11 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1151053 at http://www.wisebread.com Protect Your Home and Family From Fire With These Easy Safety Basics http://www.wisebread.com/protect-your-home-and-family-from-fire-with-these-easy-safety-basics <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/protect-your-home-and-family-from-fire-with-these-easy-safety-basics" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bulb-77292958.jpg" alt="changing light bulb" title="changing light bulb" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here is some good news: The number of deaths from fires has been steadily <a href="http://www.usfa.fema.gov/statistics/estimates/trend_overall.shtm">on the decline</a> since 2001. However, the risk of accidental death or injury from fires has not been eradicated. In 2010, for example, one person was <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/fire-prevention/fires-factsheet.html">injured in a fire every 30 minutes</a>, and another human being lost his or her life every 169 minutes. Yes, the risks are still out there, and most of them are in the home. That's why it's important for everyone, individuals and families alike, to tick off the boxes on the checklist below to ensure their home is risk free when it comes to accidental fires.</p> <h2>1. Use Appropriate Light Bulbs</h2> <p dir="ltr">The idea of being diligent when selecting light bulbs may seem silly to some, but a healthy number of accidental home fires are the direct result of using light bulbs with wattages incompatible with certain household sockets. That's why it's important to ensure the wattage of each light bulb used in a home is properly rated for the specific socket. Homeowners can also err on the side of caution and use 60-watt bulbs at all times.</p> <h2>2. Check Cords</h2> <p dir="ltr">Frayed or otherwise damaged cords can present a serious fire hazard in the home and therefore should be periodically checked to ensure they are in top condition with no exposed wiring. Also, it is crucial never to cover cords with rugs, carpets or tape, as this can cut off airflow to the wiring, which can lead to damage.</p> <h2>3. Position Home Appliances Correctly</h2> <p dir="ltr">This goes beyond the basic rule of keeping portable heaters at least three feet away from flammable objects. Even the cord of a toaster oven running near a stove can present a serious fire hazard. A good rule of thumb is to keep any appliance &mdash; plus its wiring &mdash; away from direct heat sources.</p> <h2>4. Look for Faulty Switches and Outlets</h2> <p dir="ltr">A dysfunctional outlet or switch is, unfortunately, one of the prime causes of accidental dwelling fires. The good news is there are easy ways to spot damage to a home outlet or light switch. Warning signs include:</p> <ul> <li>Outlets or switches that are hot or warm to the touch.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Humming or buzzing sounds emanating from the switch or socket.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Loose plugs.</li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">Homeowners should perform periodic checks of their switches and outlets to ensure safety and functionality.</p> <h2>5. Maintain Working Smoke Alarms</h2> <p dir="ltr">The tragedy is that so many of past years' accidental dwelling fires could have been prevented had homeowners simply installed working smoke alarms. As a standard, smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home as well as outside of sleeping areas. Also, residents should perform once-a-month checks on every smoke alarm in the home and change the batteries once a year.</p> <p dir="ltr">By following these simple guidelines, residents across the country should be able to maintain a home free of accidental dwelling fires and do their part to continue the decline of death and injury by fire.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Have you taken additional steps to protect your home and family from fire? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/protect-your-home-and-family-from-fire-with-these-easy-safety-basics" class="sharethis-link" title="Protect Your Home and Family From Fire With These Easy Safety Basics" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-mcmurphy">Chris McMurphy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/protect-your-home-and-family-from-fire-with-these-easy-safety-basics">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-safest-cities-in-america-from-natural-disasters">10 Safest Cities in America from Natural Disasters</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprisingly-dangerous-things-you-have-in-your-home">10 Surprisingly Dangerous Things You Have in Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-cutting-your-landline-is-a-bad-deal">6 Reasons Cutting Your Landline Is a Bad Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-weird-ways-to-keep-you-and-your-stuff-safe">7 Weird Ways to Keep You and Your Stuff Safe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-improve-the-air-quality-in-your-home">10 Cheap Ways to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Home fire home safety insurance safety Wed, 14 May 2014 08:12:22 +0000 Chris McMurphy 1139230 at http://www.wisebread.com What to Do (and Not Do) When You're in a Car Accident http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car-emergency-4796220-small.jpg" alt="car accident" title="car accident" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've ever been in a car accident, chances are that taking photos of the accident scene and remembering to get the other driver's insurance information weren't your first thoughts. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-do-you-have-the-best-auto-insurance-coverage-for-your-needs">Financial IQ Test: Do You Have the Best Auto Insurance Coverage for Your Needs?</a>)</p> <p>Making sure you, your passengers, and anyone else involved in the accident are safe, and that medical help is on the way, should be the first step. But once things have calmed down and you have a few minutes to gather your thoughts, there are some things you shouldn't do, and a few you should, right after a car accident.</p> <h2>What You Shouldn't Do</h2> <p>It's hard to think straight after a trauma like an auto accident, but these mistakes can hurt you later, even if you follow all of the &quot;shoulds&quot; outlined below.</p> <p><strong>Talk Too Much</strong></p> <p>Police, insurance investigators, and the other driver may want to talk to you to find out what happened. If it's a minor fender-bender that you're at fault for, cooperating with police is a good idea. But if it's a criminal or negligent act, such as running a stop light, you may want to first talk to a lawyer after providing basic information such as proof of insurance, driver's license, and car registration to police.</p> <p>Talking to someone other than your attorney&nbsp;&mdash; including your own insurance company&nbsp;&mdash; after a car accident can hurt because your statement can be obtained by the other side's insurance company and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.onlineautoinsurance.org/6-things-not-to-say-to-your-insurer-or-a-cop-after-an-accident/">used against you</a>. Something as simple as an apology after the accident can be taken as an admission of guilt and liability.</p> <p><strong>Share Too Much Personal Info</strong></p> <p>It may be instinctive to give your home address and telephone number to the other driver involved in the crash, but you don't have to. To avoid having your personal information stolen, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners <a target="_blank" href="http://www.naic.org/Releases/2012_docs/wreckcheck_mobile_app_auto_accidents.htm">recommends not sharing personal information</a> such as a driver's license number. Since many retailers use that information to verify identity over the phone, it's best to only give your name and vehicle insurance information to the other driver.</p> <p><strong>Fail to Call the Police</strong></p> <p>Close to 20% of people believe the only reason to call police after an accident is if someone is injured, according to the NAIC, which has a free smartphone app called <a target="_blank" href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wreckcheck/id543290503?mt=8">WreckCheck</a> to walk users through creating an accident report. Filing a police report, however, can help facilitate the insurance claims process, the NAIC says.</p> <h2>What You Should Do</h2> <p>While you're avoiding saying too much or giving up too much information, you should also be aware of safety and gathering information you will need later.</p> <p><strong>Get Off the Road</strong></p> <p>Get to safety as soon as you can. If it's a minor fender-bender, move your car safely off the road and out of traffic. If you can't move your car without creating more damage, don't try &mdash; leave it to a tow truck. State Farm <a target="_blank" href="http://www.statefarm.com/insurance/claim-center/auto/what-to-do-after-an-auto-accident.asp">recommends keeping flares or other warning devices</a> in your trunk to alert traffic of your emergency.</p> <p><strong>Take Photos</strong></p> <p>If you have your cellphone with you, videotape or photograph the accident scene, so that your insurer can see where it happened and get an idea of how it might have happened. You don't want to get in the way of police, and you should only do this if you, any of your passengers, and people in the other car (if one is involved) are safe. There are lots of <a target="_blank" href="http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2012/07/android-iphone-smart-phone-apps-that-can-help-after-a-car-crash.html">auto insurance smartphone apps</a> that include accident reporting tools to help you collect photos, audio recordings, and other information so you can more easily file a claim with your insurer.</p> <p><strong>Take Notes</strong></p> <p>You should draw a map of what happened for your insurer, and write down how you remember the accident, along with weather and traffic conditions, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">property and vehicle damage</a>, and injuries to you or others. If there are witnesses nearby, get their names and phone numbers. And of course, get the name and insurance information from any driver whose car was in the accident. If your insurer doesn't provide you with an accident form to keep in your car, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.insureuonline.org/auto_accident_checklist.pdf">print one out from insureuonline.org</a> (PDF) and fill it out if possible at the accident scene.</p> <p><strong>Tell the DMV</strong></p> <p>Most states require drivers to report accidents to the DMV, so be sure to do that within a day or so of the accident.</p> <p><strong>Keep Your Documents Handy</strong></p> <p>If you've kept your proof of auto insurance forms that most insurers mail to policyholders in your glovebox, then a lot of this should be easy, and you'll have your insurer's phone number handy to call as soon as possible. Some states allow <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pciaa.net/web/sitehome.nsf/lcpublic/926?opendocument">electronic proof of insurance</a> on a cellphone.</p> <p>You'll probably get a visit from an insurance claims adjustor soon after the accident, which won't be as traumatizing as the accident, but will make life a lot more interesting as you try to recreate the accident and explain what happened. It'll be a lot easier if you've followed the advice above.</p> <p><strong>File Your Claim</strong></p> <p>Now that you're safe and have exchanged information, file an insurance claim with your carrier. Your insurer should be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so don't delay in making the call.</p> <p>If you can do all of this after an accident, you should congratulate yourself on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-items-you-might-have-forgot-in-your-emergency-kit">being prepared and getting through a traumatic experience</a>.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been in an auto accident? What do you wish you had done, or hadn't done, afterward?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident" class="sharethis-link" title="What to Do (and Not Do) When You&#039;re in a Car Accident" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-cheap-auto-insurance-for-young-drivers">How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance for Young Drivers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">Auto Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-do-you-have-the-best-auto-insurance-coverage-for-your-needs">Financial IQ Test: Do You Have the Best Auto Insurance Coverage for Your Needs?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Cars and Transportation Insurance auto insurance car accident emergency safety Wed, 24 Jul 2013 10:36:30 +0000 Aaron Crowe 980560 at http://www.wisebread.com Vacation Safe: 11 Tips for Hotel Safety http://www.wisebread.com/vacation-safe-11-tips-for-hotel-safety <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/vacation-safe-11-tips-for-hotel-safety" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6192158335_b8df98f254_z.jpg" alt="hotel room" title="hotel room" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems like nearly everyone is on the road for a short trip or extended vacation this summer. If staying in a hotel will be part of your summer travel plans, it might be a good time to brush on some security basics. Business and leisure travelers can often become victims to theft and assault by intruders, other guests, and even unscrupulous hotel staff. Whether your stay is in a high-end, mid-range, or decidedly down-scale establishment, keep yourself and your family safe by following a few simple guidelines. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-budget-hotels">The Best Credit Cards for Budget Hotels</a>)</p> <h3>1. Use Reviews</h3> <p>Though they don&rsquo;t offer the complete security picture, online hotel reviews from real customers are a great place to start. Look for previous guests&rsquo; comments about security, front desk coverage, staff availability, noise levels, etc.</p> <h3>2. Remove Your Room&rsquo;s Keycard From Its Envelope</h3> <p>That little sleeve for your hotel room keycard typically has the room number written on it. Combined with the hotel logo on the keycard, it doesn&rsquo;t take much for a lost or stolen card to be opening the right door for the wrong person. Memorize your room number (or enter it in your cell phone if you&rsquo;re forgetful) and toss the envelope.</p> <h3>3. Get the Lay of the Land</h3> <p>We all see those little emergency exit maps on the inside of our hotel room doors, but few of us really study them. Take a moment to get a lay of the land of the hotel, your floor, and the nearest exit in case of fire or other emergency. Make a quick primary and secondary exit strategy for you and your family and choose a landmark outside as the collective rendezvous point once everyone&rsquo;s safely out of the building. Remember, emergencies can happen anywhere at any time.</p> <h3>4. Check the Smoke Detector Batteries</h3> <p>Call me cynical, but I don&rsquo;t assume that hotel cleaning staff or maintenance workers are detailed enough to check the battery in each smoke detector in every room. Do a quick check to make sure the battery status light is on and that there&rsquo;s a functional battery in each detector.</p> <h3>5. Make Sure the Windows Are Locked</h3> <p>Maybe I stay in particularly sub-par establishments (highly likely), but modern hotels may be the flimsiest and most quickly built structures on the planet short of carnival tents. As a result of fast and low-cost construction, windows seldom close or lock properly, and when I&rsquo;m on the ground floor, this lack of basic security worries me. Check to make sure the windows lock and lock them when you leave or turn in for the night.</p> <h3>6. Use Caution With Unsecured Wi-Fi Services</h3> <p>Use common sense when working online via the hotel&rsquo;s unsecured Wi-Fi connection. Avoid any financial transactions or work that displays personal information like social security numbers, passwords, account balances, or secured business data.</p> <h3>7. Use the Hotel Safe</h3> <p>Even if you leave the diamonds at home, most of us are traveling with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-advice-for-the-gadget-addicted">small fortune in mobile electronics</a>. Use the hotel safe to store your valuables when you leave the room. Oh, and an off-topic word to the wise &mdash; if you don&rsquo;t use the safe, check your receipt for a &ldquo;safe fee&rdquo; anyway. Many establishments try to slip this charge into the room total each day without a word to their guests.</p> <h3>8. Leave the Light (and TV) On</h3> <p>Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Though not the greenest solution, it never hurts to leave a light and the TV on in your room when you go out. Establishing the appearance of an occupied room puts a bit of doubt in the mind of a would-be criminal. It&rsquo;s Personal Security 101, and it works.</p> <h3>9. Go Public</h3> <p>If an unknown or unexpected person arrives at your door, ask them to meet you in the lobby or call you from the front desk &mdash; even if that person is in hotel uniform. It never hurts to err on the side of safety when someone unknown is asking you to open the door for any reason.</p> <h3>10. Don&rsquo;t Be Obvious</h3> <p>I&rsquo;ll be the first to admit that I might be hyper-cautious. But when I know I&rsquo;ll be away from my hotel room all day, I really try to make it look (to whoever might be watching) like I&rsquo;m simply stepping out for a quick cup of coffee. It&rsquo;s never a good idea to spread out the maps and ask the receptionist the most efficient way to make the 150 mile trip to Timbuktu. Simply put, a bit of discretion about your daily schedule makes you a less-likely target.</p> <h3>11. Check Your Bill</h3> <p>A high-end resort in the Midwest was scandalized earlier this year when it uncovered an employee theft ring. Hotel clerks were stealing credit and debit card data from guests and using the information to make purchases once the guests had checked out. Closely <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/check-your-statements">review your credit card statements</a> after a hotel stay, paying special attention to unauthorized charges that begin on or immediately after your checkout date.</p> <p>In our era of discount options for everything, hotel security is often a casualty of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-getting-fleeced-at-hotels">low-price lodging</a>. Being an active guest and an active observer of your surroundings can help you avoid situations where your personal safety is at risk.</p> <p><em>What tips do you have for hotel security? What methods have you used to keep you and your family safe while on the road?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vacation-safe-11-tips-for-hotel-safety" class="sharethis-link" title="Vacation Safe: 11 Tips for Hotel Safety" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vacation-safe-11-tips-for-hotel-safety">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel">How to Stay in a 5-Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Consumer Affairs Travel hotels safety theft Fri, 20 Jul 2012 10:24:18 +0000 Kentin Waits 942675 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Lifesaving Skills Everyone Should Know http://www.wisebread.com/10-lifesaving-skills-everyone-should-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-lifesaving-skills-everyone-should-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sinking_car.jpg" alt="Sinking toy car" title="Sinking toy car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are many dangers that lurk in the world around us; fortunately, basic knowledge, common sense, and not panicking can ensure you come out on top of most emergency situations. Check out the skills below to know how to wisely react if and when you&rsquo;re ever put to the test. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-items-you-might-have-forgot-in-your-emergency-kit">6 Items You Might Have Forgotten in Your Emergency Kit</a>)</p> <h3>1. CPR</h3> <p>Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) methods have changed a bit over the years, but the <a href="http://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/quickcpr.html">three basic CPR actions</a> are to check for unresponsiveness and call 911, begin chest compressions if the victim is not breathing normally, and tilt the victim's head back and give two one-second breaths through the victim&rsquo;s mouth. The pattern is 30 chest compressions, then two breaths, and continue the pattern until the victim begins to breathe or help arrives.</p> <h3>2. The Heimlich Maneuver</h3> <p>If an adult is choking and cannot breathe, the Heimlich maneuver can dislodge the foreign body responsible for the victim choking. <a href="http://heimlichinstitute.com/page.php?id=34">The Heimlich Institute</a> recommends this technique: from behind, wrap your arms around the back of the victim and form a fist below the victim&rsquo;s ribcage but above his belly button. Grasp your fist with the other hand and press into the victim&rsquo;s upper abdomen with a quick upper thrust and continue until the foreign object is expelled. Seek training for infant and child Heimlich techniques, as they are less intuitive than the adult method and can do more harm than good if not done correctly.</p> <h3>3. Preventing Hypothermia</h3> <p>Hypothermia is when a body&rsquo;s core temperature drops to the point where normal muscular and cerebral functions are impaired. People might be suffering from hypothermia if they start to shiver uncontrollably, lose coordination, become drowsy, or notice a slower breathing or heart rate. Treat hypothermia by bringing victims inside out of cold weather, removing any wet clothing, and wrapping them in blankets or a sleeping bag. Give them warm fluids without caffeine or alcohol to help stabilize their temperature.</p> <h3>4. Using an AED</h3> <p>Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are popping up in schools, malls, and even businesses these days. Proper use of an AED can provide life-saving intervention if someone is experiencing cardiac arrhythmias that lead to cardiac arrest. Proper training is required to use an AED, so contact your local <a href="http://www.redcross.org/">Red Cross</a> to get certified.</p> <h3>5. Controlling Bleeding</h3> <p>Just like ice won&rsquo;t form on form on a flowing river, blood will not coagulate when flowing freely. Apply pressure to the wound, preferably with sterile gauze, but a towel or T-shirt will work in a pinch. If you can, elevate the wound above the heart.</p> <h3>6. Providing Aspirin for Heart Attacks and Strokes</h3> <p>In addition to regular pain relief, aspirin is <a href="http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/QuestionsAnswers/ucm071879.htm">recommended by the FDA</a> to help treat mini-strokes and heart attacks. Aspirin&rsquo;s properties as an anti-inflammatory and a blood thinner help more blood get through the large clots that lead to heart attacks. After calling 911, instruct someone you suspect of having a heart attack or stroke to <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0505a.shtml">chew and swallow a standard 325 mg dose</a> of aspirin. Two warnings: check to make sure aspirin won&rsquo;t interact negatively with other medications, and if you're providing aspirin to a stranger, you may want to <a href="http://www.cprinstructor.com/legal.htm">check your state's Good Samaritan laws</a> to make sure you can't be held accountable for trying to help save a life.</p> <h3>7. Escape from a Sinking Car</h3> <p>10% of all drowning deaths can be attributed to not being able to escape a submerged <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/remove-car-dents-quickly-and-cheaply">car</a>. You only have a second or two to try and open the door before most of the door is below the water level. If that doesn&rsquo;t work, try to open the window; even if you can&rsquo;t exit through the window, once enough water has entered the car to equalize the pressure, you will be able to open the door and swim to the water&rsquo;s surface. The most important skill in this situation is the ability to remain calm.</p> <h3>8. Exit a Burning Building</h3> <p>Try to have an escape plan for any building you enter. Every hotel room, government building, and most office buildings have publicly posted emergency exit maps. If there is a fire, check to see if a door feels hot before opening, and never use an elevator during a fire emergency, as it may get stuck or take you to a floor engulfed by flames. You may have to crawl to avoid smoke inhalation, which is often more deadly than the fire itself.</p> <h3>9. Help With a Severe Allergic Reaction</h3> <p>If someone appears to be having a severe allergic reaction, call 911 immediately, then try and talk to the person, asking them if they&rsquo;ve ever had that reaction before and if they possibly have an <a href="http://www.epipen.com/">EpiPen</a> (a spring-loaded shot of epinephrine). If the victim has an EpiPen but cannot self-administer, you will need to give the shot; instructions should be printed on the outside. Be prepared to also provide CPR if necessary.</p> <h3>10. Properly React to a Snakebite</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re bitten by a snake you think may be venomous, get away from the snake, remain calm, and immobilize the bitten arm or leg to slow the poison from spreading throughout your body. Then call 911, remove any jewelry before swelling starts, and try to position yourself so the bitten extremity is below the heart. Don&rsquo;t try to use a tourniquet, apply ice, or cut the wound to suck out the poison; <a href="http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/snakebite-treatment">these methods don't work</a> and can do more harm than help. Especially do not try to capture the snake, but instead try to remember its size and coloration.</p> <p>Keep in mind that <a href="http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.d8aaecf214c576bf971e4cfe43181aa0/?vgnextoid=46de1a53f1c37110VgnVCM1000003481a10aRCRD&amp;vgnextfmt=default">Red Cross CPR/First Aid/AED training</a> can help you gain knowledge and the confidence to use these skills; the certification also looks great on a resume. Stay safe, and remember to keep your wits about you.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-lifesaving-skills-everyone-should-know" class="sharethis-link" title=" 10 Lifesaving Skills Everyone Should Know" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-galloway">David Galloway</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-lifesaving-skills-everyone-should-know">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disguise-your-stuff-to-prevent-car-break-ins">Disguise Your Stuff to Prevent Car Break-ins</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snow-patrol-winter-driving-safety-kit-must-haves">Snow Patrol: Winter Driving Safety Kit Must-Haves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-weird-ways-to-keep-you-and-your-stuff-safe">7 Weird Ways to Keep You and Your Stuff Safe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-25-gadget-that-keeps-my-home-and-family-safe">The $25 gadget that keeps my home and family safe.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips cpr emergency skills red cross safety Wed, 02 Nov 2011 09:48:13 +0000 David Galloway 687745 at http://www.wisebread.com Snow Patrol: Winter Driving Safety Kit Must-Haves http://www.wisebread.com/snow-patrol-winter-driving-safety-kit-must-haves <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/snow-patrol-winter-driving-safety-kit-must-haves" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cars_in_blizzard.jpg" alt="Cars in a blizzard" title="Cars in a blizzard" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I grew up in the Midwest, where winter preparedness is something between a religion and a science. Midwest winters are a combination of unpredictability, brutal temperatures, and roads paved with black ice. Having the proper winter gear for our cars isn&rsquo;t just about avoiding inconvenience; it&rsquo;s about survival, and there are a few essentials we think every driver should have. So, before the snow starts to fly, create a winter driving safety kit or check out your ride to make sure you&rsquo;re equipped with everyday necessities and those important extras for the cold months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-keep-your-home-warm-this-winter">10 Frugal Ways to Keep Your Home Warm This Winter</a>)</p> <h3>Gas Can</h3> <p>With gas at its current price, who isn&rsquo;t putting off filling up until the last possible moment? If you find yourself on empty and need to walk to a gas station or have a good Samaritan make a run for you, a spare gas can makes things easier. Not all gas stations have them at the ready.</p> <h3>Jumper Cables</h3> <p>Dead batteries are just part a part of life in sub-zero weather. Have a pair of jumper cables handy and know how to use them (or print this easy <a href="http://www.autobatteries.com/basics/howprintable.asp">cheat sheet</a> to keep in your glove box).</p> <h3>Cell Phone Charger</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re stuck on the road in an area that&rsquo;s not heavily trafficked, your cell phone is your lifeline. Make sure you have a charger to juice up your phone and help get you out of a tight (and cold) spot.</p> <h3>First Aid Kit</h3> <p>A first aid kit is a must-have any time you&rsquo;re on the road. Check your kit to make sure you&rsquo;re well-stocked with sterile bandages, gauze, medical tape, antibiotic ointment, alcohol wipes, pain relievers, and antihistamines for allergic reactions. For a complete list of first aid kit supplies, check out <a href="http://www.fema.gov/plan/prepare/firstaid.shtm">FEMA&rsquo;s recommendations</a>.</p> <h3>Extra Food and Water</h3> <p>In modern life, having extra food and water on hand might not be a matter of absolute survival, but it certainly can make things more tolerable. Choose non-perishable, high-calorie, high-protein food like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-gluten-free-trail-mix-bars-for-about-30-cents-each">energy bars</a>, granola bars, and nuts.</p> <h3>Extra Clothes or Blankets</h3> <p>In extreme temperatures, proper clothing can mean the difference between life and death. If your car battery is dead and you can&rsquo;t generate heat from the motor, it&rsquo;s going to get very cold very fast. Focus on extra hats, gloves, and blankets made of wool or polyester for greatest warmth. Emergency blankets made of Mylar are another good option &mdash; they&rsquo;re light, inexpensive, and help retain 80 to 90% of the body&rsquo;s radiant heat.</p> <h3>Flashlight</h3> <p>A working flashlight is essential for safety and to shed some light on those simple fixes you can do yourself. Choose a battery-operated flashlight or &mdash; even better &mdash; go for an emergency model that&rsquo;s powered by kinetic energy like shaking or hand-cranking. If you go the conventional route, make sure to pack extra batteries.</p> <h3>Basic Tools</h3> <p>Carry enough tools to do simple repairs like patching a hose or tightening battery cables. A set of socket and open-end wrenches, pliers, and multi-head screwdriver will be enough for most jobs. Electrical or duct tape comes in handy for quick hose repairs until you can reach a service station. Oh, and don&rsquo;t forget to include a few extra fuses in your tool kit for quick fixes to your car&rsquo;s electrical system.</p> <h3>Spare Tire</h3> <p>Donut or full-sized, a spare tire is godsend on a cold dark night in the middle of nowhere. Make sure you have all the accompanying tools to change the tire, like a jack and lug wrench. If you&rsquo;ve never changed a tire before, here&rsquo;s another printable <a href="http://www.barbarasway.com/projects/automotive-care-and-safety/how-to-change-a-tire/printable/">cheat sheet</a> to keep handy.</p> <h3>Emergency Candle and Lighter</h3> <p>Even a small emergency candle or liquid paraffin candle can generate some warmth on a cold night.<b> </b>They&rsquo;re long-lasting, smokeless, and odorless.</p> <h3>Kitty Litter</h3> <p>No, it&rsquo;s not for your bobble-head kitty on the dashboard. For those moments when you&rsquo;re stuck on ice, or in mud and slush, a little <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/really-great-uses-for-kitty-litter">kitty litter</a> poured under the tire will give you traction enough to get unstuck and back on the road (fresh scent is optional, of course).</p> <p>Your winter driving safety kit doesn&rsquo;t have to break the bank or drain your holiday budget. You probably have most of these items in your garage or house already. Others can be found at the dollar store or by keeping an eye out while thrift-shopping. Get the kids involved and make your kit a weekend project &mdash; it&rsquo;ll speed up the process and help raise their awareness about winter safety and emergency preparedness. Stay warm!</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snow-patrol-winter-driving-safety-kit-must-haves" class="sharethis-link" title="Snow Patrol: Winter Driving Safety Kit Must-Haves" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snow-patrol-winter-driving-safety-kit-must-haves">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/56-life-hacks-to-help-you-win-at-winter">56 Life Hacks to Help You Win at Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-lifesaving-skills-everyone-should-know">10 Lifesaving Skills Everyone Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-how-to-use-a-parking-meter-serious-question">Do you know how to use a parking meter? Serious question.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disguise-your-stuff-to-prevent-car-break-ins">Disguise Your Stuff to Prevent Car Break-ins</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips driving safety winter Wed, 19 Oct 2011 10:00:09 +0000 Kentin Waits 750549 at http://www.wisebread.com Disguise Your Stuff to Prevent Car Break-ins http://www.wisebread.com/disguise-your-stuff-to-prevent-car-break-ins <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/disguise-your-stuff-to-prevent-car-break-ins" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/broken_in_car.jpg" alt="Car with a broken window" title="Car with a broken window" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When my truck was broken into this winter, I decided to get a little savvier about the way I store my essential belongings and a little craftier at discouraging future break-ins. I&rsquo;ve always tried to practice common-sense when leaving my vehicle unattended for long stretches of time; I never leave obviously valuable items in plain sight, I don&rsquo;t have a deluxe car stereo system or other tempting electronics, and I try to park in well-lit areas. But pickups and hatchbacks are unique because without a trunk, nearly all the contents are visible from the outside, and this creates a veritable display case for would-be thieves. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-your-car-stolen">How to Get Your Car Stolen</a>)</p> <p>Since my truck has a canopy, I decided to embrace the &quot;fishbowl effect&quot; by creating a secret hiding place in plain sight. I took an old cardboard box that was about 18&rdquo; wide and 22&rdquo; tall and created a false top for it. I cut the false top from another piece of sturdy flat cardboard and made it roughly the same dimensions as the top opening of the box. Next I took miscellaneous scrap cardboard pieces from other boxes, folded them vertically, and stapled them to each other using a heavy-duty staple gun. I then attached the stapled pieces to the false top with hot glue.</p> <p>The goal was to create a &quot;cap&quot; that looked as if the box was packed with scrap cardboard and paper destined for the recycling bin. The top sits about 3&rdquo; deep inside the box and fits tightly enough to not shake off during normal travel. Finally, I labeled the box &ldquo;Recycle&rdquo; just to drive the point home.</p> <p>Under the false top, I store my camping gear, a first aid kit, and a few car-repair tools. Once closed, it just looks like a box of old scrap paper and isn&rsquo;t the least bit tempting to the suspicious passer-by.</p> <p><img alt="Fake Recycling" width="605" height="301" src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u921/car_hack_box.jpg" /></p> <p>The same idea would work by stacking newspapers on the false top and securing them in place with twine. I decided to not use aluminum recycling materials because aluminum might be more tempting to hardcore recyclers or potentially harder to identify as &quot;junk&quot; in the dark. The key is to make the box clearly identifiable as recycling without your efforts appearing too studied or deliberate. Expect the would-be thief to be peering in the window, and don&rsquo;t give him a reason to be curious or to second-guess the contents of the box.</p> <p>Of course, nothing can completely prevent car break-ins, but with a little planning and an afternoon project, maybe you can make your car the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/uglify-your-stuff-to-keep-it-safe">least attractive</a> one on the block and skip the window-replacement bill.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disguise-your-stuff-to-prevent-car-break-ins" class="sharethis-link" title="Disguise Your Stuff to Prevent Car Break-ins" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disguise-your-stuff-to-prevent-car-break-ins">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident">What to Do (and Not Do) When You&#039;re in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-lifesaving-skills-everyone-should-know">10 Lifesaving Skills Everyone Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-how-to-use-a-parking-meter-serious-question">Do you know how to use a parking meter? Serious question.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snow-patrol-winter-driving-safety-kit-must-haves">Snow Patrol: Winter Driving Safety Kit Must-Haves</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Cars and Transportation General Tips preventing car break-ins safety theft deterrent Fri, 04 Mar 2011 13:36:10 +0000 Kentin Waits 499023 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 High-Tech Weapons for the War Against Germs http://www.wisebread.com/4-high-tech-weapons-for-the-war-against-germs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-high-tech-weapons-for-the-war-against-germs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Header-Image-Germ-Warfare400.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="175" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Eww! It&rsquo;s germ season, and as kids go back to school and adults head into work, all kinds of illnesses are being introduced into the air around us. &nbsp;Here is a quick rundown of what technology can offer in today&rsquo;s &ldquo;germ warfare&rdquo; in a preview of the <strong><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/09/4-high-tech-weapons-for-the-war-against-germs.html">full list on My Life Scoop</a></strong>.</p> <p><b>UV-C Light</b></p> <p>This super-popular technology can kill more than 99% of many common types of germs, bacteria, mold and allergen, sans chemicals, of course.&nbsp;The &ldquo;UV-C&rdquo; represents the same UV light that gets filtered by our Earth&rsquo;s atmosphere, with the &ldquo;c&rdquo; portion referring to the particular germ-fighting frequency of that light.&nbsp;Where can you find this type of germ-stopping tool?&nbsp;One option is in your vacuum.&nbsp;Since so many creepy crawly things live where you walk and play, it&rsquo;s no wonder that companies like Oreck have decided to incorporate UV-C into their new <a href="http://www.oreck.com/Oreck-Halo-UV-C-Vacuums">Halo vacuums</a>.&nbsp;With sobering statistics on just how many germs can live in a square inch of carpet (4x as many as a typical toilet seat, for example*), it&rsquo;s no wonder many people are willing to upgrade their standard vacuum to include the same technology that&rsquo;s used to disinfect drinking water and sterilize operating rooms.</p> <p>But what about those places you go where stashing a vacuum isn&rsquo;t practical?&nbsp;The <a href="http://www.germguardian.com/LW9-UVC-Mini-Sanitizer-Wand-Details.html">Germ Guardian Mini Wand</a> is a sanitizer that you can stash into a backpack or a drawer in your office.&nbsp;It uses the same UV technology mentioned before, and <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/03/6-simple-ways-to-clean-up-your-pc.html">cleans computer equipment</a>, cell phones, toys, countertops, sinks, showers and toilets just by passing the light over the surface.&nbsp;It can keep odors and allergens at bay, as well!</p> <p><b>Pros:</b>&nbsp;Clean, affordable, and versatile.&nbsp;It uses no chemicals and is safe for all surfaces.</p> <p><b>Cons:</b>&nbsp;Prolonged exposure to eyes can cause irritation.</p> <p><object width="480" height="385"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/AnoZ0hOPvSM?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/AnoZ0hOPvSM?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object></p> <p><b><br /> </b><b><br /> </b><b>Microban</b></p> <p>One of the best ways to keep germs under control is to prevent them from sticking around in the first place.&nbsp;As you venture out into your local store, you may see shopping carts with the &ldquo;<a href="http://www.microban.com/americas/english">microban</a>&rdquo; sign.&nbsp;This new kind of plastic is made from antimicrobrial components that protect products from bacteria, mold and in some cases algae that can cause stains, odors and product deterioration. It is easier to <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/03/how-to-green-your-spring-cleaning-with-tech.html">keep your products clean</a> if they contain Microban (and as such, can be easier to disinfect!)</p> <p><b>Pros:</b>&nbsp;Microban is a passive system.&nbsp;Once you buy something with Microban in it, there is nothing you need to do!</p> <p><b>Cons:</b>&nbsp;It is not designed to kill germs on contact.&nbsp;It simply inhibits the growth of microbes within and on the surface of the product.</p> <p><i>With all the new advances in germ-fighting, it&rsquo;s safe to say that we have a better chance than ever to overcome the difficulties of keeping things clean. What are your favorite methods of kicking common bugs to the curb? &nbsp;Let us know at the </i><strong><i><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/09/4-high-tech-weapons-for-the-war-against-germs.html">full My Life Scoop article</a>!</i></strong></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-high-tech-weapons-for-the-war-against-germs" class="sharethis-link" title="4 High-Tech Weapons for the War Against Germs" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-high-tech-weapons-for-the-war-against-germs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-website-everyone-needs-to-read-apart-from-wb-of-course">The one website everyone needs to read (apart from WB of course)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/waste-not-revisiting-the-5-second-rule-and-other-kitchen-classics">Waste Not! Revisiting the 5-Second Rule and other Kitchen Classics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-this-holiday-season-without-getting-sick">How to Travel This Holiday Season Without Getting Sick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on">12 Foods Nutritionists Say You Should Splurge On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-lifespan">6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Lifespan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Health and Beauty germs Health safety technology Wed, 29 Sep 2010 18:52:46 +0000 Linsey Knerl 244363 at http://www.wisebread.com Bicycling Safety in the City http://www.wisebread.com/bicycling-safety-in-the-city <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bicycling-safety-in-the-city" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000000815498XSmall.jpg" alt="Bike commuter" title="Bike commuter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A few years ago, I transitioned over to a part-time bicycle commuter. It was a fairly smooth transition considering I live in a bicycle-unfriendly city. One of the reasons I was able to effortlessly begin riding my bike in a bustling suburb that cares very little about cyclists is that I enjoy being outdoors and <a href="http://www.littlehouseinthevalley.com/tuesday-tips-rehash">I really love riding my bike</a>. My passion for bike riding and general common sense as a driver helped me navigate my town's busy streets and traffic clogged arteries. Yet, there were a few safety items I had to keep in mind: <strong>routes, gear, and basic traffic knowledge</strong>.</p> <h2>Choosing Routes</h2> <h3>Most direct routes</h3> <p>I always check a map for the most direct route. <a href="http://maps.google.com/biking">Google bike map</a> is a good start, but I've noticed that it doesn't account for paths that aren't necessarily designated as a bike or traffic path. For instance, one of my more direct paths leads me through a University Campus. Google can't see the wide sidewalk path that I ride on, so it doesn't offer that as a possible route.</p> <h3>Less trafficked routes</h3> <p>If I know the area well and feel the path is too car-heavy, I select a parallel side street that will guide me in the same direction, but with less traffic. Though the route may take me a quarter-mile out of the way, I feel my safety is more important. I'd rather ride for a longer period than be terrified for a shorter one.</p> <h3>Bikes paths and lanes</h3> <p>Bike paths and lanes are sometimes the best way to safely bike around a city. Unfortunately for me, my town has very few paths that connect to one another. Often, the paths start in an unusual area and end a few blocks down the road, making it confusing for both cyclists and drivers alike.</p> <h3>And the controversial sidewalks</h3> <p>Yes, I confess, I ride on sidewalks! Technically as a bicyclist I'm supposed to follow the traffic laws and ride in the street. However, unlike a car, I lack the speed and metal armor. I do make it a point to be considerate of pedestrians; they have the right of way. I also wouldn't ever ride on the sidewalks of New York City or any city where pedestrians outnumber cars.</p> <h2>Safety Gear</h2> <h3>Lights</h3> <p>Front and rear lights are a necessity. I turn on my lights in the middle of the day; not so much for me to see the road, but for cars to see me. I do ride in the evenings and let me just say that lights have saved me on a few occasions.</p> <h3>Helmet</h3> <p>When I first started riding my bike around town, I didn't wear my helmet. Yet, now that I've come close to getting hit by a car bumper on a couple of occasions, I realize that there's nothing really protecting me from severe head injuries! Personally, I like my brain the way it is.</p> <h3>Reflectors</h3> <p>Secondary to lights, reflectors again help vehicles see me. Front, side, and rear, my reflectors give cars a heads-up.</p> <h2>Basic Bicycle Sense</h2> <h3>Intersections</h3> <p>In my opinion, intersections are the most dangerous areas for cyclists. When I ride, I have to watch for cars turning right, left, or flying through red lights. When I approach an intersection, my head is on a constant swivel: It swivels behind my left shoulder watching for right turners, it swivels slightly to the left for red-light runners, it moves straight forward for left turners heading towards me, and finally it swivels slightly to the right for approaching right-turners going the opposite direction. I'm constantly looking for people who aren't looking at me; I always make eye contact with drivers a few feet from my bike!</p> <h3>Driveways</h3> <p>Since I normally ride to the far right on a street or on side walks, I keep a look-out for cars coming out of driveways. Reverse lights are always a clue to slow down and wait to make sure a driver sees me.</p> <h3>Parked cars</h3> <p>Another hazard to street cyclists are parked cars. Not only do they occasionally pull out into traffic, but they also open doors, potentially pushing a bicycle rider into traffic. When I ride in the street, I make sure I'm a couple of feet away from parked cars and keep a close eye on tail lights; brake lights mean the car might be getting ready to move.</p> <p>As the fall weather brings cooler temperatures, I make sure to take advantage of the gorgeous weather by increasing my bike commuting. Being a highly aware bicycle rider and picking direct routes with fewer cars make biking in the city fun and safe.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bicycling-safety-in-the-city" class="sharethis-link" title="Bicycling Safety in the City" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-house">Little House</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bicycling-safety-in-the-city">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-thoughtful-and-frugal-personalized-gift-ideas">25 Thoughtful and Frugal Personalized Gift Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-and-romantic-ideas-for-valentines-day-and-any-other-day-of-the-year">Cheap and Romantic Ideas for Valentine&#039;s Day (And Any Other Day of the Year)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> General Tips Lifestyle bicycling bikes safety transportation Mon, 27 Sep 2010 12:00:16 +0000 Little House 245346 at http://www.wisebread.com More Evidence. More Deals. Would You Ever Trust Toyota Again? http://www.wisebread.com/more-evidence-more-deals-would-you-ever-trust-toyota-again <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/more-evidence-more-deals-would-you-ever-trust-toyota-again" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/82522931_38a5a71869.jpg" alt="Crashed Toyota" title="Crashed Toyota" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently, Xin Lu wrote an article about the <a href="http:// http://www.wisebread.com/used-toyotas-are-being-discounted-would-you-buy-one">falling price of used Toyota cars</a>. The price drop obviously came about as a result of the 8.5 million cars Toyota recalled globally, due to serious mechanical failures that led to deadly accidents.</p> <p>How many deadly accidents? Well, in an article by Matthew Fordal, a recent government report alleges <a href="http://www.wral.com/business/story/7038069/">34 deaths from sudden acceleration</a> have been linked to Toyota cars since the year 2000. And since Since Jan. 27, NHTSA has processed 686 complaints from consumers about problems related to &quot;vehicle speed control&quot; on cars and trucks manufactured by Toyota.</p> <p>The keyword above is &quot;alleges&quot; but there&rsquo;s no smoke without fire. Sorry, awful analogy. Matthew goes on to write:</p> <blockquote><p>Complaints to a <a href="http://www.wral.com/business/story/7038069/">database</a> maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the popular Toyota Prius hybrid grew by nearly 1,000 in just over a week.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the past three weeks, consumers have told the government about nine crashes involving 13 alleged deaths between 2005 and 2010 due to accelerator problems, according to a NHTSA database. The latest reports are in addition to previous complaints from consumers that alleged 21 deaths from 2000 to the end of last year. The database also shows that new complaints skyrocketed over the 2010 Prius gas-electric hybrid, which was recalled last week to replace braking software.</p> </blockquote> <p>With this new data now floating around the internet, you can bet that Toyota&rsquo;s bottom line will continue to suffer. And it's not only used cars but brand new cars that are being discounted. There has been talk of yet more rebates and cash incentives, and even completely free maintenance for the first 5-10 years of the car&rsquo;s life, including oil changes and wiper blades.</p> <p>These represent significant savings for the consumer, and more financial woes for Toyota. Will you be taking advantage of the savings though?</p> <p>As an example, my wife will be in the market for a new car soon. Maybe sooner if Toyota cars and trucks continue to go down in value. I mean, they were one of the most reliable cars on the road at one point.</p> <p>But how much is it worth to have that nagging doubt in the back of your head? How much would you pay for peace of mind? Or lack thereof? I have two young girls, and my wife&rsquo;s car is their primary source of transport. It gets them to school, and to the park, the swimming pool, parties, that kind of thing. Would I feel my stomach churn every time I heard they were out and about? I mean, can you ever really trust something again after it has been the subject of so much controversy. Mud sticks, right?</p> <p>So, is Toyota the steal of the century right now, or is it just too much of a risk? Would you drive one away from the dealership if they put $5000 in your pocket? Yes? No? How about if the car was free, only you couldn&rsquo;t resell it&hellip;you had to drive it?</p> <p>I&rsquo;m sure Toyota will fix the problem and the cars will be fine. But that huge &ldquo;what if?&rdquo; may be too much of an emotional price to pay. And even for me, a deal hunter, I just can&rsquo;t bring myself to buy Toyota right now.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/more-evidence-more-deals-would-you-ever-trust-toyota-again" class="sharethis-link" title="More Evidence. More Deals. Would You Ever Trust Toyota Again?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/more-evidence-more-deals-would-you-ever-trust-toyota-again">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/used-toyotas-are-being-discounted-would-you-buy-one">Used Toyotas Are Being Discounted. Would You Buy One?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/two-more-crafty-ways-to-steal-from-you-gps-units-and-cell-phones">Two More Crafty Ways to Steal From You - GPS Units and Cell Phones.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/did-your-car-break-down-check-for-recalled-parts-and-fix-it-for-free">Did your car break down? Check for recalled parts and fix it for free!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-new-tires-really-6-year-old-ticking-time-bombs">Are your new tires really 6-year old ticking time-bombs?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Cars and Transportation Consumer Affairs car crash car dangers recall safety Toyota Fri, 19 Feb 2010 14:00:03 +0000 Paul Michael 5357 at http://www.wisebread.com Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/SocialSecurityTN.jpg" alt="SSN" title="SSN" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="189" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">It seems that nothing is safe any more. And now your Social Security Number, the lynchpin to you credit score, taxes, government benefits and more, is under attack. It can be guessed, with a staggering degree of accuracy, using simple information you probably have on sites like Facebook and MySpace.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">We have all heard the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-taking-jack-how-to-deal-with-identity-theft">stories about Identity Theft</a> and we all take precautions to be careful with our SSN. In fact, these days I&rsquo;ll only put it down on a form if I absolutely have to; that includes medical forms that you often have to fill out when you visit a GP or specialist.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>But that may now be a moot point, because two Carnegie Mellon researchers have basically reverse-engineered the SSN formula to gain access to that most precious and private number.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/07/social-insecurity-numbers-open-to-hacking.ars">John Timmer of Arstechnica.com</a> reported yesterday that these two bright sparks used two practices that had been designed to protect the number, and make it fraud-proof, as a way to discover the code from those two simple facts &ndash; date of birth, and place of birth; two facts that are on most public profiles.</p> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p>&nbsp;</p> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">To know how they did it, you need to know the basic structure of the SSN. As John describes it, it splits into three zones:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><i>The first three digits are based on the state where the SSN was originally assigned, and the next two are what's termed a group number. The last four digits are ostensibly assigned at random. Since the late 1980s, the government has promoted an initiative termed &quot;Enumeration at Birth&quot; that seeks to ensure that SSNs are assigned shortly after birth, which should limit the circumstances under which individuals apply for them later in life (and hence, make fraudulent applications easier to detect).<o:p></o:p></i></p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p> From there, the article gets pretty heavily into some technical data and statistics that I won&rsquo;t bore you with here. If you&rsquo;re interested, read all the details of the <a href="http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/07/social-insecurity-numbers-open-to-hacking.ars">algorithm that reconstructs your Social Security Number</a>. But all you really need to know is that if the SSN code has been cracked, or hacked, then it won&rsquo;t be long before that information gets into the wrong hands.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>So, should you be worried, and what can you do?</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Well, as John Timmer explains, although some of the SSN digits are relatively easy to obtain, others are more tricky:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p> <i>Getting the last four digits right was substantially harder. The authors used a standard of getting the whole SSN right within 10 tries, and could only manage that about 0.1 percent of the time even in the later period. Still, small states were somewhat easier&mdash;for Delaware in 1996, they had a five percent success rate. <o:p></o:p></i></p> <p class="MsoNormal">BUT, and this is a big but, it seems as though modern security systems and automated forms DO NOT REQUIRE the whole SSN. As long as it is cross-referenced with the date and place of birth, up to two numbers can be incorrect. John continues:<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><i>They often allow several failed verification attempts per IP address before blacklisting it. Given these numbers, the authors estimate that even a moderate-sized botnet of 10,000 machines could successfully obtain identity verifications for younger residents of West Virginia at a rate of 47 a minute.<o:p></o:p></i></p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p> Think about it: 47 a minute! Considering how prevalent ID theft is around the world, and how sophisticated thieves are becoming, I think this is enough to cause concern for the average US citizen. And as such, it may be time to start taking precautions. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">First, see if you can remove your private information, or replace your place and date of birth with something more vague on your social networking sites and other public profiles. That one should be relatively easy, if a little time consuming. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Second, continue to practice good personal security. Shred any important documents that you are throwing out, and don&rsquo;t leave sensitive data in a place where thieves could easily find it. I know a lot of people throw things in the car and forget about it, but if the car were stolen or broken into, it could be the start of much bigger problems. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Third, keep on top of your credit reports. You are allowed one free each year from each of the three major credit bureaus. DO NOT use freecreditreport.com, they charge. Instead, go to <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp">Annual Credit Report here.</a> If you see anything suspicious or just plain wrong, contact the bureau immediately. <o:p></o:p></p> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><p>&nbsp;</p> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Finally, consider some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-bitten-twice-shy-what-is-credit-security-worth-to-you">ID theft protection</a>. I use <a href="http://www.lifelock.com/">LifeLock</a> because I got <a href="http://www.retailmenot.com/view/lifelock.com">a great deal on it</a>, and although not 100% effective, it does cover me if anything should happen. But LifeLock is basically just a method of putting 90-day fraud alerts on your credit reports, which you can do yourself for free. You can find the information for each bureau here:<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://www.experian.com/consumer/cac/InvalidateSession.do?code=SECURITYALERT"><strong>EXPERIAN</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.equifax.com/answers/set-fraud-alerts/en_cp"><strong>EQUIFAX</strong></a></p> <p><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.transunion.com/corporate/personal/fraudIdentityTheft/fraudPrevention/fraudAlert.page"><strong>TRANSUNION</strong><o:p></o:p></a></p> <p class="MsoNormal">For further reading, <a href="http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/defend.html">visit the FTC&rsquo;s site</a>. It has some great information. Stay safe folks. <o:p></o:p></p> <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--></p> <!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth" class="sharethis-link" title="Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/search-online-for-a-fix-before-you-toss-that-broken-gadget">Search Online for a Fix before You Toss that Broken Gadget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-the-nasty-secret-of-the-craigslist-free-section">Beware, The Nasty Secret Of The Craigslist Free Section</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/phishing-scams-continue-to-plague-social-media-sites">Phishing Scams Continue to Plague Social Media Sites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-customer-service-phone-number-fast">How To Get A Customer Service Phone Number, Fast!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-jury-duty-scam-coming-to-a-phone-near-you">The Jury Duty Scam – coming to a phone near you?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Consumer Affairs General Tips Technology crack fraud guard hack ID theft identity online safety thief Wed, 08 Jul 2009 16:29:57 +0000 Paul Michael 3364 at http://www.wisebread.com Recalled Robes, Cribs, and Hooded Sweatshirts: Top Safety Concerns You Should Know About http://www.wisebread.com/recalled-robes-cribs-and-hooded-sweatshirts-top-safety-concerns-you-should-know-about <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recalled-robes-cribs-and-hooded-sweatshirts-top-safety-concerns-you-should-know-about" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/robe recall.jpg" alt="robe recall" title="robe recall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="200" height="275" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">This isn&rsquo;t the first time I&rsquo;ve written about recalls.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Sadly, they seem to pop up every day &ndash; either an indication of our products getting junkier, or a sign that the government is becoming better aware of safety concerns, in general.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>These alerts top my list of &ldquo;recalls you really should know about.&rdquo; If Grandma wears a robe, you must read this!<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I always like when a company takes the initiative and puts out a voluntary recall before any accidents occur.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>To me, it is a sign that they are being proactive, hoping to avoid lawsuit, and taking responsibility for their own product lines (instead of waiting for the government to tell them what to do.)<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Many of these product recalls occurred BEFORE any accidents occurred.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Sadly, however, many of the affected consumer groups aren&rsquo;t the type to read emails or check the <a href="http://www.cpsc.gov/">CPSC website</a> for updates.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Do you know anyone who would be affected by these recalls?<b style=""><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style=""><a href="http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09241.html">Blair Chenille Robes</a></b> &ndash; There have been six reported deaths of consumers by catching on fire while wearing these $20-40 robes.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>The reports indicate that five of them were women, all of them were cooking at the time, and a few were in their 80&rsquo;s.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>This just makes me sad, as many of the customers who order from Blair do so over the phone or through catalog orders.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(They are not likely to be reading emails or checking <a href="http://www.snopes.com/">Snopes</a> to see if reports are real.)<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Internet-savvy customers can to to <a href="http://www.blair.com/content.jsp?pageName=recall">www.blair.com/recall</a><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;"> </span>for the full details of the recall, or they can call (877) 392-7095 to file a claim and get their $50 Blair gift card.<b style=""><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style=""><a href="http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09238.html">LaJobi Drop Side Cribs</a></b> &ndash; Two separate recalls have been issued for models of this crib, sold at retailers like USA Baby, Buy Buy Baby, and Beautiful Beginnings.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Retailing at between $299 and $450, you would expect (and hope) that the slats on the side of the crib would NOT break or fall out.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, there have been over 40 reports of slat or side failure, and one case of a baby falling out of the crib and getting bruised.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Read the details of the recalls at <a href="http://safetyinfo.lajobi.com/">LaJobi&rsquo;s website</a>, and share this info with people you know.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(Check out past crib and bassinet recalls at <a href="http://www.cpsc.gov/">CPSC&rsquo;s website</a> &ndash; just do a search for &ldquo;crib&rdquo; or &ldquo;bassinet.&rdquo;)<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style=""><a href="http://search.cpsc.gov/query.html?qt=sweatshirts+drawstrings&amp;charset=iso-8859-1&amp;col=pubweb">Children&rsquo;s Hooded Sweatshirts</a></b> &ndash; I can&rsquo;t even count the number of hooded sweatshirt recalls I&rsquo;ve seen in the last year.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>The brands include Red Envelope, Ocean Pacific, Karl Kani, and Gildan Activewear and include everything in between.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Unfortunately, recalls date back to before 2007 and warn of strangulation hazards from the drawstrings in the hoods of the sweatshirts.<span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Despite industry standards, there are new recalls every month, and even more companies settling lawsuits as a result of injury or death. Even if you were aware of every recall and avoided purchasing new garments under these brands, many parents buy gently used clothing from garage sales and consignment outlets &ndash; making it difficult to stay on top of the news.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I would suggest reading up on many of the recalls, but to be absolutely certain you are not affected &ndash; avoid buying kids&rsquo; clothing with drawstrings.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Period.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style=""><a href="http://search.cpsc.gov/query.html?qt=play+yard&amp;charset=iso-8859-1&amp;col=pubweb">Baby/Toddler Play yards (playpens)</a></b> &ndash; I can&rsquo;t imagine living without my Graco Pack N&rsquo; Play.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I also cannot imagine living without any of my four children.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>When <a href="http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml01/01094org.html">this press release went out in 2001</a>, parents cringed at the thought that a play yard could be responsible for 4 infant deaths and several injuries.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Recalls dating back to 1993 revealed weaknesses in various brands&rsquo; models, including Kolcraft, Century, and EvenFlo.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Just when we thought play pens were getting safer, a new round of recalls got parents worrying again.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Brands involved in this recent rash of recalls include <a href="http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml09/09219.html">Eddie Bauer</a> and <a href="http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml09/09098.html">Fisher-Price/Simplicity</a>.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Parents are encouraged to follow recall alerts from CPSC&rsquo;s website and subscribe to <a href="https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx">updates via email</a>.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(This <a href="http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml00/00071.html">recent article</a> involving the safety of motel/hotel cribs and playpens is also very informative reading!)<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I recently reported a defect in a new toy my son was playing with.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Even when used properly, his little finger kept getting pinched in a moving part and it caused him to lose part of his fingernail.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>We took the toy away, and I contacted the company &ndash; with no results.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(I couldn&rsquo;t believe that this wasn&rsquo;t also happening to other kids.)&nbsp; Unfortunately, if there are only one or two reports of failure or injury, it may not be enough to prompt a recall.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I encourage everyone to be vigilant in reporting product defects to both the manufacturer and the CPSC &ndash; especially if it is something you feel other consumers could benefit from knowing about.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><i style="">What recalls are most alarming to you?<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Do you follow them carefully, or do you think recalls are mostly hype?<span style="">&nbsp; </span>We&rsquo;d love to hear your feedback!</i><o:p></o:p><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/recalled-robes-cribs-and-hooded-sweatshirts-top-safety-concerns-you-should-know-about" class="sharethis-link" title="Recalled Robes, Cribs, and Hooded Sweatshirts: Top Safety Concerns You Should Know About" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/recalled-robes-cribs-and-hooded-sweatshirts-top-safety-concerns-you-should-know-about">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/books-get-recalled-too-the-shocking-truth">Books Get Recalled, Too (The Shocking Truth)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-put-your-life-at-risk-every-day">9 Ways You Put Your Life at Risk Every Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-be-ashamed-to-be-on-public-assistance">Should You be Ashamed to be on Public Assistance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/explaining-away-the-green-m-m">Explaining Away the Green M&amp;M</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Finance Consumer Affairs CPSC cribs play yards recalls robes safety Fri, 12 Jun 2009 15:59:14 +0000 Linsey Knerl 3261 at http://www.wisebread.com Two More Crafty Ways to Steal From You - GPS Units and Cell Phones. http://www.wisebread.com/two-more-crafty-ways-to-steal-from-you-gps-units-and-cell-phones <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/two-more-crafty-ways-to-steal-from-you-gps-units-and-cell-phones" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2484304877_83f51f9513.jpg" alt="GPS unit" title="GPS unit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I got another one of those emails recently, from my mother-in-law this time. As usual, I began reading with skepticism and was ready to take it all with another monstrous grain of salt. But as I continued reading, I realized the information actually seemed plausible. So I checked it out at Snopes and found truth behind the stories. </p> <p>The Chinese Whisper effect has done its job on these stories, adding embellishments and hyperbole. But the base facts mentioned here are very real, and these methods could easily be used to clean you out. </p> <p><strong> Method One &ndash; GPS and a Garage Door Opener. </strong><a href="http://www.snopes.com/crime/intent/gps.asp">(Snopes reference)</a><br /> The basic premise is this. You&rsquo;re parked at an event where the criminal knows you will be inside for some time, like a concert or sporting event. He or she will then scour the parking lot for cars with GPS devices and garage door openers, which is a vast number of the population and rising. </p> <p>The thief takes the GPS and garage door opener, hops into their own car or truck, and then used the GPS device to guide the car &ldquo;home&rdquo; which is the first address anyone with a GPS will program into the device. </p> <p>Once at your house, the thieves have access via the garage door opener, and they know they plenty of time to&nbsp; ransack your home and get away before you get to your car and drive home. Some people don&rsquo;t even notice the devices are gone until they go to open the garage door.</p> <p><strong> What can you do to stay safe?</strong><br /> First, if you have a dashboard-mounted GPS device, put it out of plain sight once you arrive at your destination. Most come with a carry-case and are small enough to take with you, or you could hide it somewhere in the car. </p> <p>Second, don&rsquo;t program your home address into the &ldquo;home&rdquo; button. It&rsquo;s easy enough to find your home address from a list of recent places, but the thieves won&rsquo;t know that. All they will see are a long list of addresses and any one of them could be yours. </p> <p>Third, put your garage door opener in an unexpected place. The first place thieves will look is on the visor. If they have to hunt around for both your GPS and your opener, they&rsquo;ll no doubt give up very quickly and move onto the next car. </p> <p><strong> Method Two &ndash; The Cell Phone Scam </strong><a href="http://www.snopes.com/fraud/telephone/pintheft.asp">(Snopes reference)</a><br /> The story goes that a woman&rsquo;s handbag was stolen, and her cell phone was one the of many personal items inside, along with credit cards, debit cards and so on. About 20 minutes after the handbag is stolen, she calls her husband from a payphone to tell him what has happened, and he tells her &ldquo;I got your text asking for our PIN number, I just replied to it.&rdquo; </p> <p>When they checked their bank accounts, a chunk of money had been withdrawn using the stolen card. What had happened was the thief had texted her husband, labeled on the phone as &ldquo;hubby&rdquo; or &ldquo;sweetheart&rdquo; and asked for the information.<br /> If you received a text from your significant other, you probably wouldn&rsquo;t think twice about it, and reply with the 4-digit PIN. Maybe you&rsquo;d call, but texting is so easy and convenient these days. </p> <p><strong> What can you do to stay safe?</strong><br /> First, try not to use pet names or other words that would disclose your relationship to that person. In particular, avoid common phrases like Home, Honey, Hubby, Wifey, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, and so on. These are the first names that the phone thieves will go to. </p> <p>Second, never reveal ANY personal info over a text message. If you get such a request, call and confirm if you can. I know it&rsquo;s a lot easier to text in a busy meeting rather than leave the room to take a call, but do what you can. You can always ask a question only your significant other would know the answer to, just for verification, if you only have the option to text. </p> <p>Third, if anyone ever asks to meet you somewhere via text message, make sure you call back to verify it&rsquo;s the real person. Far worse than someone trying to take your money would be someone trying to harm you. Remember, phones carry photos and videos, thieves could see a pretty girl and attempt to set up a meeting via text message.</p> <p>As always, keep your wits about you everyone. Stay safe. <br /> &nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/two-more-crafty-ways-to-steal-from-you-gps-units-and-cell-phones" class="sharethis-link" title="Two More Crafty Ways to Steal From You - GPS Units and Cell Phones. " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/two-more-crafty-ways-to-steal-from-you-gps-units-and-cell-phones">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/more-evidence-more-deals-would-you-ever-trust-toyota-again">More Evidence. More Deals. Would You Ever Trust Toyota Again?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-new-tires-really-6-year-old-ticking-time-bombs">Are your new tires really 6-year old ticking time-bombs?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident">What to Do (and Not Do) When You&#039;re in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-put-your-life-at-risk-every-day">9 Ways You Put Your Life at Risk Every Day</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Cars and Transportation Consumer Affairs cell phone garage door opener GPS rob safety Steal Wed, 11 Mar 2009 21:13:09 +0000 Paul Michael 2917 at http://www.wisebread.com