How to Keep Your Apartment Safe This Holiday Season

While Santa would never face charges for breaking and entering while scurrying down the chimney, there are legit dangers lurking during the holiday season. And those dangers could very well be right where you live.

So that you can focus on holiday cheer and also remain protected and safe this holiday season, we’ve got some tips to help keep your apartment and belongings secure.

Prevent danger

Risky situations related to the holiday season aren’t limited to tempting criminals with packaged gifts left in front of doors. “Holiday mishaps that can cause issues for a renter and a rental property include fire hazards,” says Lynn Edmondson, Regional Manager of Wendover Management, a full-service property management company.

Edmondson recommends:

  • Avoid using more than three strings of lights on one extension cord because you don’t want to overload the circuits
  • Try flameless candles as an alternative to the real deal
  • Be sure to properly water natural decorations to proactively nix the chance of holiday lights sparking into a blaze

Prime time for crime

Planning on being out of town for Christmas? If you’ll be away for three days or more, then there’s a pretty good chance that anyone with intent to steal could realize that no one’s home and come knocking.

Do what you can to not be vulnerable to package theft, break-ins and loss. Make sure you keep windows and doors securely locked, and that gifts under your Christmas tree are out of view from anyone passing by who might be looking for an easy mark.

Scouting for loot

Gifts left at your door for back-to-back days in a row are a pretty obvious sign to a would-be-package snatcher that there’s no one home.

If you’re expecting deliveries from UPS, FedEx or Amazon, you might consider arranging for those packages to arrive elsewhere in your absence. If you’ve ordered online, you have the power to decide where the packages end up. Be strategic and have deliveries sent to a friend, the rental office of your apartment building or your workplace.

Here are a few ideas to help keep your packages safe:

  • Amazon has lockers around the country where you can have packages delivered. You get an email alert that your order is ready for pickup. You’ve got three days to retrieve the package before it gets returned to Amazon.
  • Make friends with your neighbors. Notify them that you’ll be away for the holidays. Ask if they could check for any deliveries and hold the packages for you.
  • Make sure all entryways and hallways are well lit so you can see if any intruders are lurking and to dissuade anyone with criminal intent from getting too close.

Keep your apartment safe

If your community has a visible security presence where you live, that’s a powerful antidote to holiday crime. A key fob to enter the gate of your rental community or to park in the garage is also a good deterrent from unwelcome intruders.

However, as a tenant, you can take additional steps to stay safe and keep your apartment protected. If you’re renting an individual townhouse, apartment unit or a single-family home, there are plenty of choices for security systems through third parties, according to Wendover Management. “Remember to always speak with your landlord prior to making any changes to the home you are renting,” says Edmondson.

Place a security sticker from a company such as ADT on the door or window of your apartment. This is helpful if you have an exterior apartment door that someone can easily walk up to without the hindrance of a security gate or entry code required.

Install a DIY system with a visible HD camera directed at a walkway, your front door or driveway. Since it’s connected directly to an app on your phone, you’ll be pinged if there’s someone approaching your door and you’ll be able to see in real time if someone is trying to swipe something.

Lynn Edmondson has one last piece of advice for apartment dwellers: Be aware that not everyone has the best intentions. Ensure that you take steps to protect yourself and your home. Enjoy the holidays!”

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Source: apartmentguide.com

How to Keep Bugs Out of Your Apartment

Whether or not you’re afraid of tiny critters, nobody wants to find an unwelcome little guest in your apartment. And it can be difficult to keep bugs away, so we’ve found a few ways to prevent bugs from settling in your home.

Check entrances

This means all entrances that bugs can use, not just the door that humans walk through. Make sure that all of your doors, windows, walls and pipes that tiny bugs use to access your home are sealed and have no cracks.

This is especially important if you live in an older place. If the windows frames are old, they often start to separate, leaving cracks. You should also check the weather strip at the base of your door to make sure it fills in the whole space. Add screens to windows and doors – especially if you ever leave them open – as an extra precaution.

Choose plants wisely

While most plants are bound to attract bugs, some attract more than others. Make sure that when you choose a plant, either indoor or outdoor plants, research it to make sure it isn’t appealing to insects. Avoid any type of shrubbery (they attract loads of bugs) and use a safe garden insecticide for extra insurance.

Take out the trash

Don’t let your trash overflow. If anything lands on the floor and isn’t cleaned up regularly, bugs will find it. Try to keep your trash cans clean, as well—wash them out every few weeks to make sure there isn’t anything left that will attract all the pests.

Diatomaceous earth

Don’t be afraid of the name – this is one of the best solutions for most bug problems. It’s a natural product that comes in the form of a white powder and is made from the remains of marine phytoplankton. It has a unique particle structure that’s rough and spiked and harmful to tiny bugs.

There are two kinds of diatomaceous earth – food grade and non-food grade. For the purpose of keeping bugs out, they work just the same. The best part about using food grade diatomaceous earth is that it’s safe for mammals. In fact, you can eat it and be just fine. If you have children or pets around, this is the safest solution for preventing a bug invasion.

Insecticide

Although you may not want to deal with a bad smell and weird chemicals, bug spray is such a popular solution for a reason – it works. If you’ve tried everything and had no success, you may have to resort to the method that stands the test of time. There are safer organic insecticides if you don’t want a strong chemical-based one.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

5 Playground Safety Tips to Keep Your Children Safe

If you share your apartment with small children, then you’re probably all about having quality time with your kids. Finding the right place to live happily as a busy family means having adequate on-site green space and a dedicated playground for your little people.

So that everyone can stay safe, we have some tips to help your kids avoid hazards and just have fun.

1. Summertime heat

It’s critical to have shade where playground equipment is located. Summer temperatures don’t need to be scorching in the 90-degree zone for equipment to get too hot to touch.

Parents should always check if equipment feels too hot for your little one to play on. Metal slides, a metal chain on a swing set, or even the adorable spring rider shaped like a lady bug could heat up into the triple digits from noon to 5 p.m., the hottest hours of the day.

Monitor the time of day for romps on the playground. The morning or after dinner are sensible considerations.

2. Supervision is a no-brainer

Whether it’s you or the babysitter keeping a supervisory eye, your kids should never be left alone on playground equipment. Texting, chatting with a neighbor or petting a dog could mean you’re nothing short of oblivious. In an instant, playtime turns to chaos when a little one decides to stand or kneel on a swing when no one was watching.

3. Location, location, location

Where the playground is located on the property is pivotal to maintaining a safe space for your kids to be kids.

  • Is there a quality fence with a gate around the play area? Is the fencing intact? Are there any sharp edges that catch on clothing? As a precaution, kids should never wear drawstring hoodies while playing.
  • Is there a pool on the property? Is it enclosed with a kid-safe latch and far enough from the playground that kids can’t enter the area and accidentally fall in?
  • Is there traffic close by? Is the playground near the main road or a parking garage that kids could run toward if chasing after a ball?

4. Mulch much?

Shoddy surfacing is a playground threat. At least 12-inches of proper cushioning material is key to kids’ safety while at play, according to the National Safety Council. Will wood mulch or wood chips be the best choice for protecting children around a playset?

While mulch is so much better than asphalt or concrete for avoiding cuts and bruises, it does have a downside. Negative factors include splinters, mold developing when wet, and in cold temperatures, if it freezes, it doesn’t provide much of a soft landing spot. Wood chips may also contain chromated copper arsenate (CCA), a wood preservative treatment that could be a potential health worry.

An alternative to wood much includes rubber/vinyl mulch. It’s splinter-free, immune to mold growth and it’s long lasting. Plus, kids love it because it’s colorful.

5. Safety first

Screws, hooks and bolts poking out of spots where kids play could be an eye injury waiting to happen. If the playground is mostly made of wood, there could be a risk for rotted splinters. Wooden swing seats are a no-no and should be replaced with a softer material.

Since safety is always first, you have every right to ensure that your kids won’t suffer injuries:

  • Structures should be 30-inches high and spaced at least 9-feet apart.
  • Tot swings with full bucket seats should have their own bay.
  • A child’s head and other body parts might get trapped if the equipment doesn’t have proper openings, such as ladder rungs. Openings should measure no less than 3.5- inches and/or be more than 9-inches in width. The National Safety Council reports that monkey bars have such a high incidence of injury, that they have no place on a playground.

If you’re certain the playground where you dwell (or want to live) checks off all the boxes, then enjoy it to the fullest. Your kids will be happier if you can play and be outdoors together as a family.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

How to Prevent Germs from Spreading in Your Apartment

Flu season is upon us once again. And kids – whose hand-washing skills are notably dubious – can be harbingers of doom to households that need to stay healthy.

How do you go about preventing sick kids from infecting the whole family? Read on for some tips on freezing your child’s cold dead in its disease-spreading tracks.

Vaccinate

girl getting flu shotgirl getting flu shot

If your child is in public school, then they’re already up-to-date on most vaccinations. But since flu shots aren’t mandatory, be smart and opt in. They’re “free” through many existing health insurance plans when you get them at your pediatrician’s office and often low-cost at supermarkets, pharmacies and other walk-in venues – where you won’t need an appointment and waits are short-to-nonexistent.

What’s more, some healthcare facilities offer the vaccine in a nasal spray form, which means needle-phobes can avoid anxiety while keeping illness at bay. While you’re at it, ensure everyone gets vaccinated. The best insurance against illness spreading germs in your home is an ounce of prevention.

Clean hands

child washing handschild washing hands

Sure, you’ve been telling them since they were old enough to understand, but hammer that message home. Even if your child is meticulous, the rest of the world, sadly, is not.

Germs spread like wildfire at schools and day care centers where kids share toys, crayons and restroom doorknobs. Get them in the habit of washing their hands and using the teacher’s economy-sized hand sanitizer regularly. Perhaps even get them a cute portable one they can loop onto their backpack zipper so it’s always at the ready.

Changing stations

baby changing tablebaby changing table

Do you have more than one child in diapers? If one is sick and the other isn’t, avoid germ spreading at the changing station by finding another place for one of them when it comes time to clean

Avoid sick kids and keep yours home

sick childsick child

It’s the bane of a working parent’s existence – the parent who still sends their runny-nosed child to Pre-K. It’s not just the height of inconsideration, it can be downright dangerous.

Per the CDC, kids who are vomiting, have sore throats, phlegmy coughs and fevers above 100 degrees should not be sent to school or daycare (or gymnastics, art class, karate or anywhere else)!

Disinfect and quarantine

disinfecting toysdisinfecting toys

Once your kid has a cold, try to prevent those germs from spreading by isolating as many of the germs as possible. Does the sick child have his or her own room? Try to contain the germs by keeping them there as much as possible, reducing the chances of toy, book, or – EW! – sippy cup sharing.

Wash their forks, dishes and tableware immediately and don’t forget doorknobs, handrails and table and counter surfaces. And if the kids have their own bathroom – let the healthy ones use yours until the worst of it has run its course.

If bathroom sharing is a must, keep that germ-killer handy and use it often. You’ll also want to do the laundry more often, washing clothes, sheets and blankets, and be sure to keep beloved stuffed toys quarantined, as well.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

What to Do if There’s a Fire in Your Apartment Building

Within minutes, small flames can spread and grow into a deadly fire. Preparation is a great way to help reduce the risk of panic in any emergency. Experts say to be quick, but also be in control. And while a blaring alarm system can be nerve-wracking, it also acts a powerful lifesaver.

To prepare for a fire, you should think about how you would get out of the building long before the alarm rings. Know the fire safety features where you live. Your leasing office or property manager should also share insights. Occupants should all be aware of what it takes to keep the building as fire-safe as possible.

The threat is real

According to the National Fire Protection Association Journal, there were 95,000 apartment fires in 2017 — 19 percent of the structure fire total for the year. Sadly, 2,630 people died as a result of home fires that year.

house fire statistichouse fire statistic

Source: Reader’s Digest

It’s a good idea to be proactive. If you see a damaged smoke alarm or broken glass on a fire extinguisher case, don’t ignore it. Let your apartment building maintenance team know right away.

If you notice smoke or a fire in your unit or building, follow these steps to stay safe.

1. Stay calm

There’s a natural inclination to get out as soon as possible. But you could actually be putting yourself in more danger trying to do that. If the fire has spread, it could be a no-win choice.

Fire safety begins with you. Be prepared for how you’ll react and protect yourself, your kids and pets. It’s critical to know the location of exits on your floor. If one is blocked due to smoke and fire, you should know what your alternative options are.

Some basic fire safety prep on your part includes:

  • Don’t exit your apartment without your keys. If you have to turn back because of flames in the hallway and smoke in the stairwell, or a blocked entry, you need your key to get back into your apartment.
  • Always check a doorknob before opening it. Heat is an indicator of a blaze behind the door. Knowing how to tell if a door is safe to open during a fire could save your life.
  • Know where all the exit doors and stairs are on your floor
  • Never take an elevator. If the stairs are a clear and safe option, use them.
  • Get down low if there’s smoke in a hallway, it will be easier for you to breathe if you stay lower down to the ground
  • Be sure to count the number of doors there are between your apartment and the nearest fire exit
  • Learn your building’s evacuation plan
  • Practice an escape drill for your apartment. This is especially important if you have kids and/or pets. Determine a place outside where everyone should meet if you get separated.
  • If a fire starts spreading, remember that your goal is to escape

2. Call 911

If you see or smell smoke, call 911. Let them know where you are in the building. If you’re in a massive building on fire, your location can help firefighters get to you if you’re unable to get out on your own.

3. If you have to leave, stay low to the ground

If you’re in the thick of smoke, move quickly, covering your head and hair. Keep your head down (12- to 24-inches above the floor) and close your eyes as often as possible. Smoke and poisonous air can hurt more people than the actual flames do, so crawl low under smoke to your exit.

4. If you can’t leave, stay where you are

First responders say that if your apartment is not threatened, you should stay put. Be sure to put wet towels, rags, bedding or tape under your doors. And cover any vents in your apartment to help limit smoke from coming in.

No matter what, don’t break a window and don’t try to jump out of your apartment. Wait for first responders to arrive.

If you’re outside of the building, don’t go in. Wait until firefighters tell you it’s safe to go back before returning home. If you think a neighbor or pets are still inside the apartment building, tell the firefighters. Be sure to let them know where you think they are inside the apartment complex.

Toddler and pet rescue stickers can help firefighters

toddler stickerstoddler stickers

Source: Amazon

As part of your prep work, be sure to put a window cling or sticker on all entry doors or windows that say how many children or pets you have in your home. Don’t leave anything up to chance. Stickers are a warning technique to let firefighters know there might be kids or animals trapped inside. You can buy these stickers online for just a few dollars.

Be sure that the rescue stickers you use come in a reflective material. This way, if a flashlight or other light shines on it, a firefighter will see it. It’s a good idea to check with your property manager first to make sure you’re allowed to hang stickers.

Renters insurance can help with damages

Depending on your renters insurance policy, fire damage is likely covered. It should be part of your policy’s personal property loss coverage. If a fire makes your apartment uninhabitable, check your policy. It should have a loss-of-use provision to cover any of your extra living expenses. Ensure that smoke damage is also part of the policy.

Make fire safety a habit

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reports that apartment fires are the result of everyday activities. Think cooking, heating, using appliances and electrical malfunctions. Keep an apartment fire safety guide close by for easy reference.

The threat of fire is constant. By developing safer habits you can help to reduce your risk. Always take precautions and have a fire action plan you can rely on.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

What’s the Difference Between a Property Management Company and a Landlord?

When renting, the terms “Property Manager” and “Landlord” get used interchangeably. But, there are some distinguishing characteristics between the two.

We’ll tell you what they are below.

Property management companies

A property management company is an umbrella term for a person or company that manages both small and large-scale operations of a rental property on behalf of the owner.

Property management companies can be almost any size, and it’s not uncommon for one smaller company to report to a larger parent company. But in simple terms, a property management company is the middleman between you and the owner of the property – whomever that may be.

At properties operated by a property management company, lease agreements and rental terms are typically dictated by company policy as opposed to the preferences of the individual owner. Additionally, property management companies may have several properties and typically, the rental process and terms are uniform across all of them.

In terms of amenities and resources, property managers tend to have a more concrete system including maintenance, security and other staff on-site or on-call.

Landlords

Landlord is a term reserved for the sole owner of a property. They typically own individual rental houses but many also operate multi-family homes or small apartment complexes.

Because you’re dealing with one person, there’s typically more flexibility to waive certain fees, handle tenant requests or deal with disputes on a case-by-case basis as opposed to referring to a blanket policy.

Since the landlord-tenant relationship is more personal than the property management model, you may even be able to negotiate a reduced rate when renting directly from the landlord.

However, landlords typically don’t have the same resources as a full-fledged property management company. On top of that, landlords are responsible for knowing a ton of information on rental law enforcement. So much so, that occasionally a landlord could be misinformed about the law.

Which is right for you?

It all depends on what you’re looking for in your apartment hunt. Renting from a property management company offers the benefits of uniform policies and guaranteed services and amenities. Landlords offer a more flexible rental setup, but you also have no guarantees as all landlords handle renter situations differently.

Both have pros and cons, but hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the differences between the two.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

The Most Common States for Earthquakes (And How You Can Stay Safe)

If you were to guess which state has the most earthquakes per year, many would assume California. And they would be wrong. Alaska is the champion when it comes to the frequency of earthquakes. Alaska outranks California and every other state in the number of quakes and greatest magnitude achieved.

Where are earthquakes most common

Looking at the state-by-state report of earthquakes over magnitude 3.5 from the USGS, Alaska amounts to 57 percent of all earthquakes in the United States. That’s more than 12,000 earthquakes in 30 years! Not surprisingly, the 10 states with the most earthquakes are in the western U.S.

states with the most earthquakesstates with the most earthquakes

This chart doesn’t take into account the damage caused by earthquakes. Alaska is a vast state with a small population, so many of these quakes are centered in rural areas away from people. Some earthquakes on the Aleutian Islands are in areas so remote they might not even be recorded. On the other hand, earthquakes in California are more likely to be located in more populated areas.

While the west coast is the most active region, there are other parts of the country susceptible to earthquakes. For example, The New Madrid Seismic Zone is shared between five states (Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas). If this was counted as one state it would rank 11 on the list.

Fun fact: There were no earthquakes above magnitude 3.5 reported in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, North Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin from 1974 to 2003.

Many are certain that standing in a doorway during the shaking is a good idea. That’s false unless you live in an unreinforced adobe structure. Otherwise, you’re more likely to be hurt by the door swinging wildly in a doorway or trampled by people trying to hurry outside if you’re in a public place.

Before an earthquake

earthquake prep kitearthquake prep kit

  • Create an emergency action plan for your household. This should include a specific meeting place where family members will gather should they become separated. For example, those living in apartments could meet at a nearby playground or other open space. Residents of single-family homes could meet in the backyard.
  • Make sure all family members are familiar with the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” technique. Drop to the floor, cover your head with your arms and hold on to something sturdy. Stay there until the quake subsides.
  • A readily available emergency preparedness kit can be a literal lifesaver. At a minimum, it should include sufficient food and water for the family for at least three days. Additionally, include necessary medications for family members and enough food and water for pets. Other items such as flashlights, batteries, a fire extinguisher and a portable radio will help round out your emergency preparedness kit and provide for basic needs in the event of many types of emergencies.
  • If possible, fasten things like television sets, shelves and other household items to a permanent fixture, such as a wall. During an earthquake, unfixed objects tend to fall and can cause serious injury.
  • Earthquake insurance coverage will help you rebuild and recover from earthquake damage. Most standard homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies don’t cover earthquake damage. For those living in apartments, even if the landlord has an earthquake insurance policy, your possessions won’t be covered. Purchasing your own policy will help as you work to recover.

During an earthquake

person hiding under tableperson hiding under table

  • Remember the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” technique and use it. Wait until the shaking stops before attempting to help others.
  • If you’re inside, stay there until the shaking stops. Major earthquakes can cause many unforeseen hazards. Attempting to navigate them while the tremor is ongoing increases your chances of injury.
  • Avoid elevators. Power outages may prevent them from working properly, which could lead to being trapped inside. The aftermath of a major tremor places a severe strain on emergency services, so you may find yourself stuck there for some time.
  • If you’re driving, pull off to the side of the road as far away as you can get from any buildings, overpasses, and other structures that could fall, then remain in your car. When you do resume driving, take it slow and be mindful that debris may be found on the roadways.

After an earthquake

earthquake damageearthquake damage

  • Remember your emergency action plan. If household members are missing, go to the predetermined meeting location and wait for them there.
  • Stay away from damaged buildings and debris. If you’re inside of a damaged structure, move outside as quickly as possible once the shaking has stopped. Go to an open area away from tall buildings and power lines.
  • Remember that aftershocks frequently follow large earthquakes. If you feel an aftershock begin, remember the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” technique.
  • Emergency response systems experience great strain in the aftermath of even relatively small earthquakes. Phone systems may be overwhelmed with very high call volumes, and emergency vehicles will need to quickly reach those in need. Use phones and roads for emergencies only so that those urgently in need of assistance can receive it faster.
  • If you find yourself trapped, make as much noise as possible so that rescuers can locate you. Do your best to remain calm and breathe.

Experiencing an earthquake is a frightening prospect for anyone. The magnitude of the damage can be significant, particularly in areas of high population density. However, by following earthquake safety guidelines and planning ahead, you can maximize your chances of survival and minimize the impact for you and your loved ones.

Additional resources

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Source: apartmentguide.com

10 Ways to Save on Your Apartment Heating Bill

Cooler weather means sweater weather, hot drinks and shorter days. It also means you’ll have to turn on your heater. But staying cozy doesn’t always mean high apartment heating bills. On average, an American home spends around $112.59 on their energy bill every month.

Whether you’re looking to save some money or even just help the environment, there are small changes around your apartment you can do to lower your heat bill.

And none of them include wrap yourself in a blanket so you don’t turn into an ice cube, we promise.

Keep on reading to find out how you can stay warm this winter and not end up broke.

1. Seal up those windows and doors

window seals apartment heatingwindow seals apartment heating

If you live in a charming old home or apartment with older windows, you’d be surprised at how much heat escapes through your windows and doors. Heat gain and loss through those unsealed spots account for up to 30 percent of heating and cooling energy use.

Consult with your landlord before moving forward as they may offer to do it or replace the windows. Once you get the go-ahead, you can seal up those spots and leaks around your rental with weather stripping and clay rope caulking to winterize the apartment. Double-check that the window itself closes all the way.

You can also pick up a window insulation kit or magnetic window insulation that are easy to install to insulate the area. It’s a quick weekend project that will pay off in the long run.

2. Purchase a smart thermostat

smart thermostatsmart thermostat

It’s hard to remember when and what temperature it should remain on to save on heating costs during the winter. The solution? A smart thermostat. You can take it with you when you move out or have your landlord reimburse you upon purchase.

During winter, you’ll want to keep the thermostat set to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and then 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night. So you don’t forget, set your thermostat to remember when to switch off as it learns your daily patterns.

3. Add beautiful rugs to your living spaces

apartment rugs apartment heatingapartment rugs apartment heating

Sure, blankets and chunky socks are great to stay warm, but have you thought about rugs? A beautiful area rug can enhance your living spaces with patterns and vibrant colors and bring it all together. But it can also work like insulation and keep your feet warm.

In older units, especially those with hardwood floors, a large rug in the living room can help keep the heat in place and insulate the area, so there are no leaks. Smaller rugs in the bathroom or by your bed will make the space even cozier and help protect the area further.

4. Double check your current furniture layout

floor ventfloor vent

If you moved quickly, you probably didn’t pay attention to all the vents on the floor and along the walls. Go around your apartment and double-check that none of the furniture, including couches, side tables, beds and credenzas aren’t blocking any of the vents.

This will help your apartment heating unit work a little less as the room will get warmer, faster. This is a great time, too, to reevaluate your winter bedding to keep even warmer.

5. Turn down your water heater

water heaterwater heater

How high is your water heater right now? Yes, that contraption inside your utility closet. Check the temperature of your water heater and lower it by 10 degrees. If you need help figuring it out, ask your landlord to help you change it.

Turning it down to about 110 degrees will save you money month over month on your heating bill, and you’ll still stay warm while in the shower.

6. Keep the humidity high

humidifier apartment heatinghumidifier apartment heating

Every winter, it’s almost like someone sucked all humidity out of your apartment, and your skin starts to dry up. Dry air can affect both you and your plants around the home. Pick up a humidifier for your bedroom and the living room as higher humidity helps keep the apartment feeling warm. It’s a win-win for your skin and your heating bill.

7. Close doors to unused rooms

closing doorclosing door

Your apartment heating unit will attempt to warm up every nook and cranny in your home. But why is the laundry room getting warm if you’re not there? As soon as the temperature shifts outside, get in the habit of closing doors for unused rooms.

Close the doors to the bathroom, the closets, the guest room and the laundry room to allow the heating unit to concentrate on heating your living spaces and the bedroom. If possible, close the vents in there. It’s a simple trick that’s often overlooked but works like a charm.

8. Warm up (carefully!) with a small space heater

space heater apartment heatingspace heater apartment heating

First, a disclaimer. Space heaters can be hazardous if not used correctly. Before purchasing one, check with your landlord to make sure they allow them. The leading factor that puts you in danger is leaving them too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing or mattresses, according to the NFPA.

Never leave your small heater unattended, don’t plug it into an extension cord, make sure that it’s kept a safe distance away from flammables and only use them in walled-in rooms like your bedroom and turn it off before going to sleep.

9. Consider thermal curtains for your windows

curtainscurtains

Energy-efficient thermal curtains can quickly help heat up your apartment as they have layers that act as insulation and keep heat in and cold out. In some instances, according to Energy.gov, heat loss can be reduced by 40 percent or more with thermal curtains, that’s about 20 percent in energy savings. In the summer, they’ll keep your apartment cool as well.

These curtains are available as a set of two panels for one window, hovering around $30-$40 each.

10. Use your ceiling fan

apartment heatingapartment heating

You would think a fan would be counterproductive in keeping your space warm, but that’s actually far from the truth. The better the circulation and airflow, the more energy-efficient your home will be.

Having your fan spinning clockwise on the lowest setting will trap heat inside to keep rooms in your apartment warmer, making a world of difference!

Let’s winterize your apartment

Every single of these tips will help reduce your apartment heating bill over the next few cold months and keep your wallet happy. If a window or a patio door isn’t closing correctly, have the landlord fix it as soon as possible.

Start small and then increase measures as you see results month over month. Those pennies will add up. You’ll stay cozy through the winter and have some fun money once the weather warms up.

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Source: apartmentguide.com

Safety Tips for Moving in the Summer Heat

While moving to a new home can take place at any time of year, there is, in fact, a busy season.

“Most Americans move between May and September, so if you’re looking for options, the best time to move is probably going to be during the spring and summer months,” says Niccole Schreck, from U.S. News and World Report. In fact, moving companies often reach “pandemonium” levels of busy between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

This time of year is so popular because it presents a lull for many people where it’s easier to move. Recent high school graduates are moving to college housing for the first time, and younger children are on summer break. Moving now won’t interrupt the academic year. The weather is also usually better, making it a more preferable time to be outside. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when things can get dangerously hot.

1. Avoid peak times of day

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the hottest time of day is actually 3 p.m. Temperatures hit a higher level later in the day because heat builds up throughout the early afternoon. As the day gets later, the heat begins to drop and things cool down. Too much exposure to this stockpile of hot weather can lead to some serious issues, including:

  • Heat rash: Appearing as red clusters, pimples or small blisters, heat rash happens when sweat gets trapped under your skin. The rash often develops where skin naturally creases or folds. Treat heat rash by keeping the area dry and cool.
  • Heat exhaustion: Caused by excessive sweating, heat exhaustion occurs when your body loses too much water or salt. There are an array of symptoms associated with heat exhaustion, including headaches, nausea, dizziness, thirst and heavy sweating.
  • Heat stroke: A potentially life-threatening illness, heat stroke requires immediate medical attention. It occurs from a rapid rise of your temperature into dangerous levels. Symptoms include confusion, slurred speech, fainting, hot or dry skin and seizures.

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Source: Science Care

Start your move as early in the morning as possible to avoid these heat-related illnesses. Try to get as much moving out of the way before the late afternoon hits.

2. Focus on continual hydration

Moving requires a lot of exertion. Even if you’ve hired a moving company, you can still spend most of the move running around, going up and down stairs and transporting small items. You’re working hard, and in the summer heat, that means sweating.

Moving can demand the same exertion as a heavy workout, where it’s recommended you drink two to four glasses of fluids each hour. Since it can be easy to lose track of time while moving, make sure to watch out for signs of dehydration: fewer trips to the bathroom, very dry skin, dizziness, rapid heartbeat or breathing and sleepiness.

Make sure you have a lot of water or non-sugary sports drinks on hand. Toss a cooler of beverages into your trunk for easy access. As long as you’ve turned on the water in your new place by moving day, you can also keep a water bottle accessible to refill.

3. Protect yourself from the sun

Most tips for moving focus on how to safely lift boxes to protect your body, but when moving in the summer, you also need to protect your skin. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and your skin needs protection during this period.

Sunscreen is your best option, especially if it’s too hot to cover up with long sleeves or pants. Select a broad-spectrum, sport or sweat-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and don’t forget to reapply.

Pay special attention to sensitive areas like the tops of your ears and your scalp, along with hands and feet. Also, don’t forget to protect your eyes from the sun with sunglasses. Eyes are especially sensitive to sun damage, and too much exposure can lead to serious issues.

4. Keep away from excessive heat

Certain items transfer better from one home to the next when kept out of extreme heat. This can mean really hot temperatures, as well as long exposure to more moderate heat.

Remember, moving vans have no ventilation. They can get hot. Too much heat can lead to warping, melting or even a decrease in a product’s effectiveness. Specific items that don’t do well in the heat of a move include:

  • Wooden furniture
  • Electronics
  • Photos and documents
  • Artwork
  • Candles
  • Medicine
  • Batteries

To keep these items safe, reduce the time they’re outside or in a hot moving van. If you can transport anything by car, do so since you’ve got the power of an AC to protect your things.

Additionally, make sure the AC is working in your new home before you arrive. You can also purchase a few portable box fans, too, if you’re concerned about temperatures in your new place.

Stay safe during your summer move

Moving in the summer is usually your best bet to find a home that’s affordable and available. Taking the proper precautions to keep yourself healthy and your stuff protected, no matter how high the thermometer rises, is essential to having a successful move.

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Source: apartmentguide.com