How to Protect Your Family from Home Invaders

The security of your family is very important. Not everyone can afford home security systems or guns. This article describes several easy and inexpensive ways to prepare a home to protect your family.

Always know that if someone wants to break into your home badly enough, they will find a way. That doesn't mean that you should make it easy for them to do so. It is surprising to me how many people have told me that they lock the doors to their home only while away. This is very dangerous! Purchase a deadbolt lock for any doors that are easily accessible to the public and keep these doors locked at all times. Start a habit of locking all doors at all times. If you leave to go to the store, lock the door behind you. When you get home... lock the door behind you. Teach children to lock doors behind them and to always see who is knocking at the door or ringing the doorbell before opening the door.

If the home is equipped with wooden window panes, use a power drill to drill a hole in one corner of each window where the upper and lower panes meet. Make the hole large enough to insert a heavy gauge nail. The nail should be easy to remove in case of emergency. It's not a bad idea to tie a piece of string to the head of the nail to make it easy to pull out. The point of the nail is to make the window difficult to open from the outside.

To secure a sliding glass door, cut a broom handle or stick to fit the space in the track behind the door where it slides when it is opened. It is very easy to bypass the latch on a sliding glass door, so be sure to leave the stick in position while the door is not in use. If you have a fenced-in yard, be sure to lock the gate when not-in-use. Also lock storage sheds with a lock large enough that it may be seen from outside the fence.

Leave a light on during the night, both inside the house and outside. This may just deter someone from breaking in if they think someone may be awake inside the house. Also, it's easier for crooks to operate in the dark. If you own a dog, give them full run of the house during the night. They have amazing hearing and will let you know if someone is snooping around outside.

Cover all windows with shades or blinds at night so that it is difficult to see into the home. If it is easy for someone to see from the outside that you own the latest game system, a huge expensive TV, or maybe some expensive artwork, then it may prove tempting for a would-be thief to put your home at the top of their list. Actually, if you can afford all of these high-dollar items, then a home security system is probably a wise investment too. The bottom line is that your family's safety comes before all material things. If you find yourself in the situation where someone has entered your home, let them take your money or some of your belongings if it means that they leave without harming anyone. Then call the police and file a report.

Related articles
How to Detect Visitors in a Driveway Using Infrared Photoelectric Sensors
How to Secure Your Home While Away on Summer Vacation

How to Handle the Death of a Pet

The passing of a beloved pet, whether expected or not, can be a very difficult time for a family. Often when it happens, people are distraught and unsure of what to do.

When a pet passes away, the first thing to consider are the feelings and emotions of the family. Young children should be told what has happened, but they do not need to see the deceased animal being handled or taken away. First move children and grieving spouses to another part of the house, away from the area where the pet is. Another good idea is to have the family leave and go to the park or to get ice cream; something positive and distracting. Second, if there are other pets in the home or yard isolate them from the deceased animal.

Decide how to handle burying or removing the pet from the premises. Different sized pets may be handled in different ways. Goldfish may be given a proper burial at sea (ie: flushed) or they may be buried in the yard. Small pets, like hamsters and parakeets may be buried, but beware if there is a dog cohabiting the yard, they may be tempted to dig up the animal.

If the deceased pet is of a medium to large size, call the veterinarian's office where you normally took the pet for checkups. Many will handle disposing of the animal for you. If this is the option that you choose, use two large black garbage bags and wear a pair of gloves. Carefully pull the first garbage bag over the pet and pull the drawstrings to close the bag. Pull the second bag over the pet from the opposite direction. Using two bags helps to contain any excretions from seeping into your vehicle while transporting them to the vet. It is a good idea not to bury a large animal in the yard for a number of reasons. First, kids and animals have a tendency to dig in the dirt and you don't want them to unearth a dead pet. Second, as a pet's body decays, it may leave a void in the yard that could collapse if someone steps in the wrong spot.

Use care when handling the body of your deceased pet. If you are overcome with emotions and unable to handle removing the pet from the premises, call a friend or another family member to help you.

Related articles
How to Keep a Small Dog Still While Grooming
How to Talk to Your Husband about Problems without Fighting


Combine MS Word and MS Excel Spreadsheets into One Document

Quite often a user needs to create a presentation with both Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. There is an effective way to do this so that the presentation stays in order and contained within one document, which is helpful when printing or distributing the file electronically.

Create the text portion of the presentation using Microsoft Word. If the presentation consists of numerous ideas, it is OK to write them in separate documents. These separate documents will all be combined in the end. Be sure to spell check and then save the documents into their own folder for easy sorting. Also be sure to give a meaningful name to each file so that they will be easy to find. Sometimes it is a good idea to begin the name of each document with a number, for instance "001 - ideas.doc" and "002 - more ideas.doc", so that they may be easily kept in order.

Now, create the Excel spreadsheets. The same idea applies to these files. Save them into their own folder for easy sorting. It is a good idea to keep the Word documents and the Excel spreadsheets separate.  Create the "master" document using Microsoft Word by opening MS Word and selecting "new" and then "blank document." Assign a meaningful name to this document, like "Master.doc." Be sure the cursor is blinking in the open blank space at the top of the blank document and then select the "Insert" menu and then "Object." This will open the "object" window. Select the tab for "Create from File." Be sure the check box beside "Link to File" is selected. If not, select it before proceeding. Now, click the "Browse" button and navigate to the folder where you saved the MS Word document or the Excel spreadsheet that you would like to use to begin the presentation. Select the file and press the "insert" button. Repeat this procedure as many times as necessary to compile a complete presentation consisting of both MS Word and Excel files.

When the "Master Document" is complete, be sure to save it. If changes should be made to any of the individual files, they may be done by opening the master document, double-clicking the section that needs to be changed, making the changes, and saving the file.  Do not delete the original MS Word documents or Excel spreadsheets! The "Master Document" is only linked to these files.

Related articles
How to fix the "C:\Documents.xls' could not be found." error in MS Excel
How to Make QuickBooks Run Faster