Irene Miller is the editor at ostanding’s Blog. Blogging and Social Media is her passion by night, while project management and business development fills her day.

7 DIY Tips for Making Cost-Effective Home Decorations

7 DIY Tips for Making Cost-Effective Home Decorations

One of the commonest questions that interior decorators get from home owners is – how do you decorate your home on a budget? Well, if these questions sound like it is coming straight from your lips, you need to read this. Here are some DIY tips that will help you upgrade your home décor even on a shoe-string budget:

1. Breathe New Life to Old Furniture

As in literally! If you have ever laid your eyes on a beautiful hand-painted dresser but wasn’t able to acquire it due to its shocking price tag, all is not lost. With a little imagination and creativity, you can be able to create a similar look for a fraction of the price. All you need to do is to invest in a good paint and a few paint brushes. You can the cover your old furniture with a new paint, which make them look as good as new.

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About Lock Bumping-Home Security Threats

About Lock Bumping-Home Security Threats

Lock bumping has become popular in the recent years.  This is because, most homeowners use cylinder locks for securing their homes. The problem with these locks is that they are easily manipulated, even with the simplest of tools.  Burglars use a special key, which is inserted into the lock and then, using as mallet they knock, so that the door opens without any hustle.  The bump key is readily available, even on the Internet. Since, the technique is not the preserve of experts, any thief or intruder can use to get into your home. Of all the existing home security threats, lock bumping is the easiest to run, for many burglars.

How old is lock bumping?

Lock bumping is not a new term; it has been largely used by locksmiths to get access to locks, which do not have keys.  Precisely, it has been in use for over 50 years, though the criminal world did not know of it.  Lock picking was the only way for thieves to get into people’s homes, which required training and specialized tools. This produces a lot of noise and leaves an indication, that there was a break in. On the contrary, lock bumping is relatively fast and quiet. In 2002, this technique was categorized as a security concern, by the authorities.

Prevention tips for a possible lock bumping incidence

Lock bumping has become an asset to burglars and all thanks to the Internet; they have all the information and they need to acquire the needed skills. However, you can prevent your home from being a victim of this criminal technique and other home security threats. Here are some of the measures you should take:

•    Employ chain latches on your exterior doors, if you are yet to. While this may not prevent a case of lock bumping, but it will bar the burglars from accessing your indoors. They are an inexpensive way of keeping thieves away.

•    Engage the services of a locksmith to modify your locks. They can add more pins to the lock, to make it unbearable for burglars to execute the process. This will take them sometime, before the door can give in, which means they can easily be caught. Modifying the locks is more cost effective than replacing them.

•    If possible replace the existing locks, with bump-resistant locks- Although they are more expensive, these locks do not bulge into lock bumping. The beauty with them is that you can save cost by performing a DIY installation. There are resources online, on how to fix locks and also instructions are well outlined on the package, when you buy.

•    Invest in a home security system- This will manage all the available home security threats. Most systems are able to send an alert to you and to the local authorities, when the locks are compromised.

Lock bumping is one of the most common home security threats. Make sure you apply the above measures, to prevent your locks from being accessed. However, ensure that you also prevent thieves from finding an easy ride to your property by locking doors and windows, as well as any other entry point.

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Guard Dogs for Home Security- Do you Need One?

Guard Dogs for Home Security- Do you Need One?

Owning a guard dog may be instrumental to your property and family. It is an adequate deterrent for potential thieves, but you have to be fully prepared to handle the responsibilities of having an animal in your home.  Guard dogs for home security, do not have to be trained, the presence of a barking dog in your yard is enough to keep intruders away. These animals have a great hearing, which enables them to sense strangers in your yard. They are naturally made to bark over, when they detect strange noises. Dogs act just like alarms. All the same, let’s explore the cons and pros of using a dog to secure your home.


Guard dogs for home security are a great addition to an existing security system. They are always alert regardless of whether the system is on or not.  They are able to detect strange movements, people, and noises and they alert you accordingly. Depending on the breed and the training given to the particular dog, it can even provide physical protection, if an intruder gets into your property.  Furthermore, bringing a guard dog home may mean starting a longtime relationship with these ever-loyal creatures. Dogs are intensely protective of their masters. Hence, you can rest assured that nothing will go wrong, as long as they are around.


For guard dogs to be fully functional and offer the much-needed security, there is needed for regular attention and maintenance. The dog must be healthy, well fed and treated right, for you to enjoy the security benefits it offers. It is important to understand that a dog is a living creature and not similar to your other security devices. It needs food, play, affection, and shelter. If you are not ready cater for the aforementioned responsibilities, do not invest in guard dogs for home security yet.

Dogs do also need regular health checkups among other amenities. You will need to be in close proximity to the dog, to ensure its safety. For instance, if you are traveling out of town, you may have to find somebody to take care of its needs when you are out of town.
Tips for using a guard dog

•    Buy your chosen security dog, when it is still young. There is a benefit to this, since puppies are easier to train and you can control their environments.

•    Choose a great dog- While any dog will be better than having none, there are breeds, which are the best guard dogs. They include Boxers, Akitas, and German shepherds. For homes, bigger breeds are great but for apartments, go with Airedale Terrier.

•    Get a professional trainer to handle the puppy. Ensure that they treat the dog well during the training; otherwise, you will end up with a traumatized animal.

•    Take your dog on a trip around the perimeter of your property, when it first lands in your home. This way, it will get to know its surroundings and hence, be sensitive to anything strange, which comes close to the perimeter.

With the above information, you can tell whether a guard dog could be a part of your security system. All the same, guard dogs for home security can be a good supplement to your existing systems.

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Use Home Security Timers When you Are out of Home

Use Home Security Timers When you Are out of Home

Thieves and burglars are very calculative. They can spend months or weeks trying to learn your routine, after which they strike unexpectedly.  Sometimes, you cannot avoid following a routine, owing to predetermined work schedules and travel times. However, this should not make it so obvious for the prying intruders to know when you are home and when you are out of town. Home security timers can help you to set radios, televisions, and lights among other devices, to go on or off at particular times, giving an illusion that you are around. Although they are used mostly when people are out on vacations or extended stay out of town, it is best to use them at all times, if you are barely at home.

How the timers work

In general, terms, a timer is nothing but an electrical circuit with an embedded clock. The timer is then plugged in an electrical outlet, after which you connect you devices with it. The built-in clock in home security timers; help you to program the time, when you want the device to turn off or on. The timer on the other hand, is responsible for switching the power outlet either on or off, as per your specifications. Nevertheless, if you forget to leave the devices on, which is a common mistake made by most homeowners; the device will not be in a position to switch them on. The clock operates differently depending on the model of the timer. Some modern versions use digital clocks whereas older types utilize a rotating time dial. If you want to live the device on, such that you can use it whenever you like, there is a switch to enable you regulate it.

Tips for succeeding with timers

Home security timers are only effective, if used effectively.  To begin with, the internal clock of the timer must be functional, otherwise no devices you attach to the timer, will work as expected. It is therefore important to ascertain that the device is well set based on the current time and the times, you want the devices to be on or off. Some timers come with several programming provisions, meaning that you can regulate various devices at varying times, with a single timer.

While most people use timers for their lighting systems only, it is also important to extend their usage to other appliances such as radios and televisions. The mere sound of a radio and the flickering light of a TV set will make an intruder think, you are at home. Motion sensor lights for the exterior spaces, also need timers. They ensure that the lights do not turn on, during the day, which can tell a burglar that you are not at home.

Home security timers are handy devices in homes. They are cost-effective and enhance the overall security for your property. Usually, they are quite an asset, when you are out of town. Using them, you can control lights and other devices, from where you might be. However, ensure to use them right and consistently. This will blind the peeping toms and prying eyes, from detecting when you are out of home.

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Home Security Planning-What Does It Entail

Home Security Planning-What Does It Entail

An understanding of your needs and the best approach for them is the first step in planning for a home security system. Since, you are looking for a security solution for your property; you are the best person to conduct home security planning.  The security system expert will only strive to sell you the security devices, but not to ensure that your interests are met. While consulting a professional is an intelligent move, you should have a laid-out plan. It should display your concerns and the vital components you would like to see in your security system.
A guide for successful home security planning

Do you need sensors in your home

Begin by taking an inventory of all the doors, windows and all the other places you want to install sensors. As you take count, do not forget the door to the garage and those windows high up the building. This will help you to know just how many sensors; will need to cover the entire home. Most systems come with a set number of sensors but the additional sensors come at a price.  These extra sensors may be carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, for emergency incidences.

The amount of illumination you need

A home security system is inadequate without lighting. The lights should be placed strategically to shine on paths leading to your house and areas, which are often poorly lit. This way, it will be possible to detect an intruder, from the moment they set foot into your yard. Motion sensors are the best, for improving night vision. However, you should account for one, which will only be sensitive to strangers and not, to wind or animal movements.

Understand your neighborhood

You may wonder how this concerns, home security planning. However, the security system you invest in, should match the security situation of your neighborhood. Start by assessing the crime rate in the area. This will help you to know, whether you need more advanced security devices for the garage or even window shutters.

Wired or wireless

In places where they are, no landlines or the house does not have wiring in place. It is important to understand both wired and wireless security systems. This will enable you suit your needs to the system. Wired systems are believed to be more effective but they are challenging to install. On the other hand, wireless systems are quite easy to install but you will not be in a position to prevent interferences.

Consider other things in your house

If you have pets or children, you must consider them when planning for home security.  This is because; the systems are quite sensitive and can be turned on, if animal passes by them or a child interferes with them. False alarms are very annoying and in particular if, they happen frequently. That is why; you should plan well to ensure that the system is well programmed. Home security planning is an important undertaking. It makes it easy when you are creating a budget for your security system and when outlining your needs to the professional, you will hire.

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At Home and Social, we want to provide useful information to readers in order to improve their overall home experience. Featuring topics including furnishing ideas, home security, DIY helpful tips, home upkeep, and interior design among others. Our mission is to be the best website...