Do your research before you buy your safe.
Despite the fact that home burglary rates have been on the decline here in the US, many Americans – and many people world-wide – are buying home safes in increasing numbers. The main reason seems to be that people are losing faith in the banking system and that the economy is too volatile.
People are looking for alternative means to safeguard their valuables. Tyler D Nunnally, founder and CEO of Upside Risk, a company that specializes in investor psychology, told Smartmoney.com that “people dislike loss twice as much as they like gains,” adding that “they want to protect what they have.” Add this to the rising concerns about identity theft and the rising interest in home safes seems almost logical.
The folks at Consumer Digest warn about the false security in owning a home safe and suggest getting a safe deposit box at your bank for your most valued possessions. Before you purchase your safe you should speak to a professional and talk about your specific needs. Are you concerned about home theft? Fire? Perhaps both. Smaller safes can be purchased for around $50 at your local box or hardware store. It is important to note to keep them out of view.
Should a burglar enter your home and see a safe, he will assume that there’s something of value inside. Home safes are portable and can easily be poked or cut with a saw or like instrument. I would never keep personal papers such as passports, birth certificates, or social security cards in a safe. I tend to subscribe to the same school of thought as the folks at Consumer’s Digest do. My papers are stored at my bank in a small box that is safe and fire proof safe in a locked vault.
Some home safes are fireproof and others are not.
This is important to note. The documents you are trying to protect won’t do you a bit of good once they’ve turned to ash. There are codes on fireproof safes indicating how long they can withstand the heat from a fire. It is important to note these codes. Furthermore you will not want to store data or media in these fireproof safes. Paper can withstand the high temperatures and high humidity in these safes, but electronic data cannot. Items not to store in fireproof safes include, but are not limited to:
- Hard drives
- Tape backups
- Flash Drives/UBS drives
- CDs and DVDs
Gun safety is on the top everyone’s mind here in the US with the recent shooting at an Elementary School just weeks before Christmas that left 26 children and teachers dead after a brutal shooting spree by a mentally ill young man who was able to access his mother’s gun collection. All gun safes are not the same. It is crucial you speak with a specialist in this matter to discuss your particular needs.
Burglar Proof Safes
There is really no such thing as a burglar-proof safe. Almost any safe can be taken from the home and broken into. Where you keep your safe is as important, if not more so, than the actual safe itself. Bookcases, as pictured above, make for great hiding places. It is highly suggested, however, that before looking into safes, if you have valuables in your home you really should invest in a home security system. Alarm the windows and doors, and install motion detectors.
Invest in a good home security system. A good security system will tie in with the police department or the company that monitors your security system. These systems should also be tested with regularity. I would also strongly suggest getting a home security system that also ties in with your local fire department. This not only will save lives but will safeguard those valuables you are trying to protect from fire and theft. If your home is broken into, the alarm of your home security system should send your potential burglar fleeing immediately, if he doesn’t then he has just moments to assess your home. So placement of your safes is crucial.
Hidden wall Safes
A burglar’s mission is to get in and out of your home as fast as he can. He won’t want to look behind every photograph, piece of artwork or mirror hanging on your walls, especially if you have many of them.
Hidden within your wall are the most expensive contents of your home and therefore placement of these safes is crucial. These safes can be placed behind flat panel, wall mounted televisions, paintings – but preferably a wall with many pieces of art instead of one lone piece of art. Hide safes behind, pool cues, armoires and other heavy pieces of furniture; the harder to move and access, the better. Get creative with your thinking here. The longer it takes you to come up with a good place to hide your safe, the longer it will take a burglar to look for it. Therefore, it is important to note that whatever is being stored in these safes need not be constantly removed.
Hidden floor safes
What could be hiding under the couch, or the bed, or the coffee table? Floor safes are not at all fireproof but are great places to store jewelry, silver, gold, rare coins and other valuables. Conceal them with rugs and furniture so they are not easily accessible and spotted. It is crucial to bolt all your safes. The harder it is to remove the safer your safe is.
Decoy and Diversion Safes
One of the clocks above could actually be a safe… There are many decoy safes available on the market and these safes are good way of storing items that are not terribly high in value and smaller sums of money. These safes come in the form of outlet covers, rocks, clocks, cans of cola, cleaning supplies as well as other forms.
Vaults are not just for banks anymore. The demand for these extra large safes is growing exponentially for use both in businesses (such as pawn shops) as well as homeowners. As with any safe manufacturer, vault manufacturers differ as well. There are many factors to take into consideration, including climate control. What is it you are safeguarding? Climate control is less important for hard metals but crucial for the storage of paper and valuable pieces of art.
One European safe company noted that if you do opt to purchase a safe for your home, it is imperative you not tell anyone. The word could get out which could lead to an unwanted home burglary.
You’re reading Safeguarding your Valuables: What you Need to Know About Home Safes originally posted on Freshome.
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Entering the market this week is the newly Food-and-Drug-Administration-approved Alipazone — brand name: Ablixa — an antidepressant drug of the “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class” that has been produced to treat major depression, and is prescribed off-label for other conditions. The logo, packaging, and advertising have been designed by Pentagram partner Emily Oberman.
When we were asked to redesign the logo for Ablixa we wanted introduce a human element to their identity so people relate to how it made them feel. We then added a sunburst “crown” to illustrate the feeling of security and happiness that surrounds the patient. Having never done a pharmaceutical logo before, we did a lot of research into what makes a successful logo / icon for an anti depressant and found that some representation of the human form and a symbol or sign of improvement or safety was often combined with typography that hinted at strength and a speedy recovery. We wanted to keep it clean and modern and create a figure that would appeal to both men and women. We used the shape of the pill itself to create the sunburst around our newly happy figure. We kept the purple and orange colors so maintain a continuity across the rebrand, but gave each a purpose: purple to represent humanity and gold to represent happiness and safety — like a warm glow.
— Provided text by Pentagram
The old logo had all the trappings of a generic-looking, um, generic drug: Optima, swooshes, and gradients. The new one now at least has all the clicés of generic-looking, brand-name drugs: Italic sans serif, ambiguous human shape, and meaningless bursts of happiness. Whether because this was done by Pentagram and deep down I want to give them some credit or because there is some actual merit to it, the typography is not that bad. The italic Futura bold works well, it is properly letterspaced, and the crossbar of the “A” adds a little edge to it. The human figure is less permissible — even more so when Emily’s own partner, Michael Bierut, has already debunked the benefit of employing “neutered sprites” — and the “crown” looks more like an explosion than any feeling of “security and happiness” that could be communicated. That it uses the shape of the pill is the only conceptual absolution it gets. If there is one successful approach to the crown it is in the TV spot shown above, where it interacts with actual people and the environment. In application there isn’t much of an identity, it’s just the logo repeated over and over; which is fine but I would expect more from Pentagram, specially if they are taking on big pharma projects like this, the least they could do is put a little more effort into it and not just cash, what I’m guessing, is a big check.
We were hired to create an identity for a fictional anti-depressant for the movie Side Effects, opening this Thursday, directed by Steven Sodebergh and written by Scott Z. Burns. Because of the central role it plays in the film’s plot, “Ablixa” had to look like a convincing pharmaceutical product with a vaguely sinister undertone. Our solution is a compendium of many of the clichés that define this genre. From the happy humanoid figure to the generalized sunburst motif (plus some gratuitous typographic customization) it’s meant to convey that sense of overwrought optimism that we’ve come to expect from multinational corporations that are trying too hard. The identity included a logo “redesign” (the filmmakers had created a placeholder logo that served as our starting point), marketing literature, a website, online ads, and a TV commercial. We take a great deal of satisfaction from reports that most people in the audience seem to believe that this imaginary drug is real.
— Project explanation from Emily Oberman. Congratulations: if you’ve read this far you’ve understood that the project is fictional and that Pentagram has actually answered the brief perfectly. For those of you that don’t read what I write: Suckers!
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In light of the Super Storms we have seen over the course of the past two years, many people are purchasing generators for their homes and many more are talking about them. While our ancestors may have lived without heat, electricity and hot water times times have changed and these things are really no luxury, they are a necessity. It may be inconvenient to lose power for a couple of hours should a transformer blow, but when a Super Storm takes down trees, wires and poles, a simple fix is clearly not the solution. Our electrical systems are intricate and complicated ones. On day 6 after the last storm, Hurricane Sandy, I was still without power.
This became, to me and my family, less about surfing the internet and messaging friends or even writing architectural pieces for Freshome, and more about simple human needs. My children needed heat to keep warm as temperatures were dipping into the 30s outside. We needed warm food but I had no stove or oven that I could use. All the food in my refrigerator had spoiled. We needed showers. It all felt so primitive. We needed these simple and basic necessities. We needed to survive and we needed to get on with our lives and our routines. Now we’re into the cold, dark and long winter months. Heavy snows and freezing temperatures make being powerless not only uncomfortable, but dangerous. I started to think about generators but really had no knowledge about them. So I contacted my friend, and home builder, Todd Vendituoli, and asked him some questions that would provide me with some basic information.
Where can someone go to get generator information and advice?
Like many affected by Hurricane Sandy, I’m thinking of getting a generator but have no idea where to start. According to Vendituoli there “are numerous places where you could start, and the first would be your local lumber yard, hardware store or a local electrician. Any one of these resources should be able to help with your initial questions.”
Because generator sizes and budgets as well as homeowners needs are so varied there are no general rules involving generators. Vendituoli goes on to explain that “generators come in various sizes depending on their intended use. A small portable model can be used with an extension cord to power a few lights and your refrigerator to keep food from spoiling. As the units grow larger they are capable of being integrally attached to your home wiring systems, and some can be made so that they are fully automatic. With these larger models, when the power goes off there is about a 15 second delay and the generator starts itself and transfers the power to the home. When the power comes back, it will automatically shut itself off too.”
How long will generators supply power?
According to Vendituoli the generators duration will “all depend, but with an average home and a 500 gallon propane tank, if you use your generator wisely, it can last you for days and days. You really shouldn’t run it 24 hours, anyhow.” Because part of the power outages on the east coast, aside from the downed wires and trees, had much to do with the incredible flooding he suggests that for those homes where flooding is an issue, generators should be built on a raised platform.
How much do they cost?
I wanted to know what I might expect to pay for a generator? Vendituoil explains that “depending on the generator you buy you could spend roughly $500 for a small one that could be used for a few circuits or with an extension cord and from there the prices rise to in the area of $30,000. An automatic system for an average home should be in the $5-7,000 range with all of the needed parts and installed.” If an automatic generator is installed by a supplier, an electrician can run through the operation and maintenance that needs to be done. The installer or supplier will be able to thoroughly instruct you on all that you will need to know to operate your generator.
How much gas do these generators require?
Having heard so much about the recent gas shortages I wondered how much gas one would need to have on hand. Vendituoli told me that “generally the smaller units require gasoline but the larger automatic ones are connected directly to your propane tank or natural gas line. Your local propane company can bring over a tank to be used for that purpose.” The people who install the large generator will have to bring a propane tank specifically sized for your particular unit. “Smaller, portable models, generally have a small tank with a few gallons of gas at the most. The amount of gas needed really depends on the unit size and how much power they are generating.” He continued on telling me “my sister keeps the tank full and if there is a chance of bad weather or power outage she will go before and get 10 gallons. If it’s a bad outage and she can’t easily get more, she rations the time the generator is running to save fuel.”
General maintenance tips:
- Be sure to pump unused gas from the tank into storage containers with an inexpensice siphon pump.
- Add stabilizer to stored gasoline; use up the aging gas in your lawn equipment or car.
- Purchase spare oil and filters for your home generator so you’ll be have these on hand during an emergency.
- Run your generator for a few minutes each month to keep the carburetor clean: shut off the fuel valve while it’s running and run the carburetor dry.
- Always check the oil before starting your home generator.
- Generators need frequent oil changes – do this diligently during extended use and plan for the collection and proper disposal of used oil.
- Don’t let your home generator run out of gas when it’s supplying electricity – this can damage the generator coils.
- Shut off your home generator and let it cool down before re-fueling.
- Also, follow all recommended safety procedures and maintenance schedules in the manual. It’s been said that “with great power, comes great responsibility”. If you’re not ready to commit to the regular care and feeding of a generator, you just might be better off without one.
Todd adds “ As with any engine there is routine maintenance such as changing the oil, spark plugs and if there is a battery, re-charging or obtaining a new one.” He recommends “for smaller units, periodic starting is a good thing as well as adding a gas stabilizer because gas does go bad after a while. The automatic ones are generally set to start themselves once a week to make sure the battery stays charged and that they are working properly.
What is the future of the generator?
I asked Todd what his thoughts were regarding generator trends. I wondered whether the buzz was greater now on the heels of the most recent Super Storm or whether they would indeed become the not new home item of the future. “I think that as these events potentially become more common, every or most households will have some version of generator for when outages occur.”
Todd stresses the importance of placing all generators outside away from the home and away from windows. “Generators give off carbon monoxide which can be deadly.” He adds that “while it may be more convenient to start one in your basement versus going out into the rain or cold, this should never be done.” Please be sure to have the necessary carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in place throughout your home, and check them regularly to ensure that they are working properly.
You’re reading What You Need to Know About Home Generators So You Won’t be Left Out in the Dark originally posted on Freshome.
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Did Sushi need to be reinvented well Japenese ad agency I&SBBDO decided it did so they created laser cut seaweed called Unimo Seaweed. These thin and delicate sheets of ‘Nori’ are cut with intricate designs on them. So if your a lover of sushi it’s worth having a look for yourself. via theroom
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The folks at Fisker are probably more excited to see the calendar roll over than anyone, as a tumultuous 2011 comes to an and with another setback for the Karma. A battery issue previously thought to affect around 50 cars will actually result in the recall of 239. GigaOM points out an NHTSA notice confirming a problem with the positioning of hose clamps on the high-voltage Li-Ion batteries. It could result in said hoses leaking coolant into the battery creating the risk of an electrical short-circuit (still not seeing how this is a bad thing) and fire (oh), which the company will resolve by replacing the batteries. The recall probably covers everyone out there rolling like Walden Schmidt, since the CEO announced December 21st that 225 cars had been shipped and its factory was producing 25 cars per day. Still, assuming the $96k~ price tag isn’t an issue, would you really let a little thing like potentially bursting into flames keep you away from such a sleek, smooth handling luxury coupe that puts 657hp of hybrid power at your disposal? Neither would we.
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This is not an advertising feature. It’s an advertising design feature.
Recently, my New York design team completed a refresh of the great NY-based challenger brand, Help Remedies, founded by Richard Fine CEO and Help’s Creative Director, Nathan Frank.
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White home exteriors seem to be a trend these days, and we know most of you out there are crazy about them. This triggered the idea of putting together a post that will quench your thirst for “immaculate architecture”. We decided to gather up 15 incredible white residences presented on Freshome throughout the years and remind you of their unique features. By clicking on each picture, you can see more photos and details about each project. Enjoy the ride and at the end, be sure to give us a hint about which home you like best.
Our first choice is a residence designed by architects Manuel Aires Mateus and located in Portugal, in a high point, overlooking the city of Leiria. Minimalist and contemporary, the home is divided into two distinct areas, one for socializing and one for sleeping. The bedrooms are positioned below ground, with access to private patios that lead to the backyard.
Villa P is an original project developed by Austrian studio Love Architecture. The exterior of this home is truly mesmerizing, from the overall original shape, to the finishes and colors chosen by the architects. Strong visual contrasts are created: the turquoise swimming pool complements the large wooden staircase that connects the garden with the pool and further leads all the way to the upper floor.
Ysy House was designed by Nagoya-based studio Auau and is located in Seto, Japan, in a beautiful but populated forest, on top of a small hill. The charming asymmetrical shape of the residence is well adjusted to the building site and is interesting to observe from every angle. With a matte white finish, the home is very well differentiated within its neighborhood and is quite an attention-grabber. Compact and creative, it is a great example of a clever small home.
Here is another project showcasing a faultless modern design. Dinesh Mills Bungalow comes from atelier dnD and is located just outside the city of Vadodara, India. The exterior is absolutely fascinating, as the house seems to float on a spectacular pool, enriched by a lovely decorating fountain. Its turquoise color contrasts the white walls of the residence, giving the home an intriguing aesthetic effect.
Next up, we have a spectacular beach home that will surely appeal to your exotic side. Initially designed by Ron Sang in the 1980’s, the current owners have recently renovated it, working together with Julian Guthrie of Godward Guthrie Architects. Everything about this building is captivating, inspiring peacefulness and complete relaxation. Just click the photo for more visual details.
Designed by architect Steve Kent and located in Santa Monica, this next residence seems sprung out of a postal card. With a simple rectangular shape, white walls and plenty of colors, 24th Street House looks like a giant gift box.
Villa Valentina is a modern residence situated in Miami Beach, Florida, United States. This glamorous home features no less than 6 bathrooms and 6 bedrooms. Its multi-level terraces and wide windows allow unobstructed views of the beautiful bay, while the strategically placed patio furniture ensures unforgeable moments outdoors- as if the beach were not close enough
Have a look at this intriguing architecture project which seems sprung out from a Sci-Fi movie! The “Ninety7 @ Siglap” house was designed by Aamer Architects and is located in Singapore. The design is said to be inspired by the magnificent views that can be observed from atop Siglap Hill.
Honiton Residence is a stunning looking home designed by MCK Architects which combines traditional elements with contemporary decors. The results? A fascinating crib with plenty of spaces for relaxation, a large outdoor pool that couldn’t be more alluring and interiors that inspire freshness and good taste. We were charmed by the mix of bricks, timber and concrete which gives this home a rustic, friendly feel while in the same time paying tribute to contemporary architecture.
Here is a home from A-cero completed in “La Finca” estate in the town Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid). This project is smaller (1000m2) than the rest of the company’s project. Its dimensions turn it into a comfortable and practical house that offers a maximum life quality. Its modern design based on impossible angles and spectacular volumes make this building one of the maximum exponents of A-cero’s architecture. And a lovely white home on our list today.
This unusual looking residence called Dom Zlomu comes from Paulíny Hovorka Architekti and is situated in the small village of Kynceľová, close to the town of Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. The house has a beautiful natural surrounding landscape and overlooks the Tatra mountains.
Here is another residence with an uncommon, yet fascinating architecture. But its design is not the only unusual aspect of this imposing home. The Deronda Residence comes from Space International and is located in Los Angeles, California, in the Hollywood Hills “just under the shadow of the Hollywood sign”.
We really enjoy it when we find a residential project that has to do with art. Sure, you could say that most buildings relate to art one way or another, but Villa VH en T was especially developed to house the extensive art collection belonging to the owner. This beautiful and creative home comes from Beel & Achtergael Architects, has a total surface of 862 m2 and is located in Flanders, Belgium.
Carrara House was designed by Andres Remy Arquitectos and is located in Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina. With a living space of 660 square meters, the home is located on an irregular lot and oriented so that it captures the best views its environment has to offer. The rustic stone works as a divider of the entry zones while beautifully contrasting with the white walls of the house.
Three floors of fun gathered under one roof and one name: the Nakameguro House created by LEVEL Architects. Constructed in Meguro-ku, one of Tokyo’s municipalities, the residence features an enormous, three-story high slide. The 1,762 square feet property gives its inhabitants and guest the possibility to take the stars going up and use the slide going down when moving through the house.
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