Staying Safe at Home

Staying Safe at Home -coverStaying Safe at Home

Here’s another mid-90s safety book with information that is mostly useful, but images that are both odd and old.

Let’s start with the cover. Why is that door so dirty? They couldn’t find a cleaner house to photograph? Is that a bodysuit she’s wearing with those jeans?

In fact, all of the rooms in the color images just seem dirty and run-down. The first image below has a broken door frame. The one with the burglar coming in the window has old, scratched up, dirty-looking cabinetry and flooring, old appliances, and that weird exhaust tube going to the window. The message here is: the more humble your abode, the less safe you are. McMansions need not worry. Kidnapping, burglary, and abuse never happen there. I don’t think the shabbiness portrayed in the images adds anything useful to the book’s message.

Lastly, the second image below has a big torn spot in the middle of the paragraph and you can’t even read it.


locking doors

sexual abuse




  1. It looks like this was photographed in college dorm rooms or cheap off-campus rental housing near a college campus. My guess is students made it!

    1. Very likely true. WorldCat gives the subtitle “violence prevention for young women”, so college students were in its target reader group. Using real “warts and all” places being lived in gives it an honesty; students rarely live or lived in new places.

    2. That’s just what I was thinking — everything but the kitchen looks like not-very-well-maintained dorms, and the kitchen seems to have a smoker set up next to the oven or something. The whole set-up looks like the rattier sort of rental housing offered to students in the small Ohio town where I went to college.

      Also, I’m not sure that “burglar” could make it through any of those windows. Very odd, to say the least!

  2. “One of the ways a criminal can break into a home is through an unlocked door or window.”

    Um, isn’t that two ways?

    I think Robert is right about the cheap off-campus housing. I don’t remember doing much housecleaning during those college years. One thing is for certain, I wouldn’t have rented the flat with the filthy kitchen. I’m betting that window doesn’t even lock.

    The Morrissey sticker is a nice touch.

    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner

    1. My only weakness is a list of crimes
      My only weakness is, well, never mind
      never mind
      never mind

  3. I hate it when ninjas bust through my window to steal my Joy. At least he’ll leave a lemony fresh trail for the K-9 unit…

    Bonus points for not bothering to get the copy paper box out of the shot and having a random nearly invisible bumper sticker on the cabinet front under the sink. You know, like all the finest homes.

    It’s like some kind of frat house punishment project that, through a series of hijinks, ended up accidentally getting published. Oh those wacky boys from Safety House are at it again!

  4. It was 1995, body suits were all the rage. Or at least that’s what I told myself as I wore mine out in public.

    1. They’re back! Retailers are selling bodysuits again, and unironically, at least as far as I can tell.

  5. It would! Class of 1977, to be precise. There’s something about the … improvisational … nature of both that kitchen and the photography (and the dorms, sadly) that just screams Yellow Springs, doesn’t it?
    (All of y’all, please excuse us for holding a small reunion in these pages!)

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