Your house is a warm, safe environment for your loved ones, but how secure is it really? Many homeowners miss critical steps that could make them more vulnerable to fires, burglaries or other types of emergencies. Read this guide to learn how to keep your home safe year-round and continue making memories in the house you love.
1. Install Outdoor Security Cameras
When potential thieves consider where their next robbery will be, they check out various homes from the street. They pick houses that look easy to break into and give bonus points to properties that help them disappear after their crime. Security cameras will keep your home from becoming their next crime scene.
A few outdoor security cameras around the front and back of your home can deter burglars and prevent break-ins. And if they do steal your valuables, your cameras will catch their identities and help get your belongings back.
2. Inspect Your Foundation’s Integrity
If your home’s foundation suffers from damage, it could make your property an unsafe place to live. Inspect it regularly for cracks or signs of flooding, like mold growth or dampness. Flooding can occur for numerous reasons, depending on recent events. You might change your landscaping or have downspouts that redirect rainwater runoff towards your foundation.
Inspecting it once a month could prevent costly damage. If you don’t feel confident checking for damage by yourself, a professional team can visit a few times a year to guarantee your home’s safety.
3. Add Indoor Window Sensors
Potential burglars may avoid your front and back doors if you have cameras installed, but that won’t stop them from breaking through your unmonitored windows. Indoor window sensors will set off your alarm system if anyone opens them while you’re away from home or asleep. They’re easy to stick to the corners of your window frames and connect to your preferred or existing security system.
4. Check Your Electrical System
Simple safety projects like hooking up a burglar alarm to your existing electrical system can be easy, but don’t try to push beyond that if you don’t have professional experience. Electrical wires can kill people attempting DIY projects and may require specific electric permits before any work begins.
Sparking a live wire could cause your house to go up in flames. Cutting the wrong cord could leave your home without power. It’s always wise to have a professional electrician check your system to prevent these problems and answer any questions you might have while making your home more secure.
5. Replace the Smoke Alarm Batteries
Changing the batteries in your smoke alarm might not seem like a significant safety step, but full batteries save lives. Test your smoke alarms by consulting their user manuals. If their batteries are low, replace them as soon as possible. They’ll likely last through the year or even longer while constantly monitoring for fires.
6. Avoid Leaving Spare Keys Outside
Do your kids grab a spare house key under a planter when they get home from school? Having a secret outdoor hiding spot for your house key might make sense, but burglars know to look around until they find one.
Ask your kids to keep a key copy in their backpack or a key chain. You can also compare the latest smart locks that come with touch screens. Users provide friends and family with a permanent code to their house or a temporary code. Either way, they’re harder to break through than a traditional lock and don’t require hidden keys around your yard.
7. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy
Did you know that fire extinguishers expire? The one that came with your house over a decade ago may not work if you need to put out flames in your kitchen. Double-check the expiration dates on any fire extinguishers around your home and replace them if needed. They’re an excellent tool to have in case of an emergency, but only if they work.
8. Never Announce Your Travel Plans
When you’re about to leave for a trip, you might start thinking about pictures you’d like to post from the airport or on the road. Even the most incredible photos aren’t worth risking your home’s security. Someone with bad intentions could view your social media post and realize your house will be empty for the next few days or weeks.
It’s better to wait on updating your profiles about any travel plans. Set reminders to post your pictures on your way home or after you return. You’ll keep your property from becoming more at risk by never advertising that you’re away from your valuables.
Keep Your Home Safe Year-Round
Now that you know how to keep your home safe year-round, think about which tips would benefit your property the most. Whether you install a security system, change your locks or adjust your social media habits, your family will have a safer place to live because of your efforts.