Our homes are supposed to be a sanctuary not a nightmare. Below you will find a number of ways to be safer under your own roof.
Burglar-Proofing Your Home
- Install a deadbolt in every door of your home that leads to the outside, including the door that leads to the garage.
- Use an inside keyed lock in doors that have glass that can be broken.
- Install motion sensing detectors in the backyard and by the garage. I like the Ring brand name which also has video.
- Don’t use your name on your mailbox. Instead, place your street number on your mailbox and on your home (making sure that is easily read from the road).
- Give a spare key to a nearby friend or trustworthy neighbor.
- Place locks on outdoor storage sheds, breaker boxes, and gates to the backyard.
- Keep your shrubs trimmed to take away any additional hiding places. Also, it’s a good idea to keep any overhanging tree limbs cut back from your home.
- Destroy labels of old prescription bottles.
- If you go on vacation make sure that your home looks “lived in” by leaving a car in the driveway, stop mail delivery, and put your lights on a timer.
- Never leave a garage door opener in a car that is not stored in a garage.
- If you have a sliding glass door, place a wood dowel in the tracking.
- Keep all important papers like bank statements and credit documents stored in a safe.
Have a Plan B (Escape Route for Emergency)
- In case of a fire or other emergency, have an escape ladder for upstairs windows.
- Always have a singular place for your family to meet if you’re separated during a local or national emergency.
- Establish an interior room of the house that all members (and pets) can go to in case of a tornado.
- Don’t overload outlets by plugging in more than one high voltage appliance.
- If certain outlets or light fixtures are hot, have them checked out by a licensed electrician.
- Sometimes electrical wires can become worn. Periodically check to make sure there aren’t any bare or frayed wires.
- Have a light switch at the bottom and top of stairs.
- Utilize plastic plug covers for outlets if you have small children.
- Do not run electrical cords underneath rugs or carpet. They can wear out and cause a fire.
Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detection
- Test all detectors every 30 days.
- Don’t skimp when it comes to placing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors around the house. They should be located on all floors, near bedrooms, and living areas.
- Most people never think to vacuum their detectors but it’s a must so they operate properly.
- Replace the batteries every 12 months.
Heating Your Home
- Inspect water heaters every 12 months. They should never be set higher than 120 degrees.
- If you have a wood burning fireplace, have your chimney and flues inspected and cleaned annually.
- For your fireplace, use wood that is dry and seasoned to prevent creosote which can cause fires.
- Make sure outside vents are clean and unobstructed.
If You Have Kids….
- Place locks on cabinet doors.
- Have a safety gate at the top of stairs.
- Assure that all of your medicine has childproof caps.
- Put away and lock up all hazardous materials.
- If you’re a gun owner, lock them away separately from their ammunition.
- Put doorknob safety covers on doors you don’t want your kids to go through.
- Use cordless window coverings to prevent strangling or store cords high above reach.
- Place padding over any sharp edges like a fireplace hearth or coffee table.
- Have your kids memorize your address and teach them how to dial 911.
Miscellaneous Safety Tips
- Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, garage, and on all floors of your house.
- Store flammable material outside of the home.
- Use a non-skid mat in your tub.
- Have a flashlight in your nightstand and near every bed of the house, checking the batteries periodically.
- Post emergency information on your refrigerator.
- Have a well-stocked First Aid Kit.
- Install a Weather Alert App for your phone.
- Never start your car while in the garage with the garage door closed.
- Check for stumbling risks like an uneven sidewalk due to tree roots growing underneath.
- Put non-slip material under throw rugs to prevent falling.
- Make sure window locks work and are easy to operate.