How to Keep Your House Safe

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Home safety should be a top priority in our lives. Taking precautions to secure and protect your home are easier than dealing with a problem with no protection. Fires, home invasion and other situations can arise at any time. A properly safeguarded home reduces the likelihood of these events and minimizes their impact should they occur.

Things You'll Need

  • Friend or neighbor
  • Light timers
  • Motion sensor lights
  • Security alarm
  • Webcams
  • Smoke detectors
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit

How to Keep the Outside of Your House Safe

  • Trim all tree branches near power lines or hanging over your house. Some storms can create winds strong enough to snap even a healthy tree branches. Trimming branches prevents them from causing physical damage to your home or worse. The city or utility company will typically keep branches clear of power lines, but you will need to hire a tree trimmer to keep branches above your home cut back.

  • Install motion sensor lights in key areas around the exterior of your home. Place motion sensor lights near any area where automobiles are kept, or any area where darkness may hide an intruder. Many people like to install the lights at all corners of their home, but targeted placement is also an effective choice.

  • Position webcams in strategic locations to monitor the exterior of your home. Video cam technology has become advanced to the point of a small computer webcam being capable of replacing traditional security cameras. Video feeds can be broadcast over the wireless network to any computer in the home. This allows you to monitor activity outside your house, and to also review recorded footage of what happened while you were away.

How to Keep the Inside of Your House Safe

  • Install smoke detectors at regular intervals throughout your house. Smoke detectors are a basic safety measure and have been proven to save lives. Most smoke detectors have an adhesive backing and can be placed anywhere. Choose a model that also detects carbon monoxide, if they are available.

  • Place fire extinguishers in your home. You should have, at the very least, an extinguisher in the garage and kitchen, because these are the places where a fire is most likely to occur. Familiarize yourself with how to operate the fire extinguisher so you will be prepared in the event of an emergency.

  • Inspect your wall outlets periodically to make sure no outlets are overloaded. Use a power strip with surge protection if multiple items are needed in the same area. Do not plug one power strip into another.

  • Buy enough first aid kits to stock the emergency center of your home. Have a basic first aid kit in the kitchen and in the bathroom. It is a good idea to also have a first aid kit in the garage, if you have one.

  • Know your evacuation routes. Set up a preplanned evacuation route to be used in case of fire or other emergency. Make sure every family member knows this route, especially children. Practice the route in periodic drills, and include a plan on where to meet once outside the home.

  • Install a security system in your home. A basic security system will not only discourage intruders, but will also monitor your home for signs or fire or other disaster and will contact the appropriate emergency responders on your behalf. The protection provided far outweighs the cost of the alarm system. Placing alarm company stickers on your doors and windows will discourage burglars from attempting to gain entry.

How to Keep Your House Safe While Away

  • Cut the grass and clean the yard before a trip. A yard that does not look maintained will prompt potential thieves to take a closer look. If you will be gone more than 10 days, arrange to have someone mow a second time while you are away.

  • Set your lights on timers. Light timers can be purchased in any department store. Using the timer allows you to turn your lights on and off at specific times. Using timers allows you to give the appearance that someone is home, even if you are not.

  • Ask a friend or neighbor to collect your mail and newspapers. Allowing these items to collect will alert burglars to your absence. Pick the items up from a friend or neighbor when you return from your trip, and no one cruising the neighborhood will even notice that you are gone.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are a number of special safety precautions that should be considered in a house with children. Keep all potentially hazardous items out of the child's reach, keep plug covers in outlets and use adjustable gates to restrict which rooms the children have access.

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References

  • Photo Credit ictsan, Flickr.com Creative Commons License
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