We've now spent a little time outlining phases of a crime and what to consider when securing your home. Now, we want to look at making your home safer in general. Safe and secure is more than a catchy tagline and it spans far beyond cameras, a security system and good door locks. Here are 6 steps we recommend to get you off to a great start:
1. Fire/Smoke alarms: Every home should have smoke / fire alarms. It's recommended every home have one for each room. The majority of state and local municipal codes require a smoke detector (and carbon monoxide) within 6 feet of a bedroom anymore, check with your local Building Commissioner or Fire Marshal for your area's requirements. Most have battery notifications systems that notify you when the batteries start to get low. However, it's a good practice to check each manually every 3-6 months. Try and schedule it around spring cleaning and late fall when you start winterizing. While you're at it, it's good to come up with a good fire evacuation plan. We recommend exercising it with the kids so they know what to do should the need arise.
2. Lighting: We've discussed this numerous times, but lighting is your friend. It helps deter would-be criminals, prevents accidents when you're outdoors at night, but also serves as a safety precaution when pulling in the driveway at night. While we're on the topic though, we also advise looking inside the home as well. Many homeowners battle poor lighting in entryways, staircases and hallways. If a bulb dies, replace it as soon as possible. Otherwise you could be traversing your stairs without any lights and replacing both bulbs simultaneously in the dark. Ensure you have and maintain good lighting.
3. Home Security
- Locks: Locks are both your best friend and a thief's worst enemy. Best practices are to have, maintain, and use locks. If you're home, lock you doors. When night comes, close and lock all windows. We can't emphasize maintaining and using exterior locks on your home enough.
- Security systems: Security systems are among the most effective method to both deter and prevent a break-in. They're designed to both frighten a would-be criminal while simultaneously notifying the proper authorities.
- Cameras: Security cameras help augment the security system by allowing you to monitor your home both while inside and away. They are an effective tool when used properly to both deter criminals, allow you to monitor your home and ensure the safety of your loved ones.
4. Choking/ Poison Hazards: One of the biggest fear for any mother or father is your child getting into the wrong bottle. It's essential for all of us to occasionally review where we're placing cleaning supplies, medications, and anything ingestible. Children have a tendency to put anything in their mouths. Take a few moments to check your lower shelves and cabinets for items that need to be secured.
5. Cooking hazards: The kitchen is among the most dangerous rooms in the house. Take a moment to check your fire extinguisher, heating surfaces, stove tops for excess grease, even the electrical cables behind the stove. Most fires start in the kitchen and many for unexpected reasons. Take an extra moment to ensure you're not storing towels above the stove, or leaving flammables too close to any ignition source.
6. Walking Hazards: Check your home periodically for tripping or walking hazards both indoors and out. We often leave items right where we used them last and that includes items such as power cables, boxes, and other items at floor level. Items such as shoes tend to congregate near stairs which can quickly become a tripping hazard at night. Take a moment to check your common walking paths and ensure they're clear and unobstructed.
This is far from a complete list of steps to make your home safe and secure, but we hope it helps get you thinking of ways to help you and your loved ones live safer and more secure.
For more information, sign up to receive our newsletters or visit us online at www.omegasixsecurity.com. Need a security system? Are you curious how we can help? We're available 24/7 at 888-866-9954 or at email@example.com.