Home Security Check: Ways to Make Your Home Safer
For many of us, our home is an oasis where we can relax and unwind. Unfortunately, it is also a place where we can be targeted by criminals and vandals. If that is not the case, there are also things inside your home that may be a potential hazard to your family and pets, either unintentionally or from neglect. Here are a few things you can do to make your home a safer place for yourself and those who live there.
Install a home security system
Home security systems are a great way to make your home safer. Installing one will deter crime and vandals, as well as give you peace of mind that your family and pets are safe inside the house. Not only do they stop criminals from breaking in, but they also alert homeowners when someone is coming up to their door or window. This gives them time to answer it before the person gets too close and potentially harms themselves or others.
Smart security systems allow you to monitor your home even when you are away. This gives you the freedom to see what is happening in your home at any given time, check up on your kids when they get home from school, or even let a neighbor check in every once in a while if you are out of town for an extended period of time.
Light it up!
Lights not only add a nice aesthetic touch to a home, but it is also a great way to make it safer. Make sure that any outside lights on your home are working, as they deter criminals from breaking in.
Do the same inside your home. Make sure all of the light switches work and keep a light or two on when it gets dark out to make yourself visible. If you have a backyard with no streetlights, install motion sensor lights for greater visibility at night.
Aside from keeping unwanted visitors at bay, having exterior lights also makes the home safer for the occupants. Having walkways adequately lit will make walking to and from your home safe, especially if there are obstacles or stairways around your property.
Install deadbolt locks to all your exterior doors
Deadbolt locks are installed with a metal bolt that extends into the door frame, preventing anyone from breaking into your home through brute force. They are often better than standard locks because many types cannot be easily picked open by criminals using tools like lock picks .
You can install deadbolt locks to your exterior doors yourself, but if you really want to make your house more secure, call a professional locksmith to replace any existing lock with a deadbolt type.
Improve Your Garage Door Security
Many garage doors can be opened and closed quite simply. While you may think it unlikely that criminals will go this route, stronger locks do make your home more secure. For garages, install door jamb protectors . This is the metal or wood strip at the bottom edge of the garage door and as its name implies, it protects against punches and kicks. Ensure your garage door opener has a keypad for extra security. Having one also allows you to use a PIN code to open and close your garage, which is a great way to grant access for planned occasions, such as neighbor borrowing a tool.
Check Your Fire Alarms and CO2 Detectors
Every year, thousands of people are killed or injured by fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Fires can be prevented with a few simple steps like checking your smoke alarms and CO2 detectors regularly to make sure they're working properly. Some things to consider include:
Install Smoke Alarms on Every Level of Your Home
Smoke alarms should be installed in every room of the home as well as outside sleeping areas, kitchens, furnace rooms, laundry rooms, garages and attached porches. If you have an interior staircase leading from one level to another, install a smoke alarm at the top and bottom of each flight. Families with children under six years old should consider installing battery-powered models since they provide quicker warning than electric models during power outages.
Install CO2 Detectors in Homes
Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea and vomiting. Installing carbon dioxide detectors near furnaces, gas hot water heaters and other appliances vented by a chimney will alert you if dangerous levels of carbon dioxide are detected. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that results from the incomplete fuel-burning process. You should install them at or near ground level where they have an unobstructed air flow across the sensor.
Check Your Fireplace's Chimney Flue
Another potential fire hazard in your home is your fireplace's chimney flue. Make sure that it opens and shuts easily. If it sticks or is hard to open, have a professional take a look at it before using your fireplace again.
Have your Furnace Inspected
Have your furnace inspected once a year by a professional to ensure that gas and oil leaks aren't occurring. It will also give you an idea on when it's time to replace it, so be sure to ask the inspector about your particular system's expected shelf life. Have a qualified heating technician perform annual safety inspections of all heating appliances. If you have fuel-fired equipment such as a boiler, stove or furnace, have them checked for proper installation and venting according to industry standards at least once per year.
The safe and secure home is a dream for many people. With the right investment of time, money, and effort in your home security system you can have that peace of mind. Whether it be detering home intruders, porch thieves or making sure your appliances and comfort systems are working correctly, you can accomplish all this and more with these easy steps to improve the security of your home.