Home Security and Safety Tips

Here are some general home security and safety tips:

-How secure are your basement windows? Install window grills to prevent intrusion. Reinforce basement doors, too.

-Check your washing machine hoses once a month – look for bulges and leaks. A broken hose will ruin your day.

-Check your door locks. How substantial are they? Are the door frames rugged enough to withstand a kick? In new construction, have the doors open outwards, making kick-ins almost impossible.

-Check the support structure of your deck. Is the deck attached to your home with lag-bolts? Nails are not enough to prevent collapse.

-Walk around your house, thinking like you want to break in. What is the weakness in your security?

-Check your smoke alarms and the batteries.

-Consider an alarm system. Your home insurance company will help to pay the bill, with reduced insurance premiums.

-To prevent electrocution, use only ground fault interruption (GFI) electrical outlets in your bathroom. The garage too. If your home still has screw-in electrical fuses, get an electrician in to inspect your wiring.

-At least one phone in your house should be hardwired to allow for phone calls in a power failure. If you use internet based phones, make sure you can make emergency calls.

-If you have a pool, buy a motion detector alarm (about $20 from many catalog companies – Google “pool alarms”) that will let you know someone is in the pool area.

-If you depend on a well for your water supply, have backup water in case the electricity goes out – both for drinking and for operating your toilets. Remember, you can pour water into the tank on most toilets for use in a flush.

-Have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your home. Check them every six months.

-Have a safe bolted to the floor in one of your closets. Keep spare keys, blank bank checks, social security cards, and other info useful to a thief locked up. Put your “good” jewelry in the safe too.

-Install a “Charlie bar” to prevent sliding doors from being forced open. A broom stick in the track is a poor second choice. Charlie bars are mounted in the middle of the door, offering greater protection. Intruders can see the bar too. Perhaps they will search out an easier mark.

-Ladders stored outdoors should be locked to prevent a thief from using your ladder to break into your house.