20 Tips for Home Safety and Security
In addition to your a monitored home security system, there are steps you can take to protect your home and family from burglary, fire and intrusion. Below are some basic tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
General Home Safety and Security
- Do not leave extra keys under doormats, potted plants or any other obvious outdoor location. Thieves will generally find them. Find an inconspicuous place to hide the keys, or give a set to a neighbor you can trust.
- Burglar-proof your glass patio doors by setting a pipe or metal bar in the middle bottom track of the door slide. The pipe should be the same length as the track.
- Keep garage doors shut.
- Keep drapes and blinds shut – especially in rooms where there is expensive equipment. Don't advertise the items in your home.
- Store cash, jewelry and other valuables in a safe or safety deposit box instead of leaving them lying around the home.
- Don't leave notes on the door for service people or family members. These alert the burglar that you are not home.
- If you're going to be away from home for a few days, adjust your telephone ring to its lowest volume setting. An unanswered phone may tip off a burglar that no one is home. Also, have a neighbor or friend collect your newspaper and mail. Never cancel delivery – you don't know who will get that information.
Home Fire Safety
- Never leave candles or other open flames burning unattended.
- Douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before dumping them in the trash.
- Don't leave hot irons, or burning stovetops and outdoor grills unattended while in use. Double-check that you've turned them off after use.
- Regularly clear and dispose of dry or dead vegetation in your yard or areas near your home.
- Make sure the lid stays on your trash can, and store firewood and other combustibles away from your home.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. For the best detection and notification protection, install both ionization and photoelectric-type smoke alarms. Put them inside or near every bedroom. Test them monthly to make sure they work. Put in new batteries once a year.
- Don't have deadbolts that lock with an inside key. You need to get out fast if a fire starts. A missing key could trap you inside. Also, don't nail windows shut. Make sure they open easily.
- Make a fire escape plan for your family. Find two exits out of every room. Pick a meeting place outside. Practice makes perfect – hold a family fire drill at least twice each year.
- Be sure your street address is visibly posted so that firefighters can identify your home in the event of an emergency.
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