There’s something deeply comforting about ticking off boxes, knowing that with each check your family is a little safer. Rest easy with our full home security check, which takes you on a safety review of your home’s alarm system, windows and doors, locks, various emergency detectors, and other safety measures.
☐ Advertise your system. Sometimes the best burglar deterrent is a well-advertised home alarm system – even if you don’t actually have one. Err on the safe side and install a few signs in your windows and yard.
☐ Outdoor lighting is your friend. Flood lights, especially motion-activated ones, help scare off prowlers before they even have a chance to break in.
☐ Ditch the hide-a-key. Burglars today are hip to all the tricks and hiding spots, so instead of squirreling away your key in a plastic container of fake rock, stash one with a trusted neighbor.
☐ Always arm your system. Once you have a system, it’s all too easy to skip arming it for a quick trip to the neighbor’s. You may even forget once in awhile. Don’t! Your system is only as good as you allow it to be. Home automation systems make this as convenient as pulling out your cell phone and tapping a button. Set alerts on your systems mobile application and you’ll always have a reminder.
☐ Communicate with your alarm company. If you’re going away, be it for the weekend or the week, let your alarm company know. They’ll be extra vigilant on your behalf.
Windows, Doors & Locks
☐ Install deadbolts. Old school deadbolts still offer great burglar protection, so install them on every entry door. For sliding doors, secure them shut with a metal bar or wooden dowel in the track.
☐ Check your windows. Every 4-6 months, do a whole-house window check to make sure all latches are working and no windows are cracked. Replace broken locks and panes immediately.
☐ Landscape wisely. Burglars often lurk in shrubbery outside windows, so be sure to prune trees and bushes to eliminate hiding spaces.
Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
☐ Be generous with your installation. At the very minimum, you should install one carbon monoxide detector per floor, as well as smoke detectors on every level, outside every bedroom, in the kitchen, and at the bottom of stairs. My Alarm Center offers monitored detectors that reduce response times and therefore, saves lives.
☐ Go hardwired, when possible. New homes come hardwired for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, which are far safer as they don’t operate off batteries. (They do have battery backup to account for power outages.) If you own an older home, speak with an electrician about the possibility of hardwiring at least some of your detectors, for example one per floor.
☐ Test regularly. Hardwired or battery-operated, you should test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at least once a month.
☐ Keep ‘em clean. A quick vacuuming (or dust-busting) over detector grills will keep them clean and functioning properly.
☐ Run drills. Like other safety equipment, detectors are only as good as your reaction to them. Run both smoke and carbon monoxide drills with your family, so everyone knows what to do in case of emergency.
Other Safety Checks
☐ Purchase fire extinguishers. At a minimum, you should have one extinguisher in the kitchen, and one more for every floor (including the kitchen level).
☐ Install flood detectors. Did you even know these existed? Incredible new technology lets you know when your pipes burst or your basement starts to leak. My Alarm Center’s flood protection is the piece of mind you need that costs less than a quarter a day.
☐ Establish an escape plan. One of the best things you can do for your and your family’s safety is to establish an emergency escape route – and practice it. Regularly.
☐ Buy rescue ladders. If you live in a two-story home, purchase a rescue ladder for ever second-floor bedroom. Especially if you have young children, practice its use.
☐ Lock up hazards. Household cleaners, poisons, guns, knives, and other potential dangers should be kept locked away from children.