Home Safety 101—Classic Tips to Keep Danger at the Doorstep

August 25, 2023
By Brian Alba
6 min read
Home Safety 101—Classic Tips to Keep Danger at the Doorstep

Your home is your sanctuary—the one place you can kick off your shoes, let down your hair, and exhale with sweet relief. Within these four walls, you find comfort, joy, and solace from the chaos of the outside world.

In this article, we'll explore timeless tips to turn your house into a sanctuary of security. You'll learn clever ways to outsmart any would-be burglars and put your mind at ease. With just a few precautions, you can wrap your home in safety and finally relax, knowing your family is free from harm.

Securing All Entry Points

Ensuring all access routes into your home are safeguarded is key to boosting your total home security. Here are the top recommendations for improved safety and privacy:

1. Reinforce doors and windows.

Enhance your home's safety by reinforcing doors and windows, the primary entry points for burglars. Install deadbolts and strike plates on doors, and consider using solid wood or metal doors for added security. Reinforce windows with security film, laminated glass, or window bars with quick-release emergency mechanisms.

2. Install secure locks on doors and windows.

Secure locks are your first line of defense against intruders. Deadbolt locks on doors offer high-level security, especially when fully extended into the door jamb. For windows, consider key-operated levers or window pin locks to prevent forced opening. Consistent use of these locks is crucial.

3. Use curtains/blinds for extra privacy and security.

Curtains and blinds obstruct the view into your home, deterring potential burglars. Choose options that completely block the view when closed but allow in natural light, creating ambiguity about whether someone is home without making your house appear vacant. This simple measure can significantly enhance your home's security.

Controlling Access

Regulating who can enter your home is essential for maintaining security. This can be accomplished through the execution of certain strategies, such as:

1. Require guests to buzz in/call before entering.

Implement a system where guests must buzz in or call before entering your home. This adds an extra layer of security, allowing you to verify the person's identity at your door before letting them in. It also prevents unauthorized persons from simply walking into your property unannounced.

2. Install video doorbells or intercom systems.

Video doorbells and intercom systems offer a way to both communicate with and visually confirm the identity of visitors before granting them access. These devices can often be linked to your smartphone, allowing you to monitor your home's entrances even when you're not physically present.

3. Keep garage doors closed.

If left open or unsecured, garage doors can provide an easy access point for intruders. Ensure your garage doors are always closed when not in use, and consider installing a secure lock. A closed and locked garage door prevents unwanted entry and protects your belongings stored inside from theft.

Deterring Intruders

Deterrence is a powerful tool in preventing break-ins and intrusions. Here's how you can prevent them:

1. Install exterior lighting.

Exterior lighting serves as a deterrent by eliminating dark areas where intruders could hide. Motion-sensor lights are particularly effective, as they illuminate when movement is detected, potentially startling an intruder and drawing attention to their presence.

2. Keep bushes and trees trimmed back.

Landscape maintenance can significantly contribute to home security. Overgrown bushes and trees can provide hiding spots for potential intruders. Keeping your landscape well-trimmed eliminates these potential hiding places, making your home less attractive to burglars.

3. Post security alarm and camera signs.

Visible signs indicating the presence of a security system or cameras can deter potential intruders. Even if you don't have these systems installed, the mere suggestion that your home is monitored can be enough to discourage would-be burglars, as it increases the risk of them being caught.

Safeguarding Valuables

Securing your valuables is a crucial aspect of home safety. This not only prevents financial loss but also helps protect personal and irreplaceable items. Key strategies include:

1. Bolt safes to the floor or wall.

A safe provides a secure place for valuables, but its effectiveness is significantly increased when bolted down. A burglar may attempt to carry off a small safe, but if it's secured to a floor or wall, this becomes much more difficult, adding an extra level of security for your valuables.

2. Keep valuables out of sight.

Don't make it easy for potential burglars by leaving valuable items in plain view. Store valuables such as jewelry, electronics, and important documents out of sight when not in use. This reduces the temptation for potential intruders who may be looking through windows.

3. Create hiding spots for emergency cash/documents.

In addition to using a safe, create hiding spots in your home for emergency cash or important documents. These should be places that are not obvious to intruders but easily accessible to you in an emergency. Consider false containers or hidden compartments in everyday items.

Practicing Fire Safety

Fire safety is a core element of home security, critical for the well-being of its occupants. The destructive power of fires can lead to extensive damage and pose serious threats to life. Here are some fundamental strategies to alleviate this risk:

1. Change smoke detector batteries frequently.

Smoke detectors play a critical role in the early detection of fires, giving you precious time to evacuate. However, they're only effective if they're working properly. Regularly changing the batteries ensures that they are always ready to alert you in case of a fire. A good rule of thumb is to change the batteries at least twice a year, often aligned with Daylight Saving Time changes.

2. Store flammables properly.

Flammable household materials require careful storage to mitigate the risk of accidental fires. Substances like gasoline, paint thinners, and specific cleaning agents can ignite easily if mishandled. Store them in a detached shed, garage, or other building separate from your home. Choose a cool area with ample ventilation and no nearby ignition sources such as furnaces, water heaters, or exposed electrical wiring.

3. Have fire extinguishers around the house.

Fire extinguishers can help control small fires before they spread, potentially saving your home and belongings from extensive damage. Having at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your home is recommended, particularly in high-risk areas such as the kitchen and garage. Remember to check the expiry date and replace them regularly as needed.

Time’s Wisdom, Today’s Comfort

While no home is completely immune to crime, there are time-tested techniques you can use to reinforce your home's security. Following these common sense tips for securing entry points, controlling access, deterring intruders, and practicing fire safety will help safeguard your home.

Although new home security tech keeps emerging, sometimes old-fashioned methods still work best. Implementing these timeless safety strategies can provide peace of mind knowing you've made your home a sanctuary for you and your loved ones. With sensible precautions, you can relax and enjoy your home, knowing it is well-fortified against intrusion and damage.

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