General Home Safety Tips

It’s important to practice the following home security tips while you are at home, about to leave the house and while you go on an extended stay. These tips will not only help protect you and your loved ones, but will also protect your home and property from a variety of possible dangers.

While you are at home

  • If you’ve recently moved to your home, make sure you replace the locks immediately. You never know who was given a spare key beforehand.
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  • Make sure you have operating smoke detectors. As a rule of thumb, it’s wise to replace the smoke detector batteries once a year. Fact: dead batteries caused 24 percent of smoke alarm failures.
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  • In the kitchen, make sure you never leave anything unattended on the stovetop. In the event of a grease fire, never try to put it out with water. Instead use baking soda to put out the flames. Fact: a home structure fire is reported every 86 seconds.
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  • Have a list of emergency contact numbers at hand (incase these are ever needed). These may include Poison Control, the fire department, your doctor/pediatrician, your vet, etc.
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  • Use only reputable companies to do home repairs, cleaning or other service and maintenance jobs.
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  • If a salesperson comes to your door, ask for their credentials. You never know when someone is scouting your home for a potential burglary job.
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    Before you leave the house

    Fact: A home burglary happens roughly every 14 seconds somewhere in the U.S. Most occur between 10am and 3pm.

    According to a burglary survey study by UNC Charlotte, 60% of burglars stated that an alarm system in a home would cause them to seek another target. With that said, having an alarm system in itself is a great deterrent for burglars. Taking these measures will help insure that your home is well protected while you are away.

  • Arm your alarm system (even if you’ll be gone for a short errand). Many things can happen in the matter of minutes.
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  • Close and lock all windows and doors. You don’t want to provide a potential intruder with an available entryway. Fact: 30 percent of burglaries occur through an opened or unlocked window or door.
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  • Make sure appliances are turned off. This is especially true of curling irons, the oven and anything with a heat source.
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  • Make sure there aren’t any lit candles. You never want to leave an open flame unattended.
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  • Never leave a spare key lying around under a mat, pot, etc. outside. In the wrong hands, this could have a catastrophic outcome. Even the best of hiding place can be found.
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  • Make sure your house number is clearly visible from the street. This is crucial in the event of any emergency when the dispatch personnel arrive.
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    Going away from home for an extended time

  • It’s important that you make your home appear occupied.
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  • Set timers for lights both inside and outside the house.
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  • Hold mail and newspaper delivery for the duration of your trip. You can do this by going onto USPS online and calling your newspaper delivery provider.
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  • Inform a trusted friend, neighbor or family member of your trip and have them keep an eye on your property.
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  • Never leave a note on the door, informing someone that you are away. This is available for anyone to walk up and see.
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  • If you have a sliding door, add extra security by placing a wooden or metal stick/pole along the track. This will add extra protection.
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  • Keep expensive jewelry, documents and other items in a safe deposit box at your bank. It’s these smaller items that are usually targeted in a home burglary.
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  • Be sure to close your blinds and curtains. Don’t advertise what’s inside your home!
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  • Make sure the garage is closed and locked. You don’t want anyone being able to lift it open from the outside.
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  • Make sure that your bushes, trees and yard are neatly maintained. This will help give the appearance that someone is home. It’ll also give a clear view from the street—a deterrent for potential burglars.
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    Sources

    http://airef.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/BurglarSurveyStudyFinalReport.pdf

    http://www.safeguardtheworld.com/statistics.html