Securing your home is of utmost importance, not only for the well-being of your family but also to ensure the safety of your visitors. By eliminating potential hazards and equipping your home with safety measures, you can prevent everyday mishaps such as slips and falls, as well as prepare for more serious emergencies like fires. In this article, we will address strategies to ensure safety in your new home, enhancing its overall safety and security.
Call the Experts Before Settling into Your New Home
Many homeowners lack the know-how to ensure the safety and security of their new apartments. In such cases, seeking advice from professionals who can provide guidance and assist in making necessary adjustments to your new dwelling is a wise choice.
For those who have bought older houses, there may be construction materials that could potentially impact the health and well-being of the residents. If you lack expertise in construction, it’s advisable to enlist the services of a qualified professional to conduct inspections for hazardous materials like lead paint, flammable substances, and asbestos.
Another crucial safety tip for new homes is to prioritize proper ventilation. It’s prudent to engage an expert to assess the presence of a security system and carbon monoxide levels or to install a CO detector.
A significant number of house fires stem from electrical issues. It’s highly advisable to hire an electrician to conduct a comprehensive assessment of all electrical components in your residence. These experienced professionals will not only suggest necessary modifications but also implement them. Additionally, many electricians possess expertise in installing fire alarms and can recommend the most suitable option for your new home.
Install a Security System
For your new home, it’s essential to incorporate a security system. Whether it’s a straightforward DIY system or one that includes professional monitoring and home automation functionalities. The market offers a wide array of home security options, catering to various budgets and protection requirements.
To make an informed choice, assess both the security needs of your specific neighborhood and the unique characteristics of your house. Identify the potential risks and assess your home’s security requirements accordingly. For assistance in this evaluation, you can reach out to your local police department. Being informed about the happenings in your community and the people around you is key to recognizing potential indicators of impending criminal activities. Stay attuned to your surroundings and promptly report any suspicious actions or behavior to your local law enforcement authorities.
Test the Locks
Don’t make it easy for a burglar to waltz in through your front door. Take a close look at all your exterior doors to ensure sturdy door frames and secure hinges. If your door has a mail slot, confirm that no one can reach through it to unlock the door.
When moving into a house previously occupied by others, it’s crucial to change the door locks. This ensures that you have control over who has access to your home and allows you to install the most secure locks.
Maintain constant vigilance by keeping your home secured at all times. It’s advisable to keep your doors locked, even when you’re inside. For added security while letting in light, consider locking a screen door. Always double-check that your windows are locked after closing them, and never leave them open when you’re away from home.
Sliding doors are a favorite entry point for intruders, so it’s important to fortify their security. You may place a window bar or dowel in the track to prevent the door from being forced open. Alternatively, consider installing a door sensor or a glass break sensor. These advanced devices will notify you if there’s any tampering with the glass door and can serve as a deterrent to potential thieves.
Avoid leaving your home unattended while doing laundry
Thousands of house fires can be attributed to dryers, with a significant number stemming from improper dust and fiber maintenance. When you’re not present to supervise your laundry, it’s advisable to refrain from running the washer and dryer. Unforeseen issues, such as faulty cords, can escalate into problems. It’s safer to be at home to promptly address any potential fire hazards.
Set up outdoor lighting
Dark houses provide enticing opportunities for potential burglars. To discourage criminal activity, it’s advisable to ensure that your home is well-lighted. Illuminate every nook and cranny of both your front and backyard to eliminate hiding spots. Motion-activated lights can serve as effective deterrents and convey a clear message to would-be intruders that their presence has not gone unnoticed.
Secure Your Garage
Your garage doors deserve attention too. Regular maintenance is essential to keep them in good working order and prevent potential vulnerabilities. A malfunctioning garage door could be an entry point for intruders. To mitigate this risk, limit the amount of garage door openers or establish a restricted access code.
If your garage door starts to sag, it’s advisable to provide additional support.
This advice is especially useful when you have elderly individuals or kids in your household. It’s essential to eliminate any potential hazards that could cause falls or trips and lead to injuries. If a certain pathway lacks sufficient space, consider rearranging furniture to create a more accommodating walking area. Secure all rugs firmly to the floor to prevent them from shifting. If rugs are not essential, it’s best to remove them to reduce the risk of slipping accidents. If you still desire the softness of a rug or require it for family members, consider installing wall-to-wall carpeting as a safer alternative.
Secure the Safety of Heating Systems and Fuel
An effective heating system enhances the comfort and enjoyment of your living space. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to ensure the safety of the heating system in your new property, along with the type of fuel it utilizes to prevent potential health hazards for you and your family. Verify that the fuel source does not emit hazardous fumes and there are no gas or oil leaks. If any issues arise with the heating system, it may be advisable to consider the installation of a safer and more efficient alternative.
Take proactive steps to prevent fires in your new home:
- Ensure your existing fire alarms and CO detectors are in proper working order through regular inspections.
- Install additional detectors where required to cover all essential areas.
- Verify the charge status and expiration dates on your current fire extinguishers.
- Replace any expired or inadequate fire extinguishers as needed.
- Prior to using the fireplace, engage a professional chimney inspector for a safety check. Additionally, consider adhering to further fireplace safety guidelines.
Secure Your Wi-Fi Network
Your home wireless network serves as a gateway to your personal and financial information. If you employ home automation, it can also expose your residence to potential break-ins. If your Wi-Fi network connects to smart home devices or your security system, it could provide intruders with direct access to your home.
Use these guidelines to fortify your home network and deter hackers:
- Safeguard your wireless router.
- Activate WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) or WPA2 encryption.
- Change and conceal the name of your home network.
- Utilize a firewall.
- Install antivirus and anti-malware protection.
- Establish robust passwords.
- Use a virtual private network (VPN) as one of the most effective ways to secure your internet connection.
Exercise Caution with Social Media
Social media is a double-edged sword. While you may be eager to share the news of your new home with your loved ones, flaunting your house key is not the way to go. It’s important to realize that keys can be duplicated from images, so posting a photo of your key and your home’s exterior can make you a potential target for online burglars.
Exercise caution when revealing vacation details to specific individuals. Posting vacation photos on social media essentially broadcasts to the world that you’re not currently at home. It’s essential to be mindful of the information you share and, if possible, have someone keep an eye on your house while you’re away.