Protecting your family and property are often top concerns when you’re a homeowner. Countless chemicals, sharp objects, and security hazards lurk in the background of your daily routine. Investing in a high-end security system, getting a loud barking guard dog, throwing everything away, or simply being a nervous mess isn’t always the answer. There are simple measures you can take to help boost your home’s safety, security, and overall peace of mind:
LANDSCAPE FOR SECURITY
Landscaping not only increases your home’s curb appeal, but may also help play a role in warding off intruders. Angie’s List shares that thorny bushes planted under windows may discourage an attempt to gain access into your home. Shrubbery near windows and doors should be kept trimmed. Overgrowth of these plants offer a hiding place for intruders. Installing motion sensors for exterior lights, specially near entrance points of the home and on the garage, will stop most intruders in their tracks. An illuminated exterior provides less of an opportunity for burglars to hide from neighbors or passersby. Plus, when the lights suddenly come on, they may think someone is watching. Setting timers on lamps inside the home, especially near windows, gives the appearance that the home is occupied.
DON’T ADVERTISE AND REMOVE MAIL
Leaving for the weekend? Visiting family for the holiday? Simply buying to much from Amazon? Tempting as it might be to broadcast it in real time, it is also a sure way to tell the world (or anyone planning a break-in) you’re away from home. An overfilled mailbox is a signal that you’re away. Remember to grab the mail. If away, ask a trusted neighbor to empty your box and keep your porch clear of mail and other fliers. Think about your home’s safety and security even when you are not in it.
Get a fake fido or security company. As thieves look for an easy mark, making your home look tough to crack will encourage them to move on. A “Beware of Dog” sign or a bowl and chain by the back door can be enough to scare off the bad (even if you don’t really have a pooch). While name brand security companies usually don’t let you have their stickers or signs for free, some allow you to purchase them for doors and windows. If a local company is not available a generic option can be ordered online.
ASSESS YOUR WINDOWS AND DOORS
Install a deadbolt lock on main entrance(s) for increased security at home. Be sure that the door is sturdy enough to withstand any break in attempts. Solid metal or wood that are at least 1 3/4 inches thick are best. Windows that are older and rickety should be replaced. Newer windows can be protected with locks or come with window stops. These prevent windows from being opened more than six inches – perfect for ventilation, but not for criminals who want to slip inside. Sliding glass windows and doors can also be equipped with locks or stops. If replacement is not an option, reinforce them with a solid wood bar that fits the track space.
PREVENT SLIPS AND FALLS
As Michigan temperature drops so does snow. With snow usually comes tracking snow into your home and ice. Shovel snow or remove ice outside your home’s entrance. Have melting salts easily accessible for adults to reach, and remember to use them. Install a water management system to drain water away from your main point of entrance. Having a railing or a piece of solid stationary furniture to grab onto upon entrance into your home for wet shoe removal is idle.
As the bathroom has the most slippery surfaces and an abundance of water regularly with bathtubs, showers, and moisture it is no surprises it holds the highest risk of falls. Regardless of age, installing grab bars in the bathtub or shower is a smart home additional that can help prevent accidents at an inexpensive cost. According to the National Safety Council injury is the leading cause of death among children and young adults and nearly half of these accidents occur in the home.
CARBON MONOXIDE AND SMOKE DETECTOR
Already have them? GREAT! Check to make sure they are working monthly. Replace the batteries every six months. Replace the units at least every seven years.
Don’t have them? GET THEM! Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless toxic gas that is difficult to detect and treat once the damage is done. Every home with at least one fuel-burning appliance/heater, attached garage, or fireplace should have a carbon monoxide detector. Even in small doses carbon monoxide can be harmful and may even cause permanent damage if not caught quickly. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States.
Install a Carbon Monoxide detector on each floor. Install a smoke detector in each bedroom.
REPLACE WORN ADDRESS NUMBERS
Replacing worn address numbers aids first responders in getting to you and your family members faster in the event of an emergency. This fix is relatively inexpensive, easy, and one that can potentially save your life one day. Plus, your take out delivery driver will be pleased with his improvement as well.
CHECK YOUR FIREPLACE
Fireplaces provide warmth in the winter, but without inspection and attention to maintenance can highly affect the quality of your home’s safety. One of the most important aspects of a fireplace and fireplace safety is the chimney cap, which is a metal piece that keeps animals, rain, and snow out of your chimney, while also stopping sparks from the fire from landing on your roof. Make sure the cap is in good shape and that it has no bird nests or debris on it. Other possible chimney and fireplace renovations include replacing crumbling or missing bricks (both outside on the chimney and inside of the fireplace surround, hearth, and firebox), straightening the chimney, and ensuring it sticks out at least two feet above your roof.
WHAT SAFETY PRECAUTIONS DO YOU TAKE AT HOME?
Take the time to evaluate your home’s safety and security. Stay safe, and if you need help with windows, doors, floors, your roof’s chimney, or anything around the house we can help with – give us a call we would be happy to provide a practical solution.