The Best Home Safety Hacks: Is Your Home As Safe As It Could Be?
Most of us consider our home a safe haven, but is your home as safe as it could be? Sometimes, accidents are inevitable. But in other cases, there are ways of preventing them. If you’re eager to stay safe home, bear these pointers in mind.
Home Security: Reducing the Risk of Burglaries
When you’ve put a lot of effort into interior design, and you’ve worked hard to buy a house, the last thing you want is to be burgled. Your home should be a sanctuary. Even the thought of somebody breaking in and stealing your possessions can be deeply unsettling. It’s easy to assume that robberies happen to other people. But the reality is that every home may be a target for opportunistic thieves. Some areas have higher rates of crime than others, but even the quietest cul de sac may attract burglars. Here are some suggestions to make your home safer and reduce the risk of burglary.
# Windows and doors
Always ensure that windows and doors are closed and locked before you go to bed, or you head out for the day. Open windows provide easy access to your home. Take extra care in summer when windows and patio doors tend to be left open for long periods. Close skylights and attic windows. Keep sets of keys with you. Don’t leave house or car keys by the front door. It is possible for thieves to use devices, such as wire coat hangers to reach keys through the letterbox.
Deterrents can help to put thieves off. Good examples include security lights, CCTV, and outdoor cameras. If you have a dog, this can also make it harder for burglars to get into your home unnoticed. Even a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign can put some burglars off. Burglar alarms are one of the most effective and affordable deterrents on the market. If you don’t already have one fitted, call around some local security firms to find out more.
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Electric gates and high-reaching fencing can also help to deter thieves.
If you have valuable possessions or things with sentimental value, store them in a safe place. Never leave valuables lying around in view of windows or door panels. Is your laptop sitting on the kitchen table? Have you got a brand new plasma screen TV in your front room? Are there tablets and smartphones lying on the sofa? If so, this can act as an invitation for thieves. Tidy everything away before you go out or head up to bed.
Tips for deterring thieves while you’re away
If your home looks unoccupied, it may seem like an easier target for burglars. If you’re going away, try and make it look like somebody is at home. Before you go, cancel any newspaper or milk deliveries. Ask your neighbor to collect your post. If you have bottles of milk and envelopes falling out of the mailbox, this is a clear sign that nobody is home.
Ask your neighbor to park their car in your garage from time to time. If you get on well with them, give them a key and ask them to turn the lights on and off periodically. If you don’t know your neighbors, ask a friend or family member to do this for you and collect any mail.
# Neighborhood watch
If you’ve recently moved, make some inquiries to see if there is a local neighborhood watch scheme in place. Joining a community scheme can be particularly beneficial if you travel a lot for work, or you spend long periods of time away.
# Fire safety
Fire safety should be an important consideration for any homeowner. The majority of house fires can be prevented. Here are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of fires at home.
# Smoke detectors
If you don’t already have smoke detectors in your home, install some as a priority. Smoke detectors cost nothing, and they can save lives. These incredible sensitive devices will alert you to smoke long before you smell or see it. Once you’ve fitted your smoke detectors, you’ll need to check the batteries on a regular basis. It’s also advisable to have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted. Carbon monoxide is often branded a silent killer because it has no smell and you can’t see it. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal. Signs include fatigue and severe headaches.
# Fire extinguishers and blankets
Fire extinguishers and blankets can help to suppress flames and reduce the risk of fire spreading. If you have a fire extinguisher at home, make sure you know how to use it. Read the instructions carefully. If you need advice, don’t hesitate to contact your local fire service.
If you have a fire at home, make your way outside as quickly and calmly as possible. Call the emergency services and wait for assistance. Don’t attempt to go back into a burning building and don’t waste time trying to save possessions.
If your home is on a floodplain or heavy rain is forecast, it’s wise to take steps to reduce the risk of flooding. Store sandbags in your garage and plug any holes in your walls. Make sure your flooring is in good condition and fill any gaps underneath doors. You may wish to use water-resistant materials in downstairs rooms. If there is a high risk of flooding, it may also be advisable to fit power sockets higher up the wall.
If there is a flood warning in place, listen out for advice from experts. If you have been advised to leave your home temporarily, take this warning on board. Arrange to go and stay with friends or relatives. Take valuables with you and move as many items upstairs as you can in the time you have available.
Always make sure you have home and contents insurance. Check the details of your policy carefully before you make a claim. If you live in an area prone to flooding, it’s wise to take out the most comprehensive plan.
# Electrical safety
We rely on electricity to do most things today. It is a wonderful invention, but it does carry risks. As a homeowner, you should be aware of the importance of electrical safety. Always make sure your electrical appliances are checked on a regular basis. If you notice damaged wires or your appliances aren’t working normally, contact an electrician. Never attempt your own electrical repairs. This carries a significant risk of injuries, including electric shock.
When you’re using electrical appliances, take care not to overload power sockets. If you have several things running at the same time, this can cause a power outage. Turn off devices that you’re not using at the socket. Leaving appliances on standby will increase your bills, as well as the risk of accidents.
# Preventing accidents in the garden
Summer is here, and for many of us, this means long, hazy days in the garden. The garden should be a place to enjoy quality time together, relax, and have fun. To keep accidents at bay, it’s a good idea to employ some basic safety measures. Keep pathways clear of obstructions and obstacles. Repair broken fence posts and make sure the ground is even. Fence off pools and ponds if you have young children or pets. Keep tools in a secure garage. Never leave strimmer, hedge cutters or saws lying around.
If you’re having a barbecue, make sure you fire up the grill in an open space. Keep away from seating areas and never leave the barbecue unattended. Make sure meat is cooked through before serving.
If you’re using power tools in the garden or you’re cutting down bushes or branches, make sure you have the relevant safety equipment. Use a mask to protect your eyes and wear gloves. Always follow the usage instructions and keep clear of children and pets.
Nobody wants to live in an unsafe home. The reality is that your peaceful oasis could be harboring hidden dangers. Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to reduce the risk of accidents at home and deter burglars.
These tips will help to turn your home into a fortress and decrease the risk of electrical injuries, house fires and garden accidents. Keep on top of maintenance jobs, and call in the experts if you have any issues. Make sure you have fire and carbon monoxide alarms in place and check the batteries regularly. Notify your neighbors if you plan to go away and invest in burglar deterrents. Alarms, security lights, and cameras can all help to make your home safer. If you are going on holiday, take steps to make it look like somebody is at home. Collections of mail and unread papers are an open invitation for thieves. Consider joining a neighborhood watch scheme to give you peace of mind. If you have any questions about safety at home, your local police force can offer advice.