How to Maintain a Safe, Secure Home
How do you keep your home safe? That’s the perennial question for homeowners. You not only need to maintain your home to a standard where it’s safe, warm, and dry – you also need to consider home security. How can you juggle all of the elements of home safety and security and create a home that is calm, cozy, and a hub for your family life?
Plan for a Healthy, Well-Maintained Home
To prevent home safety and security disasters, your first order of business is to plan for a healthy home. A healthy home is one that’s well-maintained over the course of months and years, so that you don’t need to worry that a serious problem will compromise the integrity and safety of your home. Better Homes and Gardens says that “Like a health physical, routine maintenance is important for every home’s upkeep and well-being.” To keep your home safe, secure, and healthy, check the following areas of your home:
- Stairs, porches, railings, and decks to ensure that they are safe and not rotten
- The infrastructure of your home: electrical, plumbing, hot water, heat, and major appliances. Clean and update them, and check for any signs of problems. Address problems as they occur to ensure that they do not become any bigger.
- Home structures or appliances that are used daily require ongoing care. For example, cleaning out the dryer vent or the gutters will prevent problems such as fire and flooding.
- The attic, foundation, and siding, for cracks that could damage the structure and also lead to unhealthy mildew and mold growth
Upgrade Your Home Lighting
During the summer months, it’s easy to forget about home lighting and how it relates to home safety. However, good lighting is not only important to prevent falls, it’s also an essential part of promoting home security. Ask yourself the following questions as you look into the safety of your home lighting:
- Do you have pathway lighting?
- Do your stairs and front porch have lights?
- Do you have motion-sensor lights?
- Are your lights on a timer when you’re out late or away?
- Does your house number have a light in case of emergencies?
Avoid Falls and Other Injuries
When you’re active around the house and the garden, there’s the possibility for falls and other injuries. The home that shelters you can also become a place where you get hurt. In fact, depending on whether you’re male or female, 42-54 percent of injuries take place in the home, according to the CDC. You spend a lot of time in your home over the years, and you need to make it safe by taking the following actions:
- Check the safety of ladders and avoid using them when possible. For instance, you can add gutter guards to your gutters so that you don’t need to get up on a ladder to clean them.
- Manage your walkways and stairs in the winter so that you avoid ice buildup.
- Install handrails near stairs and paths.
- Check the integrity of play equipment and yard equipment every year. Make sure it is up to date and has not been recalled.
- Look for rot on decks, porches, and stairs
- Manage the water flow and landscaping in your yard to minimize falls. For example, you could note places where there is a lot of mud and add drainage to make the area less slippery.
Securing Your Home
Unfortunately, when you have a home you need to consider the fact that others may want to take what is in it. However, you can help yourself feel much more secure by undertaking certain security measures around your home, providing a disincentive to break-ins and vandalism.
- Are your valuables visible from the street?
- Is it easy to access your home? For example, do you have a ladder out in your yard?
- Do you have a peephole in your door so that you can see who is there?
- How do your doors lock? Do you have deadbolts? How about your sliding glass doors?
- Do your windows lock easily, in a way that’s also easy to undo in case of a fire?
- Are your doors and windows secure in their frames?
- Do you store an extra key? Where do you store it? It’s safer at a friend’s house than under the doormat.
- How are the sight lines into and out of your home? Can you see people coming? Can they see your home? Are there a lot of hiding places around your home?
- What are your plans for vacations? Does someone take care of your home?
Prevent Home Disasters
While they may not impact your entire neighborhood like a hurricane would, home disasters such as a tree that falls on the home or a house fire can have a big impact on your family. While you can’t always prevent these disasters from happening, there is actually a lot that you can do to make sure that your home is safe:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas. Make sure that they work.
- Add fire extinguishers around the home.
- Plan your family’s escape routes from your home.
- Check your electrical wiring and the wiring of any appliances in your home.
- Keep a 3-foot safety perimeter around heaters such as space heaters, baseboard heaters, and fireplaces.
- Avoid burning candles in rooms where people are not present.
- Stay in the kitchen while you’re cooking.
- Prune branches and cut down rotting trees to prevent them from falling on your home.
Preparing for Emergencies
Have you run through all of the “just in case” scenarios for your home? Being prepared with a plan for fire, home damage, a power outage, a health emergency, or a serious natural disaster could mean the difference between comfort and discomfort – or in some cases, the difference between life and death. Prepare your home and your family for emergencies by asking and addressing these questions:
- Can emergency vehicles clearly see your house number from the street?
- Do you have a carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm, and do you check them regularly?
- Do you have fire extinguishers in your home?
- Do you know how to turn off the water and the gas in case of emergency?
- Do you have food and water available for emergencies such as prolonged power outages? How about an alternative heat and power source?
- Are you prepared for a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake? What is your family’s plan, and what supplies do you have available?
Making your home safe and secure can be a lot of work. You need a partner on your side to help you with products and experience that will keep your home safe. At Harry Helmet, we know that you value family and security. That’s why we create products that keep your home safe. Contact us to learn more about gutter guards and schedule a free estimate today.