Did you know that almost 50% of unintentional injuries happen in our own homes? It’s scary to think knowing that our home should be the safest place for families. Aside from accidents, burglaries and cybercrimes are the next highest threats to kids at home.
Thankfully, there are easy ways you can keep your home a safe place for your loved ones. Just choose 1 or 2 at a time and you can increase your safety this coming weekend! .
Throughout this article, be sure to check out the links referenced in each section for great resources for how to make improvements.
Why prevention is the best way for home security
Prevention should be your top priority if you want to protect your family from injuries, burglaries, and cybercrimes since it’s normally the easiest option. First, look around and check which areas in your home are vulnerable.
Need to beef up your door security? Do you need to install alarm and smoke sensors? Is your internet connection secured? Do your children know what to do when there are strangers outside your door?
If you know the weakest links in your home, then you can immediately improve your home’s security and safety.
Short on time? Try these Basic Security Precautions
The moment you move into a new home, make sure that you consider the basic security precautions. It’s simple and will benefit you in the long run. You can do these in a matter of minutes:
- Look for areas in your home that have weak security. Think like a criminal so you can find the weak links and fix them right away.
- If you have elderly or young children at home, make sure that areas prone to accidents are fixed or hand rails are installed (such as the bathroom and kitchen).
- Review the background and references of your housekeepers. Hire cleaners that come from an agency with outstanding records or glowing personal recommendations.
- Never put your complete first and last names on the mailbox. Instead, use only your initials.
- Make sure that your wireless internet connection is secured at all times.
- Lock your windows and doors every time you come in or leave the house. Most home burglaries happen during the day!
- Work with neighbors to alert one another of any suspicious activity, people, or unfamiliar vehicles in the area.
- Always trim any trees or shrubs near your doors and windows. Keep your lawn well maintained to prevent hiding spots for burglars.
- Never let strangers come inside your home. Be cautious when service people come to your home. Ask for their identification and, when in doubt, call the company and ask about the person.
Security Tips for Families - Comprehensive Guide
Secure the Garage, Windows, and Doors
The garage, windows, and doors can be the weakest link in your house if these are not properly secured. Here’s what you can do to beef up your home security:
- Fix door and window frames if you see signs of rot
- Fortify glass doors or windows with security bars and consider security film for first floor windows
- Change door locks when moving to a new home
- Conceal your spare keys in unusual places if hiding them outdoors
- Use high-quality deadbolt locks in all your entry doors (spring-latch locks can be easily opened with a credit card)
- If you have glass sliding doors, make sure to secure it with a metal rod
- Make sure that door hinges are placed inside, not outside, the house
- Reinforce your windows and doors so they won’t be easily opened, this is the number one entry point for burglars
- Cover garage windows and make sure the door is always closed
- Install a C-clamp on your garage door or a lock to make it difficult to open when you’re on long trips
- Add a peephole or a camera that lets you to check on visitors without opening the door
- Make sure that all your tools are concealed or properly hidden so they can’t be used against you
- Consider installing an alarm system to guard your doors and windows
Know Your Neighbors
Teach Kids About Home Safety
Always teach your kids not to open the door to anyone (except parents or grandparents). If the visitor is a family friend, teach your kids to let them wait outside and call you first.
You should also make sure that children have access to emergency telephone numbers. These include numbers to the nearest police station, fire station, and ambulance.
When teaching kids about home safety and security, it is important that you not only tell them but actually show them how to do it. Role-playing can be a great way to teach young children how to respond properly when strangers come to your home or if there are unexpected emergencies.
Plan Ahead When Taking Long Vacations
Thieves love going for an empty house. If you have plans for a long vacation, make sure that you take the necessary steps to prevent burglars from taking advantage of your empty home. You can do these:
- Never post announcements about your long vacation on social media ahead of time.
- Set the volume of your landline off or at a low setting. Unanswered telephone calls are an obvious indicator that no one is home.
- Hire a house sitter to stay or ask a neighbor to visit your home daily while you’re away.
- Use lights and timers to turn on your TV or radio randomly. This will make your home look lived-in even during the night.
- Keep your yard clean and maintained.Trim the shrubs to avoid hiding spots for potential burglars.
Ask the post office to temporarily suspend sending you mail until you return home.
Use Deterrents Such As Security Lights and Dogs
Install A Home Security System
Carbon Monoxide and Fire Prevention
Identify Emergency Resources and Plans
Install Smoke and CO Detectors
Family Escape Plans
Being prepared is always better than not having anything at all. We don’t want accidents to happen but we should always have an exit plan that everyone knows about. You can do these:
- Make sure you consider an exit plan (two ways out from each of the rooms in your house).
- Always have a window-escape ladder for second-story windows.
- Keep corridors and stairways free from obstructions.
- Make sure to keep your bedroom door closed. In case of fire, this will decrease the smoke and heat inside. If the door is hot, don’t open it. Find another way to escape (such as a window).
Regular Checking of Appliances and Heaters
Invest in Fire Extinguishers
Teach Children About Fire Safety
Monitor Online Activities
Use passwords that are hard to crack
Teach kids about basic internet safety
Keep your software updated
Use firewall and antivirus protection software
Beware of phishing scams
Secure your personal information
Keep cleaning products, tools, and harmful chemicals out of reach
Organize your basement and garage
Install grab bars in your shower
Don’t place appliances and other electronics near water
Hi, I’m Christy, and I’m an electronics engineer by profession. I have taught in a university for 2 years while pursuing my master’s degree in cognitive radio and worked for a company to develop wireless medical devices. Currently, I’m doing research for a doctorate degree in engineering using a wireless sensor network for smart agriculture. I’ve been active in our local IoT community, IoT Cebu, where I participate in conducting talks about Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and DIY home automation using Wi-Fi and ZigBee devices.