As summer settles in on us, we begin to think of our vacations, what to do with the kids while they are home, and general summer fun. While those things are great, its also the time to think about home security. The summer months are the time of year with the highest crime rates and most intrusions and thefts typically happen during the day while families are out on vacations or busy at White Water Bay, summer camps, and other fun activities. This is also the time of year kids are home more, fires are more likely to happen, and water related accidents are more likely to occur. In our case, our baby is in the middle of becoming a toddler and is active more than ever. Home security involves everything from protecting the house from intruders as well as protecting the people inside from unnecessary accidents.
Protecting your home from break ins can take just an hour and save you many days of heart ache and loss. I always recommend a home security system such as ADT or First Alert who can have emergency vehicles to your door in as little as ten minutes and they also help monitor smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Also, one of the best crime prevention tips I can give is to put out a sign that says “Home Protected By [insert security system here]” as it is a warning to any potential intruders. Other ways you can secure your home when on vacation are:
- Make sure you have a deadbolt on all doors that access the outside
- Thread a plastic zip tie through the emergency release latch of your automatic garage door
- Put the lights in your home on timers while you are gone
- Do not put it on social media that you are gone. Tell everyone about your vacation afterwards when you post the awesome pictures.
- Close blinds and curtains
- Ask someone you trust to put out/put up trash cans
- Ask someone to take up your mail or call the post office and have them put it on hold
- Set the alarm and lock up. The number one failure of a security system is not using it
Protecting your little inhabitants from themselves in your home can be equally as busy and equally as important. Small children can really cause damage to themselves and your furniture and it is best to prepare your home for when they begin to explore.
- Wall plugin protecters, door handle guards, oven knob guards, sharp edge guards and all the other baby proofing products are out there are a great choice for your home. Especially the toilet lock – to keep your child from throwing things in it and to prevent water accidents.
- Drain bathtubs before leaving them out of your sight and keep dog/cat water bowls away from toddlers
- Keep gates closed around pools and hot tubs at all times
- Have a Tornado and Fire plan that you have discussed with your children and rehearsed
- Keep all cords out of reach so that children cannot pull the things attached to them on their heads
- Have a fire extinguisher in a noticeable place in the kitchen
- Shorten cords to blinds but do not put loops that the child can put it’s head through them
- Secure all furniture to the wall
- Mount TVs on the wall or secure them to the furniture
- Keep houseplants out of reach
- Baby gates around stairs
- Talk to your older children and explain to them what is dangerous around your home and why they should not mess with it/touch it
All homes are different and all families are different but these are some general tips to help you keep your home safe and secure this summer!