We spend a lot of time these days focusing on things like keeping our kids safe when they surf the net and making sure nobody can hack into our baby monitors. These are definitely important! It is also important, though, that you don’t forget to take steps to protect the physical and “real world” safety of your family and home too!
Before you panic and start crunching numbers, don’t worry: we’re not going to be listing a bunch of expensive products that you have to go out and buy now or risk being doomed. The majority of home security and safety, believe it or not, does not lie in the hands of the gadgets. It’s more a matter of developing good habits and using your common sense.
Get into the habit of only opening the window of the room that you are actually in and closing it when you leave. If you take the family out into the yard, make sure all of the windows and doors (except for the one leading to the backyard) are closed and locked securely. Get into the habit of locking the front (or garage) door as soon as you get inside. Get your kids into the habit of doing this as well.
During the warmer months, you can let windows sit open a bit to encourage air flow, but slip a dowel into the window track. This way nobody will be able to use the inch of air flow to slide open a window all the way.
Get a Good Security System
Budget is going to be an issue but, according to an ADT prices page, security systems and monitoring cost less than the average price of car insurance. A good rule of thumb, especially if you’re worried about your budget, is to start with basic monitoring and then upgrade as you can afford to do so (or feel the need to do so).
Thieves and intruders know how to find hidden safes and jewelry boxes. They’re also going to sift through your drawers and closets. This means you have to get creative about where you keep your valuables. This includes your jewelry as well as a USB containing your bank and credit card info and photocopies of your cards and identification information (if your wallet gets stolen). There are a lot of really great options that you can try.
A Security Plan
Make sure your family knows what to do if they hear something strange or if a home invasion happens. Put together a plan that includes places to hide (do not try to get out of the house. You increase your risk of interrupting the intruder and getting hurt) and safe words (so that your kids–and you!–won’t leave your hiding place for someone pretending to be safe but who is trying to harm you). Get into the habit of keeping your phone close to your bed so that you can grab it quickly and call for help from your hiding place. And, while we’re on the subject of phones…
Apps Are Your Friend
There are a lot of safety and security apps that you can use to alert friends and law enforcement when you get into trouble and don’t feel safe enough to actually make a phone call. These apps will let you simply press a button and send a series of texts and alerts to people you trust that you need help. The best are the apps that will require action to stop the process instead of start it. You activate the app and then, unless you enter a security code within a certain amount of time–local law enforcement is alerted and given directions to your location.
What are some of the creative and budget friendly things you’ve done to secure your home and keep your family safe?