The world is full of pitfalls, dangerous situations and unscrupulous people. Our home is our safe cocoon away from all that, but that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. If you have kids, it’s particularly important to take safety precautions at home.
We’re all very busy with life, but protecting our kids is priority number one. Since I know you all are working on a full schedule already, I’ve boiled it down to three key things to focus on if you want to make your home a safer place for your family.
Monitored Alarm System
If you only do one thing to improve safety, home security system monitoring should be it. Simply having an alarm system in place is enough to deter most burglars. However, there is a small percentage they will still break in no matter what. To keep those guys out of your home and away from your family, you’ll need a monitored system.
Alarm system monitoring comes in many forms:
- Monitoring by an alarm company – Systems that are monitored by an alarm company are often cited as the safest. Experts at the company’s monitoring system will alert you and the authorities if an alarm is triggered.
- Motion sensor monitoring – Motion sensors that are connected to a wireless hub in the home can send alerts if a window or door is opened.
- Connected camera monitoring – Cameras that feed video to the web or an app are the latest way to keep tabs on your home while you’re away. Some people are also putting connected cameras at their front door so they can see who’s knocking.
A monitored alarm system will be a monthly expense, but it could help you save money on your home insurance premiums. And the peace of mind is priceless.
Smart Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms save lives – period. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) gathers a lot of scary statistics on fires in the U.S. In 2013 alone there were 369,500 home fires. During those fires 2,755 people died and 12,200 were injured.
Fire safety is about taking preventive measures and alerting people in the event there is a fire so they can get out in time. Today’s smart smoke alarms are making the latter part more effective. They connect into wireless Internet so that the alarms can be monitored via an app. If the alarm senses smoke or fire, you’ll automatically get an alert. Some alarms are so advanced they can tell you what part of your home is affected.
Smoke alarm best practices everyone should follow include:
- Place a smoke alarm inside and outside of each bedroom and in the main living area.
- There should be at least one smoke alarm on each floor of the home.
- Test the batteries every six months. This is another advantage of smart smoke alarms, because they will alert you if the battery is low.
- Never disconnect your smoke alarms.
- Interconnect your smoke alarms when possible so that when one goes off they all go off.
- Use a smoke detector that has both photoelectric and ionization alarms.
- Only use smoke alarms that have been tested by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
No matter what type of smoke alarm you use the tips above will make sure everything is working properly so your family is protected.
Have a Plan for Handling Emergencies
If someone breaks in, a fire breaks out or Mother Nature comes knocking on your door do you know how you’ll react? Do your kids know what to do during an emergency?
Taking the time to plan for the unexpected can save you precious seconds when an emergency strikes. Experts highly recommend that families discuss handling disasters before they happen.
- Have different plans for different scenarios – Emergencies aren’t all the same, which means your disaster plans shouldn’t be either.
- You should have an escape plan in the event of a fire as well as alternate plans depending on where the fire is in the home.
- A safety plan for a break in that includes how to get out of the house undetected and alerting the authorities.
- There should also be a plan for evacuating during a natural disaster.
- Practice your emergency plans should be practiced .
- Keep a bug out bag that is packed with a first aid kit, map of the area, water bottles and copies of important documents in case you have to leave immediately.
- Decide on a rendezvous point in case family members are separated during a disaster.
- Consider keeping a roll-out ladder on the second floor so there is a safe escape route.
Planning and practicing emergency evacuations may seem like overkill, but everyday people are faced with these life or death situations. If it happens to your family you’ll be more confident everyone will make it out alright.
*cover photo source: Nest, post photo sources: pixabay.com
Norman Jenkins, founder, President, and CEO of Capstone ...