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Five Ways To Keep Your Home Safe

There are many aspects to home safety. Your home faces danger from fire, burglars, pests, and weather. There's also the danger of personal injury occuring in your home. The severity can range from annoying to catastrophic. But with a little foresight, you can prevent or minimize the damage. Here are some things you should do.

  1. Protect yourself from fire. Make sure your smoke detectors have fresh batteries at least once a year. Pick a date to change them (January 1 and July 4, for example) that you will remember. Keep a fire extinguisher in areas where fire is likely (kitchen, garage). If you have a wood-burning fireplace, have the chimney cleaned regularly.
  2. Protect yourself from theft. Install a home alarm system, and use it. If you like pets, get a dog. Make sure your house is locked and secure. When you are away for an extended period, put lights on timers so it looks like someone is home, cancel the newspaper and mail, and alert neighbors to watch for suspicious activity around your home.
  3. Termites, rodents, and other pests can damage your home and spoil your foodstuffs. Have your home inspected periodically for termites, and consider contracting with a pest control service for regular spraying and inspections.
  4. Mother Nature can damage your home and belongings as well. Make sure you are prepared for high winds by tying down yard items or moving them into sheltered areas. Make sure your roof and flashings are in good condition to prevent water leaks in heavy rain and snow. Insulate outdoor water pipes to prevent freezing, and turn off and drain sprinkler systems if you experience freezing temperatures in your area.
  5. Finally, keep your home safe from things that can cause personal injury. Remove tripping and falling hazards as soon as you discover them. In winter, keep your sidewalks free from ice and snow. Use extreme caution when engaging in household projects, especially those requiring power tools and ladders.

Above all, make sure that your home is covered by adequate homeowners' insurance. Review your policy yearly to make sure that full replacement cost of your home is covered in case of total loss. If you keep valuables in the home, consider a rider to cover them. And if you live in a flood or earthquake zone, make sure you have the proper coverage. Insurance won't prevent disasters, but it will help you recover from them.