Summertime can be fun. Barbecues, backyard parties, picnics, swimming pools and travel beckon. And so do the smells of grilled meat! But your fun in the sun could be short-lived if you fail to take summertime safety precautions. To help you make the summer of 2015 your best ever, we have compiled some tips to help you avoid potential peril.
Summertime Safety Starts at Home
Whether you plan to enjoy a staycation or leave your house for a short or extended period of time, there are several things to consider, which will keep your home safe this summer. In this three-part series, we will cover ways to protect yourself in the summer whether you plan to leave or stay at home. In the next several blog posts, we will cover safety at home, while traveling, and around water.
This week, we will focus on ways to make your home safe.
- If you plan to leave for vacation, make copies of all of your important information, so you will have everything on hand. For example, record your credit card account numbers as well as customer service phone numbers in case you notice fraudulent activity on your accounts while you are away from home. Also, don’t forget to pack vital documents such as insurance cards, passports, emergency contacts and health information about your pets.
- Before you leave, lock every door and window in your home. And, if applicable, call your alarm company to let them know you will be on vacation. This is critical even if your trip is short. According to the FBI, more than half (53%) of home burglaries happen during the day. So homeowners should secure doors and windows every time they leave their home—even if they plan to be gone for only a few hours. Of course, if you have a watchdog, this may not be necessary. I guess you should decide on a case-by-case basis.
- No matter how excited you are to share your travel experiences on social media, resist the urge to post everything on Facebook or Twitter. Thieves have learned to check out social media posts to determine targets of opportunity. When it comes to your house, keep them guessing. That’s the reason I don’t tweet or post about my schedule. Well, that, and because I like to avoid the paparazzi.
- Don’t leave clues about your absence on your front porch. Nothing says “empty house” more than having stacks of newspapers on the porch or mail hanging out of an overstuffed box. You can avoid both by putting a vacation hold on subscriptions as well as mail.
- Make your home as unattractive to burglars as possible. Make sure shrubs are well trimmed, so there is nowhere for thieves to hide. Consider installing a security system with cameras to deter would-be robbers.
- Take steps to make sure your house is as difficult as possible to break into.
- Don’t ever hide a key under the mat or above the door.
- Use heavy, solid doors with deadbolt locks.
- Don’t forget about doors between an attached garage and the house. Purchase and install as heavy duty equipment on it as you do for the front and back doors.
- Install poles so windows and sliding glass doors won’t slide.
- Light up your house with motion sensors and floodlights. Thieves don’t like to operate on stage. So lighting is an inexpensive way to burglar-proof your home.
- Prominently display security signs…even if you don’t subscribe to a security system. The idea is to deter as many would-be thieves as possible.
- If you do subscribe to a security system, don’t write your passcode on a post-it and put it next to your keypad. Doing so will defeat the entire purpose of having the system.
- Get a guard dog! (Just a friendly firedog suggestion.)
Check back next week, when we will cover personal safety relative to summer travel. We hope this blog post will motivate you to do whatever it takes to #BeSafe. A convenient and affordable way to make sure you are prepared for disasters and emergencies of virtually every kind is to subscribe to the RJWestmore Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services, which has been designed to help improve and save lives.
Visit RJWestmore.com to read about the many ways proper planning can make a difference in numerous aspects of your professional and personal life.