- Make sure furnaces, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, space heaters, and gas appliances are vented properly and inspected annually.
- Don’t hide a spare key under the doormat or a flowerpot – burglars know the good hiding places.
- Have your home tested for radon.
- Keep an updated list of emergency telephone numbers next to every phone in your home.
- Have a plan in case of natural disasters; and make sure your family knows the plan.
- Keep cleaning solutions, pesticides, and other potentially dangerous substances in their original, labeled containers, and out of reach of children.
- Invest in solid doors and good quality locks for your doors and windows.
- Always double check door and windows to make sure they are locked.
- Plant thorny bushes under all windows, and trim back trees or shrubs near doors and windows to eliminate hiding places for would-be burglars.
- Invest in an affordable alarm system.
- Do not put valuables in places where they can be seen through windows.
- Unplug appliances such as small bathroom and kitchen appliances when not in use.
- Blow out candles before leaving a room, leaving the house, or going to sleep.
- Have working smoke detectors on all levels of your home. Change batteries at least once a year, and replace smoke detectors that are more than ten years old.
- Put child proof covers on unused electrical outlets.
- Keep backyard or front yard areas safe from causing injuries. Fix broken steps, put ladders away, keep any chemicals locked away, fence in any body of water and keep gates locked.
- Use correct light bulbs in all lamps and light fixtures.
- Make sure electrical cords are in good condition.
- Invest in a carbon monoxide detector.
- Make sure your house numbers are visible both day and night.
Sources: HUD, ADT Home Security, Home Safety Services, Home Safety Council
Home Safety Council: Click on the Safety Guide tab to find home safety tip on topics such as airway obstruction, fire, flood, home improvements, playgrounds, security, storms, windows, and winter preparation among others.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Make sure your home is health for children. HUD breaks down safety tips by room and for all living areas in your home.
ADT Home Security: See how at risk you are for having your home burglarized by taking ADT’s safety quiz. And check out safety tips to keep yourself from becoming a victim.
Home Safety Services: Register for home safety seminars, ask the Safety Guy questions, or brush up on your home baby proofing skills. The Home Safety Services website also provides a home safety checklist under the site’s “Resources” tab.