Today, there is more and more importance placed on protecting your home with fire detectors, security cameras, alarms, and related security devices. Perhaps just as important is adjusting your behaviors so that you do not place yourself in undue harm, rather than relying on security systems to stop the threat. Whether you have young kids or teens living at home or live by yourself, home security should be your top priority.
Establish these five everyday safety and security rules with your family to make sure that your home security plan keeps you all safe.
1. No leaving the house until the alarms are on and the doors are locked. Make a point to conduct a check of doors and windows before you leave. Alarms and locks only protect your home when you use them. Don't get careless as time passes - it only takes once for a burglar to get in.
2. No opening the door to strangers or taking their phone calls. Young children should not be permitted to open the door or answer the phone. Older children should be instructed not to open the door unless they know the person. It is important to stress that this rule still applies even if they are wearing the uniform of a delivery person or repairman, a common ruse used by criminals to get inside a home.
3. Don't leave the doors open carelessly. Do you commonly leave the garage door open while you're working in the backyard, or the front door open to let a breeze in while you're out by the pool? Any door open for an extended period of time is an invitation for thieves to walk right in. You might think that you would notice if someone walked into your home unannounced,but the truth is, you probably wouldn't. If you must leave the door open, install a door chime alert.
4. Everyone carries a key. As soon as your kids are old enough to be coming and going on their own, make sure that they have a house key with them at all times. Don't rely on a hide-a-key (or worse, simply leaving the door unlocked) as part of a daily routine. They should also know how to set and disarm door and window alarms.
5. House rules for parties and curfews. If you have teens, you know how frustrating enforcing these rules can be, but they are among the most important rules to have for your teens. If you're going to be away for the night, make it clear that they should not throw a party in your absence. This could open your family to a wide variety of threats, from teenage drinking to a guest stealing your jewelry. The danger isn't just at home, of course. While away very late at night, teens can get into all sorts of trouble. If they are frequently out at night, make sure they carry pepper spray or a similar device and that you've talked about safety with them.