When is the last time you thought about the safety and security of your home? How about thinking about it right now? Do you do the following? If not, start, today:
- Do you have propane tanks for a gas grill? Or gasoline cans with gas in them? They aren’t supposed to be stored inside. Put them is a safe secure place where kids can’t access them.
- Do you have both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? When is the last time you inspected them? Check the batteries and make sure they are not collecting lint and dust. If you can, integrate them, too. This way, if one goes off in the kitchen, the detectors throughout the house will also get triggered. Set a note in your calendar to replace the battery’s every 6 months.
- Does your mailbox lock? If not, consider upgrading to one that does. This way, mail that contains sensitive information won’t just sit out there for the taking.
- If you are using an extension cord outside, make sure that it is made for outdoor appliances. Others can cause fires or trip causing other issues.
- Don’t leave any notes on your door claiming that you will be home later. This is the case even if you are expecting a package.
- Understand that if there is a power outage, your food in the freezer should last for up to 48 hours. Use a generator or stock up on non-perishable food.
- When you use an oily rag, put it outside to dry. Then, store it in a metal can with a secure lid. Even if it looks dry, an oily rag is still flammable even if it isn’t in contact with flames.
- Don’t try to charge a non-rechargeable battery. This could make it explode.
- To dissuade burglars from getting into windows, plant thorny shrubs and bushes around them.
- If you have a home security system, make sure everyone knows. Place the company’s decals and signs around your home and yard. If you don’t have one, buy and place signs up anyway. It will still dissuade burglars.
- When it snows, shovel the driveway and create a path to your home. This shows the bad guys that someone is home. And various town and city ordinances require this or you’ll get fined.
- Before you leave on vacation, set your home phone’s ringer on mute. This way, if a burglar is staking out your home, your phone won’t be a dead giveaway.
- Before you leave town, put a hold on your mail and newspaper. Don’t let it pile up.
- Also, ask a friend or neighbor to park their car in your driveway if you are away. This way, a burglar will always think someone is home.
While away on vacation, don’t post about it on social media. Burglars often search social media sites to see who in the neighborhood is away.
Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.