Home Safety Equipment & Accessories

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Home security is on almost everybody's mind these days. Your home is probably the biggest investment you'll make, and protecting it from accident or intrusion is vital. From new high-tech devices to simple time-tested approaches, you'll find excellent features to keep your home safe from danger or intrusion on almost any budget

Simple Basic Features to Deter Intrusion

When protecting your home from unwanted intruders, making your home an unappealing target is a great way to start. Most burglars want to get in and out of a home as quickly as possible, so if a particular house looks like a time consuming job they will probably look elsewhere. Many of the best deterrents are simple ideas that have been around for years. Here are just a few:

    • Good yard visibility: A well-trimmed yard with no place for intruders to hide is one of your best security features. Design and maintain your landscaping so trees or bushes don't hide any of the entry points of your home.
    • Deadbolt locks: Choose a good quality, heavy-duty lock with a one-inch throw-bolt and a heavy-duty, four-screw strike plate with three-inch screws for each exterior door of your home.
    • Timers: Timers are an inexpensive way to have your lights, televisions and stereos turn on and off at intervals you choose, to make your home appear occupied when you are away.
    • Motion sensors: These devices turn on lights when motion is detected.
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  • Window protection: Augment the power of window locks with blocking devices that limit how wide your windows can be opened. Experts recommend allowing windows to open six inches for ventilation and that blocking devices be easily removable from inside bedroom windows in case emergency escape becomes necessary.
  • Sliding door protection: Charley bars prevent your sliding glass doors from being forced open. Anti-lift devices prevent intruders from lifting out your doors entirely.
  • Sturdy exterior doors: The safest exterior doors are solid metal or wood with a wide-angle peephole.
  • Plexiglas shields: To make an exterior door with decorative glass less vulnerable, consider a Plexiglas shield.

Latest High-Tech Features to Keep the Burglars Away

If your budget permits, modern high-tech features take your home security up a notch. Some ideas you may want to incorporate include:

  • Alarm systems: The best alarm systems automatically notify the police as well as create enough sound to scare off would-be burglars. Alarm systems are now available with remote access control, so you can arm or disarm your system no matter where you are.
  • Other remote systems: Control home lights and appliances from a remote location with your smart phone so that your home always appears occupied. These systems also allow you to lock and unlock your doors while away.
  • Video surveillance systems: Identify anyone who visits your property with video surveillance. Some systems are equipped with computer storage for later viewing and access to real-time images through e-mail or cell phone.
  • Text and e-mail notifications of home events: Find out right away if someone has tried to gain access to your home with systems that send notifications when a security event has occurred.

Safety Features to Protect From Accidents and Emergencies

The best home security systems are pointless if your house or life is lost due to fire, smoke, toxic fumes or natural disaster. Complete your home security package with these essential safety features:

  • Fire extinguishers: Put out fires while they are still small to prevent devastating damage and injury.
  • Smoke detectors: These devices save countless lives by alerting residents to fire when they are sleeping or when the fire is still too small for them to smell it themselves.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors: Deadly carbon monoxide is odorless, and these devices sound an alarm to help you get out to fresh air while you still can in the event of a leak.
  • Fire escape ladders: If you are trapped upstairs during a fire, an escape ladder creates a safe exit route through a window.
  • First aid kit: Treating common injuries right away saves lives. Start your first aid kit with at least a selection of bandages, gauze and tape, antiseptic, instant ice packs, tweezers, antibiotic ointment and a barrier device in case you need to perform CPR.
  • Emergency preparedness kit: To be ready for a natural disaster, prepare a kit containing emergency supplies you'll need. Include a few days worth of non-perishable food and fresh water, flashlight, batteries, necessary prescription medicines and extra clothing.

General Home Safety Tips

To get the most from your home's safety and security features, remember these simple tips:

  • Always lock up your home and arm your alarm system, even if you're only leaving for a few minutes.
  • Conceal all wires on alarm systems so burglars can't find them and cut them.
  • Try to make your house look occupied at all times. Don't let mail and newspapers pile up where potential intruders could spot them.
  • Install outdoor lighting so entrance points to your house are visible at night.
  • Never leave notes on the outside of your door for friends or service people when you're not home.
  • Never let anyone into your house unless you are absolutely sure of who they are.
  • Change your locks right away if you lose your keys.

Peace of Mind through Preparedness

A home isn't complete until it has features installed to protect against intrusion and accidents. Taking the time to be prepared helps insure that you and your family will enjoy a safe and secure home for a lifetime.

Last Updated: July 23, 2012
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About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

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