Do you lie awake at night worrying about what would happen if a storm blew in, your home set on fire or you came back to find doors flung open and your prized possessions missing? If you’re a homeowner, it’s natural to worry about the prospect of disasters. It’s not possible to prevent every problem, but there are steps you can take to protect your home from fires, floods, and opportunistic thieves. Here are some tips to help make your home as disaster-proof as possible.
Turning your home into a fortress
They say every man’s home is their castle. While you may not literally live in a castle, there’s nothing wrong with trying to turn your house into a fortress to keep burglars out. You don’t want to work hard for years for somebody else to enjoy the spoils. There are myriad security systems out there, and you can spend as much or as little as you like on smart systems, cameras, outdoor lighting, and alarms. It’s up to you how far you go with home security. If you live in an area where houses have been targeted, or you have a lot of valuable possessions that you’re keen to keep away from prying eyes, it’s worth investing in sophisticated technology. Nowadays, you can get alarms and cameras that are synced to your phone, and you can watch what’s going on from the office or the car. If the sensors are triggered, you’ll get an alert, and you can act quickly.
Of course, high-tech gadgets are not for everybody. If you don’t want to spend thousands on the latest CCTV setup or smart technology, you don’t have to. A simple alarm and some outdoor lights are often sufficient to put burglars off. If a thief spots a home with a burglar alarm next to one that doesn’t have any security measures, they’re likely to take the easier option. If you have a dog, this can also be an effective deterrent.
It may sound obvious, but it’s important to think about security when you’re not around. Make sure all the doors and windows and closed and locked before you go out or go to bed. Shut the front gates, and don’t leave anything valuable or any sets of keys where they may be seen by people passing. If you’re going away on vacation, ask a neighbor to park their car on your driveway and to open and close the curtains and empty the mailbox.
The weather can be unpredictable, and storms and heavy rain are part and parcel of life for many of us. If you live in an area that is vulnerable to hurricanes or powerful storms, you’ll be all too aware of the dangers of a your roof is in poor condition or there are holes or gaps in the walls. If you haven’t had any work done on the roof for a long time, it may be worth contacting some local roofing firms and asking them to have a look. If the roof does need work, consider adding a rubber, waterproof underlay, which will provide additional protection during spells of heavy rain.
Make sure your gutters are drains are clear. If they are blocked, water won’t drain away properly, and you’ll end up with pools of stagnant water.
Preventing house fires
Most homeowners have had at least one nightmare when they’ve watched their beloved home go up in smoke. House fires aren’t common, but they are something most of us fear. Most house fires start as a result of mishaps in the kitchen or electrical appliances being left on. Around half of fires in the US are caused by cooking. If you are rustling up a meal, don’t leave the stove unattended, and always supervise children. Most fires occur as a result of cooks leaving their pots and pans to boil over. Keep the oven and grill clean and have a fire extinguisher or fire blanket to hand.
The second most common cause of house fires is using portable heaters. This is a particularly common problem in the winter months when people tend to use additional heaters to keep warm. If you are using a space heater, position it at least 3-feet away from soft furnishings, people, and pets. Don’t ever hang damp washing or clothing on a space heater and always turn the unit off before you leave home or go to bed.
It’s also important to make sure you don’t leave any electrical appliances on while you’re out. If you’ve been straightening your hair, for example, make sure you turn your straighteners off and unplug them before you leave. Newer models often have an auto switch, which will turn the appliance off after a certain period of time, but older models may not have this safety feature. Leave your straighteners on a heatproof mat to let them cool.
If you’re a homeowner, there may be many things you fear, not least a disaster that leaves you trying to cope with emotional and financial stress. It’s not always possible to battle back against the elements or prevent burglaries or house fires, but taking these steps will help to make your home more robust and reduce the risk of unwanted emergencies. Nobody wants to come home to find a foot of water in the kitchen or smoke billowing out of the chimney. Invest in security, plug those holes and gaps and make your home watertight and pay attention to fire risks at home.