When it comes to keeping your home and family safe, you can never be too careful.

Chances are, you are doing your best to keep your home secure, but sometimes we overlook the most important details. Here are six reminders about at-home essentials to have to help you stay safe.

1. Install Smoke Detectors

Working smoke alarms are the only things in your home that are constantly monitoring for problems so your family could be immediately alerted of an emergency. It doesn’t matter if you’re asleep or cooking dinner in the kitchen, a smoke detector is always on alert. According to the National Fire Protection Association, two-thirds of all home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms, so don’t be part of that statistic. This is an inexpensive way to help you and your loved ones stay alive.

2. Get a Security System

Any list of home safety tips should include getting a home security system. According to a study at Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice, a home security system decreases the chance of burglary. Your home becomes unattractive to a potential thief when a home security system is known and visible. If you don’t have a home security system yet, check out the SafeWise security system finder to help you find the right one for your home.

3. Alert a Neighbor When You Go on Vacation

If you’re going to be out of town for any extended period of time, be sure to tell a neighbor your plans. Ask this trusted neighbor to pick up your newspapers and bring your mail in, or get both of these services halted while you’re away, as seeing the paper or mail stacking up is a sure sign you aren’t home. You could also ask your neighbor to park his car in your driveway while you are gone to make it look like someone is home. Your home should look lived in while you are away. A neighbor can also help watch for suspicious behavior in or around your home and tip off police if there is a problem.

4. Upgrade to Motion Detector Lights

Motion detecting lights in the backyard and on paths leading to your home can help deter theft. These lights turn on when they detect motion, which can help deter burglars from coming near your home. If they do, a light turning on is likely to scare them away, protecting your home from their prying hands.

5. Don’t Leave the Garage Door Opener in the Car

Never leave the garage door opener in the car, even when your car is parked in the garage, because this is like offering direct access to your home to a burglar. Be sure to take your car keys with you too. A lot of people don’t just keep their car keys on their key ring, but the keys to their home as well, offering up easy access to your home and belongings again.

6. Keep Personal Information Offline

The nature of social media encourages us to share personal information without thinking twice about who may see your status updates. Don’t tip criminals off by sharing your daily routine or vacation plans online. When sharing on social media, don’t ever use your address, post your daily schedule, update your status from the airport, or post vacation photos when you’re away.

What other safety reminders do you think are important for people to know?

Written by Hillary Johnston

A proud mother of four, Hillary is passionate about safety education. She holds a degree in Public Health and Disaster Management. Learn more

Share with your awesome friends.