From keeping dangerous foods and toys out of your baby’s reach to making sure your tween straps on a helmet, as a mom you intuitively and relentlessly look out for your kids’ safety. But you could be taking the safety of one place for granted: your home.
As a stay at home mom you and your little ones spend a big chunk of the day in and around your home, which means you must be especially vigilant about home security. So we’ve gathered five easy to implement tips to help you beef up the security of your home today.
1. Brainstorm scenarios.
From a fire breaking out to a stranger knocking at the door, to finding a burglar inside your home or hearing someone breaking in, thinking of possible dangerous scenarios and what you’ll do if they happen is an important step to preparing for the unexpected. Gather other stay at home moms or sit down with your spouse and talk about how you could handle the situation. Keep in mind, you don’t have to wait until you’re in danger to call the police. If a situation makes you feel decidedly uncomfortable or fearful there’s probably a good reason for it. Listen to your gut and call 911.
2. Keep doors locked.
Kids are constantly in and out of the house and the dog is always begging for a walk, making it easy to get lackadaisical about keeping the doors locked. But it’s critical to your family’s safety. In fact, more than 30 percent of burglars gain access to their victim’s home through an unlocked door or window.
While you’re getting in the habit of locking doors, make a concerted effort to keep the garage and shed doors locked, and always lock the doors of your car. A locked door could be enough of a deterrent to make the burglar or other bad guy move on to an easier target.
3. Identify a safe place.
Walk through every floor of your home and identify safe places you and your kids can hide if an intruder gets in. The attic, a closet or other storage spaces are good options. Consider turning the door handle around, so you can lock the door from the inside for added security. Every few months, make it a family event to practice hiding in the safe places you’ve identified.
4. Get to know your neighborhood.
Discovering what types of crime are taking place in and around your neighborhood may help you better protect your home and family. If you’re moving to a new neighborhood, take a look at these resources to help you identify low crime neighborhoods. Whether you’re new to a neighborhood or long established, it’s also a good idea to find out where sexual offenders live, and other important information about local crime. These four crime reporting websites are great tools for doing so.
5. Get a monitored home security system.
Nine out of 10 convicted burglars admit they avoided homes protected by monitored home security systems. And today’s security systems are impressively high tech and affordable. There are even a number of wireless security systems that are easy to self-install and offer an extra layer of protection because an intruder can’t cut wires to disable the system.
Modern security cameras can give you the advantage of seeing who’s knocking on the front door before you open it, plus let you check in on your sleeping baby right from an app on your smartphone. Some motion detectors will start recording video the moment they detect movement, and let you watch the video from your web enabled device. Whether you’re taking your baby for a walk or grocery shopping, you’ll have the comfort of knowing what’s going on at home.
Automatic alerts can notify your spouse or other loved when your home’s alarm activates, a door was left ajar or your child entered an off limits area such as the pool deck. High tech solutions also quickly detect fire and carbon monoxide dangers, which could help you exit your home safely.
No one expects an intruder to try and break in during the afternoon, but the fact is 38.1 percent of residential burglaries take place during daylight hours. Add to that that residents are home when about 28 percent of burglaries are carried out. Use the tips outlined above to beef up your home safety habits and help make it less likely a criminal will target your home. If you want to learn more about the many benefits of a monitored home security system, click here.
Written by Alexia Chianis
Wanderlust junky and mom of two, Alexia is a former police officer and U.S. Army Captain who draws on her experiences to write about a myriad of safety topics. Learn more