Tips to Protect Your Family From the Unpredictable

Written by | Updated March 11, 2015

While it’s important to have a monitored home security system, it can’t protect you from everything that can happen to you or your home. Be aware of these life risks and how you can use other tools to help keep you safe in these situations.

Natural Disasters

Weather reports on your television, radio, or a smartphone app are some trustworthy sources to alert you if a natural disaster is expected in your area. Monitor these weather reports as best you can to prepare your home accordingly before an oncoming natural disaster. To take other, more specific safety measures, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers an extensive checklist for home and business owners.

Another way to help protect your home in the event of a natural disaster is with homeowners insurance. This monthly premium, which you pay with your mortgage, can save you financially in the event that your home sustains damage from a natural disaster. Homeowners insurance usually does not cover floods, so you need additional flood insurance if you live in an area prone to flooding.

Slips and Falls

As one of the most common in-home injuries, falls happen due to things like unruly wires, objects stranded on the floor, awkward steps, bumps in the carpet, slippery floors, and showers or bathtubs. Keep walkways and high-traffic areas clear of objects and wires, especially if you have elderly relatives living with you. When you mop the floor, keep everyone away from it until it’s dry. Place bathmats in your tub or shower and a slide-proof rug outside it to help prevent falls from water.

Childproof Your Home

If you have young children, particularly toddlers, they are bound to explore their surroundings. This means they can find their way into dangerous situations, so it’s important you childproof your home. Comb your home for anything that could be potentially dangerous for your children, and move or safeguard it to help ensure your children’s safety.

Put up baby gates in doorways to keep them out of rooms they shouldn’t be in and near stairs to help prevent falls. Put childproof locks on your cabinets to keep the little ones away from hazards like knives, scissors, cleaning chemicals, and any other dangerous items. Keep matches, lighters, and other fire-starting items far out of reach. Don’t keep glass or other breakable objects anywhere your children can knock them over and be hurt by sharp fragments.

Identity Theft

With modern technology, it’s easier for hackers to steal your identity and commit fraud. This can have an array of consequences for you, from stolen money to a lower credit rating. To protect yourself from identity theft, don’t write down your passwords or PIN numbers on pieces of paper or store them on your computer where they can easily be found. Don’t carry your social security card with you; keep all important personal information in a safe place, preferably under lock and key. Install firewalls and anti-virus programs on your computer, and update them frequently. Watch what types of information you share online, particularly with businesses or websites you are not familiar with.

Outdoor Theft

Your home security system may have outdoor cameras and/or motion sensors to help guard against theft outside of your home. But not everyone does this, so if you don’t have these features, it’s important to protect your possessions outside the walls of your home. This could include bicycles, lawn equipment, furniture, children’s outdoor toys, and the BBQ. When possible, keep these items hidden from plain sight, such as pulled in closer to the house, under a car port, or into a garage or shed, preferably one you can lock.

Also be mindful of car theft. If you have a garage, store your car in there, which may be protected by your home security system. If this isn’t possible, consider purchasing a car alarm system or other anti-theft mechanism.

One of the best things you can do to help protect your home is to install and use a monitored security system, but your security measures shouldn’t stop there. Keep these situations in mind to form a plan that helps protect you and your home no matter what happens.

Written by Carolyn Heneghan

Carolyn is a nutrition and environmental crusader who loves using and exploring technology almost as much as she enjoys writing about it. Learn more

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