From vowing to eat healthier to committing to a budget, the New Year is a natural time to make changes that can help improve your life. It’s also the perfect time to take steps to elevate your family’s safety and security.

To help get you started, we’ve compiled a list of eight simple yet effective safety and security resolutions for 2015.

1. Check doors and windows routinely.

Roughly 30 percent of burglars enter a home through an unlocked front door, and 23 percent take advantage of an unlocked first-floor window. No matter how safe you feel your neighborhood is, it’s important to get into the habit of keeping your home’s doors and windows shut and locked.

2. Activate your monitored home security system faithfully.

If your family has become lackadaisical about activating your home’s security system, it’s time to make a change. As a family, commit to activating your home security system every time you enter or exit your home. If you don’t have a monitored home security system, 2015 is the year to get one.  A monitored home security system will make your home one third less likely to be burglarized than a home without a security system, plus your insurance company may reduce your homeowners’ premium by up to 20 percent.

3. Sign up for home automation.

Home automation technology allows you to control many aspects of your home via your smartphone or other Internet connected device. From locking and unlocking doors to watching real-time video of your home, home automation can help you improve your family’s safety and security this year. Pair home automation with a home security system and boost the value of both technologies.

4. Evaluate your family emergency kit.

In addition to basic medical supplies, a well stocked family emergency kit contains copies of important paperwork, basic tools, prescriptions, food, water, clothing and more. Make sure every member of your family knows where the family emergency kit is stored, and check its contents every few months to ensure it meets your family’s changing needs.

5. Commit to cleaning out the medicine cabinet quarterly.

There’s a good chance your medicine cabinet contains more than a handful of outdated or no longer needed medicines that can pose a threat to your family. Clean out the cabinet quarterly, and dispose of the medicine by flushing it down the toilet or washing it down the sink.

6. Start using a crime app.

CrimeReports is one example of a crime app that can help you stay informed about what type of crime is happening in and around your neighborhood. You can use the app to filter crimes by location, type and date, as well as access national sex offender data. Sign up to receive crime alerts and stay one step ahead of the bad guys.

7. Close the curtains.

It’s not uncommon for a burglar to peek through windows to see what goodies your home has to offer, so habitually close the curtains at night and anytime you’re not home.

8. Fingerprint your children.

One of the easiest things you can do this year to help protect your children is to have them fingerprinted. The FBI has partnered with the American Football Coaches Association to offer affordable Child Identification Kits that contain an ink-less fingerprint kit, laminate wallet card and a collection envelope for DNA. If your child is missing, a law enforcement officer can scan your child’s fingerprints into the National Crime Information Center database where they are shared with law enforcement agencies in every state.

Use these tips to put your family’s safety and security at the top of your to-do list this year. Then take this home security quiz to find out how safe and secure your home is, and learn more ways to help protect your family in 2015.

 

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

Share with your awesome friends.