When moving into a new home, it’s a good time to assess your family’s safety needs. A person’s home should foster a sense of peace of mind. Worrying about hazards and crime doesn’t make for a relaxing environment. With a little effort, those worries can be lessened dramatically.
The first step in the process is assessing your needs. Look at your home’s current security and safety equipment. All exterior doors and windows, the garage door, gates/fences. Do they have deadbolt locks? Were they changed when you moved in? Did you check the perimeter of the fence for holes? Do you have a pool fence? These basics should be your first priorities. As we shall discuss in a moment.
Door Locks: You might be surprised by how may people neglect this first precaution. Changing the locks on all the outside doors should be the first step in the move in process. The previous owners may have unaccounted for copies of the keys floating around. It’s best not to take chances, and just have the locks re-keyed, or replaced entirely. Also, adding deadbolts to all the exterior doors will add a second level of security, and is highly recommended. Don’t forget side entrance and the garage, burglars don’t. Lock hardware varies in price and complexity greatly. It is recommended that you speak to a knowledgeable professional, such as a licensed locksmith to discuss your options and needs. From high tech key-less entry, to basic tumbler locks, a good locksmith will have the expertise to advise and educate you so you can make an informed buying decision.
Windows: Windows can be secured by locking casements or physical stops. These are valuable for both keeping people out, but also keeping little ones safely in, especially on second floor windows. A tumble out of a second floor window is a preventable tragedy. Install safety locking devices on all windows. A locksmith can also be helpful in this regard. If you are planning on renovating your home, consider getting windows with integral locking mechanisms for added security.
Garage Doors: Did you change the access code for your garage door’s remote when you moved into your current home? Did you even know it was possible? Not only is it possible, it is strongly recommended. Changing the code is usually quite simple and can be done by moving switches in a removable panel on the motor housing. Then setting the switches on the remote control to the same settings. Newer garage door systems have more security options including wireless encryption and code key locks. If your garage door is old, or unpleasantly loud, replacing it with a new door may improve security but will also beautify your home.
Fences and Gates: Benjamin Franklin said that good fences make for good neighbors. They do that and more. A good fence not only protects your property, but also your children and pets. Make sure that there are no holes or loose sections, as well as no places that a child or pet can crawl under. make sure that the gates latch securely and consider a self closing mechanism to prevent accidentally leaving a gate open. Perhaps even more important is a pool fence. Keeping children safe around water is vitally important, and all the above suggestions should be considered. Also, do not stack or lean things against a pool fence. Kids can and will climb if they can.