No matter where you live or what you do for a living, home safety is paramount. Those who think, “It won’t happen to me” are often the targets of anyone looking for a vulnerable house to break into. Don’t be that homeowner, and instead be sure to learn and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family.
In this article, we will help you identify some of the best techniques and methods a homeowner can follow to ensure their safety inside the home – both from outside threats and also personal gun safety precautions.
The first line of defense against burglars and other criminals is you. Stay alert and keep your eyes peeled for anything questionable near your home. If you notice something out of the ordinary – a strange car parked near your house or unfamiliar people outside – stay vigilant. If you live in a safe neighborhood, don’t let complacency get the better of you. Have your phone ready to dial the police, take a closer look with binoculars and don’t call attention to yourself.
Hide your valuables in uncommon places
Most people hide their valuables in common hiding spots such as cabinets, dresser drawers and bedside tables. Get creative. We’ve all seen a movie where the cookie jar is a cash stash, so think along those lines. But perhaps pick an option that is less famous than a cookie jar, like a bag of rice in the pantry or secret compartments in furniture or flooring. Nowadays, an uncommon hiding spot might deter home invaders more so than a locked drawer or obvious safe.
Check the integrity of all entrances
Solid wood or steel doors are much better than their hollow, weaker counterparts. Opt for a solid security-type door, which takes much more effort to break through.
Sliding doors and windows require a secondary deterrent, which can be as simple as a block of wood to block the track. Some tracked windows and doors can easily be lifted off their tracks by a motivated criminal, so a secondary defense method is always a good idea – especially when the protection can cost as little as finding something around the house to use as a prop.
Lock it up
Make sure every entrance and window has a functioning lock. Routinely check and test the locks to make sure they are complete and in working order. If your home is new or you are renting, get new locks or ask your landlord to have the locks rekeyed.
When it comes to locks, the more the merrier. Install chain locks and deadbolts to your pre-existing door locks. Some common key locks can be easy for criminals to pick, and adding a secondary lock can be just enough to make them give up and move on.
Get remote security
There are pluses and minuses to owning a home security system. While installation, monthly fees and false alarms may not seem like things you want to deal with, owning a home security system could be worth its weight in gold (or whatever other valuables you may be trying to keep safe).
Home security systems use alarms to scare off potential criminals, and can also notify local authorities when something triggers them.
Today, in 2019, security systems are no joke. Modern technology now allows you to remotely monitor your home and utilities even while you are away. By installing cameras and security systems, you are able to view almost everything that happens in your home.
With today’s technology, you can control your thermostat, entrance locks, lights, radios, smoke detectors, and almost anything else you can imagine – receiving alerts and notifications for every scenario imaginable.
Even if you don’t want pay the bill for an extensive home security system, you may still choose to use home security signs to deter criminals. Yes, it’s lying, but when it could deter a potential perpetrator from choosing your house as a target, we think it may be okay just this once. You can also use other signs like “Beware of Dog” even if you don’t have one. Who cares if you don’t have a large attack dog? The only people checking are criminals—and they may not want to.
While you’re away, you can also keep your lights on or add motion-sensing/timed/remote lighting to trick potential criminals into thinking you are still on the premises.
And though they might not be for everybody, guns are also a useful tool for protecting your home and loved ones.
Homeowner gun safety
Although there are various acronyms for gun handling and safety, the National Rifle Association (NRA) uses the acronym ACCT. By following the ACCT set of rules, most gun owners can avoid a mishap when handling a firearm. The ACCT acronym stands for the following:
A – Always treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
C – Control the muzzle of the firearm at all times.
T – Be certain of the Target and what is in front of it and beyond it.
T – Keep your finger outside the Trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
By treating every firearm as if it were loaded, you avoid negligent discharges and mistakes. If you are going to have a firearm in your home, you should teach your children weapon safety, as well. Teach them this acronym, even if they are not allowed to use the firearm.
Always point your firearms in a safe direction, so even in the event of an accidental discharge, nobody will be injured.
Keep your finger off of the trigger at all times, up until the exact point that you intend to shoot. Never touch the trigger until you are ready to fire. When you are not shooting your firearm, rest your finger outside of the trigger well or above it along side of the gun.
You should always unload and clear your weapon before cleaning or handling when you are not ready to fire. For storage or any other time your firearm isn’t being used, it should be unloaded. Every time you pick up a gun, you should point it in a safe direction and make certain it is unloaded. Any time you are not firing the weapon, it should be unloaded, cleared and placed on “safe” using the safety selector switch.
You should also store your ammunition in a locked location separate from where your firearms are stored.
Keep it SAFE
You should always keep your guns locked up and away from children — whether you opt for a locked cabinet, gun safe, gun vault or other storage case. The best safes use a combination locking system, which completely eliminates access for anybody who does not possess the combination. By using a combination lock gun safe, you bypass the mistake of leaving the key out for others to find and restrict access to only yourself and those who you choose to give the combination to.
Gun safes can cost anywhere between $100 - $4,000+, but even the cheaper safes should work to keep your weapon out of the reach of your children and others.
Gun locks are additional safety tools that ensure your firearms are not negligently discharged.