Having kids in the house makes it critically important to have good home safety measure in place. Besides needing good protection on account of being young and defenseless, kids can also pose a security risk by accidentally providing information about your home, your schedule, or your possessions.
Managing Kid-Related Risks
If you’re a family where both parents work, then not giving keys to your kids is obviously not an option because they’ll need to let themselves in after school. That doesn’t mean that you should give a house key to a child that’s too young to understand what is and isn’t safe to talk about in public, and might be prone to losing the key either on accident or through theft. Another thing to worry about is children accidentally leaving doors and windows unlocked, allowing easy entry to any would be burglars. The best way to deal with this is good old fashioned work. Before you leave for work and before you go to bed each night, go around your entire house and make sure that all points of entry are secure.
Keeping Valuables Safe
No matter what you do there is always the chance that someone will break into your house regardless of your efforts not to draw attention or make an obvious target out of it. Though you can’t very well lock up your TV, computer, or anything that’s supposed to be part of your décor, you can keep smaller valuables, important documents, weapons, and cash locked away in a safe. Unlike in the movies there is no need to hide your safe in a wall somewhere. Usually it’ll be bolted to the floor, and virtually impossible to break open quickly, which is all you need since normal burglars will be in a hurry and will snatch whatever is easy to grab and run with.
Home alarm systems are effective not because they do much to catch criminals, but because they scare criminals into leaving your home as quickly as possible to avoid being apprehended. This helps you to protect yourself, your family, and your possessions, and helps to make you aware of forced entry if you were sleeping or not present inside the home at the time. Though they won’t stop someone who’s determined and ready for it, they make excellent deterrents for your average burglar.
Getting a Safe Room
If you’re dealing with someone who isn’t deterred by your home alarm you’ll want to have a place that you can retreat to. Confronting a potentially violent criminal in your home is not ever a good idea, regardless of what the NRA might want you to believe. The best way to deal with a situation like that is to get behind a locked door as quickly as possible and to wait until the authorities arrive. Building a basic safe room isn’t particularly difficult or expensive, simply install a heavy duty door and door frame on a large walk-in closet, or any room that doesn’t have windows and make sure that you have access to your phone.
Ben Thatcher is a DIY home security guy who lives in Idaho on a ranch with his loving wife. He writes security tips and tutorials for Protect America, a security systems provider.