Gun safety is only one part of what you need to do to insure your home and family are safe. There are other actions as important to the sanctity of your home as securing your weapon. The key is to insure that an unwelcome intruder never gets inside your home but if he does then you need to be prepared to defend your kingdom. Here is a handy list of things you need to consider to keep your family safe. However, if you do face a home invasion, then you need to be certain of three things:
1. That you have a weapon with which you can defend yourself
2. That the intruder cannot get his hands on it
3. That it is readily and quickly accessible to you and ready for use
- Always lock all doors & windows whenever you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
- Be certain that doors are made of hardwood or metal.
- All doors should have peepholes at locations everyone can use.
- Make certain that any glass panels near doors are shatterproof.
- All entryways should have a working, keyed entry lock including a sturdy deadbolt.
- Spare keys should be kept with a trusted neighbor, not hidden under a doormat or planter.
Garage and Sliding Door Security
- Any door leading from an attached garage should be hardwood or metal clad and secured with a quality keyed lock including a sturdy deadbolt.
- Overhead garage doors should have a lock so that you do not rely solely on the automatic door opener to provide security.
- All garage doors should always be locked.
- Sliding glass doors should have a working key lock and be kept locked.
- A dowel or pin or security bar should be in place to prevent a glass door from being slid open or lifted off its track.
- Every window should have a security lock or be securely pinned.
- Windows should be always locked, even when open for ventilation if possible.
- Consider an inexpensive alarm for each window so that if opened you are aware of it.
- Eliminate shrubs close to the house where someone can hide.
- Well lit exteriors are one of the best ways to discourage prowlers.
- All entry ways should be well lit so any visitor is easily identifiable.
- Timers to turn lights on and off are effective tools. Vary times from day to day.
- Consider motion detection lighting for outdoor lighting.
- Be certain that your house number is easily visible during the day and at night.
Outdoor Property Protection
- All gate latches, garage and shed doors should be securely locked, preferably with a padlock.
- Any valuable property including grills, mowers, bikes, etc. should be stored in a locked garage or shed. If left out it should be hidden as well as possible, even using a tarp if necessary.
- Pay special attention to bikes by providing some very secure device to lock it to a permanent structure.
- All firearms should be unloaded, secured with trigger locks and locked away in a secure closet or box.
- Inscribe all TV’s, PC’s, and other valuable electronic equipment with identifying numbers
approved by local police.
- Take pictures of every room in the house, being certain to include all furniture, and appurtenances; keep an inventory and copies of the pictures outside the house.
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
- An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires, and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, consider both types of alarms, or a combination alarm (photoelectric and ionization) can be installed in homes.
- Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
- Smoke rises; install smoke alarms following manufacturer’s instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling. Save manufacturer’s instructions for testing and maintenance.
- Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps”, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
- Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly.
- Be sure the smoke alarm has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
- Alarms that are hard-wired (and include battery backup) must be installed by a qualified
- If cooking fumes or steam sets off nuisance alarms, replace the alarm with an alarm that has a “hush” button. A “hush” button will reduce the alarm’s sensitivity for a short period of time.
- An ionization alarm with a hush button or a photoelectric alarm should be used if the alarm is within 20 feet of a cooking appliance.
- Smoke alarms that include a recordable voice announcement in addition to the usual alarm sound, may be helpful in waking children through the use of a familiar voice.
- Smoke alarms are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These devices use strobe lights. Vibration devices can be added to these alarms.Salus Security Devices, makers of Protector XT Home Security Checklist
Security when Away From Home
- Be certain that any alarm system is activated when leaving the house.
- Be certain that all members of the household are completely familiar with activation and deactivation and that they share that information with no one.
- Be certain to suspend paper and mail delivery when you will be away or have a trusted neighbor
pick it up for you.
- If away for any time, be certain that your lawn and outside is cared for.
Fire Safety – The temperature of fire is over 1,200 degrees and produces a lot of smoke. Fire is loud, hot and smoky. There are some simple steps you can take to insure safety from fires.
- Never let kids cook alone without asking permission or under supervision.
- When escaping a fire, crawl on the floor under the smoke.
- Never go back inside a burning building.
- If your clothing catches fire, stop, drop and roll.
- Never call the Fire Department from home. Wait until you’re outside the house.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
- CO detectors are designed to measure CO levels over time and sound an alarm before dangerous levels of CO accumulate in an environment, giving people adequate warning to safely ventilate the area or evacuate. Some system-connected detectors also alert a monitoring service that can dispatch emergency services if necessary.
- While CO detectors do not serve as smoke detectors and vice versa, dual smoke/CO detectors are also sold. Smoke detectors detect the smoke generated by flaming or smoldering fires, whereas CO detectors detect and warn people about dangerous CO buildup caused, for example, by a malfunctioning fuel-burning device. In the home, some common sources of CO include open flames, space heaters, water heaters, blocked chimneys or running a car inside a garage.
A Final Piece of Advice
- Have an emergency plan and review the plan with all family members. Make certain that you refer to the checklist occasionally and specifically when leaving the house for any period of time.