Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Home and Family Safety

Ensuring that your home is really safe is best done on a set schedule. Below are a few things that you should look at once a month or so. It may be worthwhile to write out a list and then put it up somewhere you are sure to see it often; this can help you get into the habit of going over the list consistently.

Surveillance Cameras

Perhaps you use alarm system monitoring to alert you if something is wrong at the house, or maybe you just have your own cameras that send alerts to your cell phone or email address. Either way, you want to check on those physical cameras once a month. Open up the live feed on your computer and check to see that the cameras are plugged in. Make sure that they are connecting to the Wi-Fi if that is how they transmit. Run a test to make sure that the motion detection is working. All of this should only take 10 minutes, but it can really give you peace of mind.

Fire Alarms

You also want to go around and check your fire alarms. They should all have test buttons you can hold down to make sure that the alarm itself is working. It may also be worth checking the sensors themselves; remember, testing the alarm just means that the siren is working, not that the alarm is really going to detect smoke. Fake smoke test kits are available that you can use to simulate smoke and see if the alarm really goes off.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Similarly, if your smoke alarms are not also carbon monoxide alarms — many new models do both tasks — you want to test those as well. Because carbon monoxide has no taste or smell, without the alarms you are not going to have any warning if it is in your home.

Window and Door Locks

Finally, go around your home and check to make sure that all of the windows, especially those on the ground floor, have been locked. Ensure that the locks themselves are still sturdy. Then, lock the doors and test the handles to make sure that they won't pop open with force, even when they are locked.