Working with insurance claims on a regular basis, I see many situations that could have been avoided had the homeowner or property owner taken some simple steps to ensure increased home safety. I've selected my top five favorite easy ways to secure your home so you can see how easy home security improvements can be.
Hide those boxes when you get new tech gadgets.
Nothing screams "I have nice things in my house" quite like the giant HDTV box you leave on the curb for trash day. Instead of showcasing your latest buy, take some time to cut the box up, or consider finding a recycling bin elsewhere to leave the flattened box. Your treasures remain a secret, and your home moves one step closer to security and privacy.
Check the locks on all doors and windows.
Are you living in a gorgeous old home with original fixtures? Take a look at all of the openings in your home and see how strong the locks are. If you only have a simple knob lock, you may want to add a single deadbolt to those doorways for an extra barrier against thieves. I like one-inch deadbolts for affordable, easy to install security.
Hiding a key or leaving a note? Don't!
Leaving a key in a "hidden" place or sticking a note on the door for someone are great ways to give thieves access to your home's valuables. Instead of hiding a key, consider simply giving the key to a trusted family member or friend. Need to leave a note behind for someone who is stopping by? You may want to consider texting or emailing your memo, or if the person is stopping by to tend to your home, leave the note inside the house on a conspicuous counter.
Secure those wall hangings and bookshelves!
Wind, storms, earthquakes and other natural disasters (including crazy drivers) can shake your house up. Make sure your art, wall hangings and bookshelves are secured to the wall using strong wall mounts. Earthquake putty is a great way to secure those beautiful figurines to the table or curio cabinet so they stay put even when the house decides to shake, rattle and roll.
Smoke alarms - How many do you have?
Many people are surprised to find they only have one or two smoke alarms, even in a large home. Add to your security and safety by placing a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector outside every room in the house. This will give you an added layer of safety in a dangerous situation such as a house fire or gas leak.
Even doing just these five easy things gives you an extra layer of security and safety. Take some time this weekend to make sure your home is safer for you and your family.

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