Moving into a new home comes with plenty of excitement, what with new rooms to configure, new outdoor areas to enjoy, and new design possibilities to consider. One thing you shouldn’t overlook is making sure that your home is safe, as well as enjoyable. From fire alarms to motion-sensing lights, there are many security features that you’ll need to install or update when moving to your new place.
Alarms and Fire Safety
Every second counts in an emergency, so equip your home with an adequate number of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. You need at least one of each type on every level of your home — including the basement, garage, and attic — as well as outside each sleeping area, and smoke detectors should go inside every bedroom. Linking the detectors and alarms so that if one goes off, they all go off means you’ll be alerted no matter where you are.
Keep at least one fire extinguisher in the house, usually somewhere near the kitchen since this is the most likely area for fire hazards.
Window and Door Locks
Many people know to change all door locks when moving into a new place, but it’s important to secure the windows as well. Check every window to ensure that it locks — and unlocks — properly, and replace any that aren’t in good condition. Equip upper-level windows with easy mounting fire escape ladders.
Outdoor and Indoor Lights
One of the best ways to deter trespassers on your property is to light it up. Good lighting can also prevent you and your guests from taking a tumble. Install lights near every exterior door, including the garage door. Choose fixtures with motion detectors so they’re sure to go on when needed. Timers — especially those with app connectivity — mean you don’t have to remember to flip the switch every evening, and they create the illusion that you’re home even when you’re not. It’s never a bad idea to put a few interior lights on timers for this purpose too. Keep at least one working flashlight on each level of your home, in case of a power outage.
It’s never a bad idea to invest in a few outdoor security cameras, placing them at your front and back doors, rear windows, back or side gate, and basement entrance. A peephole camera lets you easily see who’s at the door, and a baby or nanny cam is all you need to keep tabs on loved ones. When researching a home-wide camera system, consider:
- Image clarity
- Viewing angle
- Recording vs. live view-only
- Connectivity and control
Keep Things “Safe”
Safes aren’t just for millionaires to stash jewels, or for burglary prevention. They’re also for protecting valuables from fire and floods. Basic safes are a great place to store critical paperwork, heirlooms, and even digital backups. Do your homework, as some safes are fire “proof” while others are fire “resistant”.