This guest post comes to us from Sage Singleton. Sage is a home and community safety expert for SafeWise and has written for a variety of audiences ranging from government sites to lifestyle magazines.
With the coming new year on the horizon, it’s a great time to audit your home for easy safety and technology improvements. There are many simple upgrades you can make to improve your home’s safety—all you’ll need is a few smart devices and some tried-and-true hacks.
1. Modernize Your Smoke Detector
Dead batteries cause 24% of the smoke alarm failures that lead to home fires and fire deaths, but many people don’t realize the batteries are low in their smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector until it’s too late. However, this common misstep can be avoided with an investment in the Nest Protect.
With an industrial-grade smoke and carbon monoxide sensor, the Nest Protect automatically tests its battery levels hundreds of times a day so you don’t have to. And when you flip the lights off for the night, it will glow a soft green to assure you all is well. Best of all, the Nest Protect syncs with your phone and takes only a few minutes to install and set up.
2. Store a 72-Hour Kit for Natural Disasters
Depending on where you live, your neighborhood may be vulnerable to earthquakes, tornadoes, fires, or severe winter storms. If you don’t have one already, keep an emergency preparedness kit in your home in case a disaster prevents you from leaving.
Whether you purchase a ready-made kit or assemble your own, Red Cross recommends keeping enough supplies to last for three days, including:
- Non-perishable food
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- First aid supplies
- Emergency blankets
- Maps of the local area
- Extra cellphone chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
You may also want to consider gradually adding costlier tech-savvy items to your survival kit as well, including:
- Personal water filters
- Solar flashlights
- A satellite phone
- A portable generator
3. Switch to Smart Locks
When you have kids or multiple people living in your home, there’s a good chance someone will either forget to lock the door or lock themselves out. Smart locks are an easy way to help eliminate this safety risk.
With a Yale, Baldwin, or Kwikset smart lock, you can control your locks remotely from anywhere. Instead of physical keys, you assign each family member a unique user code and you’re able to receive text messages or push notifications whenever anyone enters or leaves. And when connected to a home automation system like Control4, your locks can respond to one-touch control, such as a “Goodnight” button that locks all of the doors simultaneously while every light in the home shuts down and the alarm arms.
4. Inspect Your Roof
Check your roof once a year and make the small fixes you can to avoid costly emergency repairs in the future. It may sound like a time-intensive task, but a routine inspection will help you stay abreast of your roof’s condition and to know when it may be time to call a professional.
The easiest way to check your roof’s health—and to avoid the danger of scaling your house—is to investigate your attic. Look for things like damaged wood, leaks, rusted nails, stains, and mold. If something looks problematic or suspicious, call a professional to look into it. To help prevent and mitigate these types of weather-related destruction, consider installing a thermal de-icing system.
5. Invest in a Security System
Homes without security systems are 300% more likely to be broken in to, so installing an alarm system and a few security cameras is an obvious and easy way to protect your home. And, thanks to home automation, security systems can help you keep an eye on your house no matter where you are.
The market’s best home security cameras are sleek, discreet, and integrate with your other smart home gadgets. With a connected mobile app, you can:
- Check in on and control your home remotely
- Lock man doors and close garage doors
- Arm/Disarm the alarm system
- View cameras and receive push notifications when movement is detected
With nothing more than a few simple home updates and investments in smart technology, you’ll make your home safer, smarter, and more personalized to your needs. And the more adjustments you make regularly, the more you can avoid facing significant and costly home investments in the future. Make the commitment now to continually upgrade your home—you can start by choosing one of these tips to implement today.