Making Your New Home Safe for Your Family

David Deem

Whether you have moved into a brand-new house or to one that previously belonged to another family, you need to put some precautions in place. Here are several items that need your attention to keep you and your family safe.

Change the locks
The previous owners may have passed on spare keys to their neighbors, relatives or close friends. Even if it’s a brand-new house, the builder may have handed a key to a handyman or worker during the construction stage. To be safe, get all the locks changed and distribute spares only to those you trust.

Install a security system
Even in safe neighborhoods, a security system is a good precaution to take. You can decide whether you want a high-tech one with all the bells and whistles, or if you’re happy with a few cameras and security lights.

Get to know your neighbors
Neighbors are invaluable allies. Stop by for a chat and get to know them. They can easily keep an eye on your place but if you’re new to the neighborhood, they probably won’t know the difference between a stranger at your door and a friend.

Case the joint
Think like an intruder and identify weak points in and around your home. You can then take appropriate measures to fortify these areas and prevent intruders from entering your home.

Give it a once over
Go around the entire house, checking to see that doors and windows open, close and lock as they should. Check for loose wires from electrical outlets or loose floorboards and so on. Make a list of everything that needs to be fixed and either fix them yourself or have a handyman do it.

Outdoor safety
If you have a garden or a backyard, give it a thorough once over. Check to see if there are sprinklers that haven’t been set in the lawn properly, a rusty gate or fence. Check the fence or wall around your property to make sure there are no weak points.

Keeping the plant life in your garden trimmed ensures that there are no dark spots where intruders can hide. Trim branches that could otherwise give an intruder easy access to your home via a window.

Check smoke detectors
Don’t assume that the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms that the previous owners have left behind are in good working condition, check them and install fresh batteries.

Dryer vents
Check that the important appliances like the stove, gas pipes and dryer vents are all working smoothly. Hot dryer exhaust needs to be let outside, and the end point should be clear of dryer lint.

Install lights in all the right places
Have a well-lit porch and back door. You can also install lights that can be triggered by movement so you can catch any unwelcome visitors by surprise. Make sure your house number is clearly visible so that emergency services can find you easily. Put timers on the lights in some rooms to make it look like someone is home if you’re not there.

Every home is different and so you should look around yours carefully to ensure that you’ve taken care of everything. Taking a few days to get these precautions right will help make sure that your new home is safe for your family.

Adapted from a blog by James Stevenson on

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