How to Keep Your Home Safe

Living on your own away from home can be exciting, but there is also a huge responsibility to look after yourself and your new home. With some helpful information from US News & World Report, this article will give you some important tips to stay safe. 

Tip 1: Doors and Windows 

This one might go without being said, but it's important to lock your apartment or house. It can sometimes be easy to forget, but getting in the habit of always carrying your keys with you when you leave is essential. Front door security has come a long way recently with the release of Ring doorbell cameras. Now anyone can achieve a safer home with these easy-to-attach cameras and doorbells that also connect to your phone. According to US News & World Report, “A good home security system also will place an automated call to a central monitoring service, first responders, or the occupant of the home or someone the occupant designates.” This is a simple way to deter potential thieves or intruders and allow you some peace of mind.

This also goes hand in hand with remembering to close your windows depending on the time of year. If you leave your window open during the winter and you have your heat up, a lot of the heat will go out of the open window instead of staying inside with you. Similarly, if it's hot out and you have your AC turned up, that cool air is also going to waste. 

Tip 2: Fire Safety 

Blow out your candles when leaving or going to bed. Everyone loves candles with their ambient lighting and sweet smells, but they also can be an issue if left unattended. Sticking with fire safety, another useful tip is to not plug in numerous blocks into an outlet. For example: if you have a power strip under your desk with seven or eight plugs coming out, that could be a fire hazard. Make sure to keep an eye on that. Another important measure is to make sure you are cleaning the lint out of your dryer after every use. Not cleaning this out can cause fires.

It also a good idea to periodically test your smoke detectors. According to US News & Workd Report, “To test a smoke detector, you can light a match and hold it nearby to see if the alarm sounds.” Also make sure that you are changing the batteries when you hear the low battery alarm.  

Tip 3: Cleaning 

Dusting and vacuuming are important, but some other important housekeeping tasks are keeping dishes clean and keep kitchens uncluttered. Another big cleaning task is your bathroom. Cleaning out toilets and tubs is something to keep up on to prevent mold and other harmful growths. Also remember to discuss a trash disposal system with your roommates, as letting trash pile up could potentially attract pests. 

Tip 4: Extreme Weather

Always have a plan. This is important in life but also for your home. In the rare event of severe weather or a fire it's important to have a plan with yourself and your roommates. Know what to do in the event of a severe thunderstorm or snowstorm, or where to go during a fire or tornado. Each plan for safety is unique to your housing situation and people you live with, but definitely make sure you have discussed and know what to do in these situations.  

With the cold weather of the winter, there are some precautions that can be made. Running a small stream of water from your sink can help prevent frozen pipes. Try to keep up with shoveling or salting your walkways to avoid slipping on the ice. You can also use things such as door or window seals to stop the cold air from getting in through cracks and keep your home warm.

Tip 5: Roommates

This can vary depending on your relationship with the people or person you are living with. Some roommates have known each other for decades and don’t need to have discussions about things like meals, cleaning or quiet times. However, there are those who would benefit from sitting down and talking about these things, so there aren't any future problems. Relationships with roommates can be critical in having a good living situation. 

The #9PMRoutine

The Ball State University Police Department also has some handy tips for extra security. The #9PMRoutine lays out 4 reminders to do every night before going to bed. These tips include removing any valuables from your vehicles, ensuring vehicle doors are locked, making sure all doors and windows are closed and locked, and turning on exterior lights.

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