The COVID-19 pandemic has most of us staying at home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out. For some of us, that means a fantastic opportunity to get a jump on spring cleaning. Perhaps this year the spring-cleaning agenda should also include improving home security. Safety during the pandemic absolutely includes washing hands and staying away from crowds. But do not neglect home security either.
Why tie spring cleaning to home security? Well, there are a couple of reasons. The first relates to those annual reminders to change our smoke detector batteries at the start of daylight-saving time. The thinking is that tying the two together guarantees that smoke detectors will always have working batteries. Tying spring cleaning and home security improvements together effectively does the same thing.
The other reason to make home security a priority during spring cleaning is as simple as the fact that you are already pulling things out, moving things around, and getting into every nook and corner of your home. Spring cleaning gives you the opportunity to really look around in hopes of identifying security weaknesses.
Check Out Your Windows
You might not be seeing the connection between spring cleaning and home security. So to make this easier to wrap your brain around, think about your windows. It is assumed that you wash your windows in the spring. The coronavirus scare might also have you disinfecting them too.
As long as you are inspecting the windows, take a minute to stop and think like a burglar thinks. Are there any first-floor windows in your home that appear especially vulnerable? These are windows that might be best served with sensors connected to a wireless security system.
While you are checking your front windows, consider what the view of your home is from the street. If the windows are blocked by shrubs or trees, they might provide good cover for burglars. Maybe it’s time to clean out the vegetation so that your windows are more visible.
Think about Video Surveillance
Spring cleaning and preventing the spread of coronavirus might have you thinking about how people enter your home. Maybe that’s the front door for you; perhaps it’s a side door or garage entrance. At any rate, be aware that first-floor entry points are the preferred entry points for burglars. They would just as soon go through your front door than any other entry point in your home.
While you are cleaning entryways, think about how burglars might try to enter. Then consider how surveillance cameras could be your best deterrent option. Placing a camera to monitor your front door would be the bare minimum. You might also want to think about a camera at any other first-floor doors your home has.
Inside the home, think about where burglars would go first. Believe it or not, the master bedroom is the hot spot. That’s where burglars know they can find valuables like jewelry and cash. Perhaps a security camera aimed at the master bedroom door would be a good idea.
Smoke and CO Detectors
Spring cleaning time is also a great time to give some thought to your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Maybe your home is equipped with stand-alone smoke detectors that operate on 9V batteries. They certainly work well enough for their intended purpose. But wouldn’t it be better to have smart smoke detectors that are also connected to your home security system?
A stand-alone smoke detector will only make noise in the event of a fire. That’s good if you’re home. But what if you’re not? A smart smoke detector connected to a home security system can alert you or your monitoring company to a fire even when you are not there. How does that help? By improving fire department response times.
The same goes with carbon monoxide detectors. Stand-alone detectors work well enough when there is someone home to hear them. They are pretty useless when no one is home. A CO detector connected to a home security system will alert you even when the house is empty. You can deal with the problem before someone arrives home and gets sick.
Consider Flood Monitoring
Your spring-cleaning schedule might have you in the basement, cleaning out the family room and changing the filter on your furnace. Consider what would happen if your basement ever flooded. Even if your home isn’t in a flood zone, flooding is not out of the question. Your water heater could break or one of your pipes could burst.
Flood monitoring is similar to smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring in terms of alerting you to the presence of a problem. A flood sensor in your basement can activate your home security system and send you an alert in the event that water is detected. And if you’ve ever experienced basement flooding, you know how important it is to be warned as early as possible.
Protecting your home against flood may not be something that concerns you, but it should. Regular homeowners’ insurance does not include flood protection. Moreover, it is not just homes in floodplains and hurricane zones that get hit. The National Flood Insurance Program paid out more than $1 billion in claims in 2015. The average claim that year was just under $40,000.
A Safer Home is a Better Home
This post has offered quite a few suggestions for improving residential properties by considering home security issues. Ask a company like Vivint Smart Home, and they would tell you that a safer home is a better home. That is why they recommend considering home security at the same time you are addressing spring cleaning.
Both spring cleaning and COVID-19 already have you in the mindset of cleaning up and clearing out. You want to improve your house so that it is more enjoyable during the spring, summer, and fall months. Why not make it safer as well? Take advantage of the time you now have at home to clean out your home and consider ways to make it more secure.