In 2015, the United States had over 300,000 home fires and over 2 million people were affected by burglaries.
We want you to reduce your chances of being a victim.
While the best deterrent to home invasion is still security system monitoring, there are many easy things you can do to help improve the safety and security of your home and business.
Always have doors and windows you are not using closed and locked, even if you are currently home. Make sure window locking mechanisms still work. Do not just rely on the lock on your doorknob. Invest in a quality deadbolt to reduce the likelihood of your door being easily kicked in. If you have a sliding patio door with a weak or broken lock, you can place a rod or piece of wood in the door's track to jam it from the inside to prevent entrance.
Burglars want to know their risk will have reward. Often, they will try to observe their target before trying anything to see if there is anything valuable inside. If they don't know what’s inside you home, burglars are less willing to take the risk.
Use drapes and blinds to reduce the visibility of your property. Do not let anyone you do not know into your home. Tell sales people and solicitors to stay outside. This keeps people from learning about your valuables.
Make sure the outer doors and paths to your home are well lit and that your greenery is trimmed neatly. Both of these will increase the visibility on your property, making burglars less able to approach your property unnoticed. Planting bushes near windows, especially thorn bushes, will make it harder for burglars to use your windows to get in and out.
When you're not at home at night, leave on several lights in your home, that way it looks like someone is home. If you have multiple cars, leave one in the driveway or park on the street in front of your home to further suggest someone is home.
Don't leave spare keys under mats and in potted plants. Instead, trust them to a neighbor or get a door camera and automated lock from Guardian Hawk Security. Using your phone, you can see who's at the door and let them in.
While on vacation, have a neighbor or friend get your mail and newspapers and check up on your house. If you are gone for a long period of time, have someone do lawn work often enough to make it seem people are still home. Unplug or redirect any landline phones to a cellphone as this can be used to see if someone is home.
Test your detectors once a month. While each device will vary, expect to replace the battery at least once a year. Most devices are powered by a nine-volt battery. Replace your detectors every 5 years.
Never remove the battery from a detector! Home fires grow at intense speeds, going from a small flame to an engulfing inferno in minutes. Smoke detectors give you precious time to escape. Instead of turning off a detector while cooking, get a fan to help disperse any cooking fumes.
Two out of five fires are started in the kitchen. Keeping the areas around stoves and cook tops clear of loose flammable material will help prevent fires. Flammable cooking materials should be stored away from cooktop surfaces.
When oils used in frying ignite, do not use water to extinguish it. The oil will repel the water and the fire may fly out of the pan on to you and flammable material. Instead, turn off the stovetop and place pan with oils on a cleared side of the stove. Wait until the fire subsides.
Knowing what to do and where to go during a fire is important for the safety of you and your family. Plan what exits you should use in the event of a fire. Plan at least two ways out of each room of your house. Make sure doors and windows are not blocked. Have a meeting place in front of your home away from the building. A mail box or lamppost is an ideal location.
Don’t just plan, practice it too! Not only will it help your family learn the plan, but you will develop good fire safety skills, such as checking doors for heat and crawling to avoid smoke.
The importance of Stop, Drop and Roll should not be underestimated. While clothing fires are among the rarest fires, they are also the deadliest. Running can provide a fire with even more oxygen, causing it to grow faster. Rolling or using a large, non-flammable blanket to smother the flames will cut the fire off from oxygen, starving it of an important fuel.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that you and your employees have easy access to emergency exits, pull stations and fire extinguishers. Do not block these with boxes or other materials. Provide decals, signs and other visual aids to help your employees find these things. In a warehouse or warehouse store setting, color coding the tops of support beams can help employees and customers find distance exits and equipment.
At home, make sure everyone knows where the fire extinguisher is and to call 911 in case of emergency.