The Ultimate Home Security and Safety Checklist Every Family Needs
Whether you’re planning on moving, are in the middle of a move, or are simply looking to upgrade your current setup, home safety and security are extremely important. In the United States, a home burglary happens every 23 seconds — but you can take a few simple steps today to ensure you don’t become a statistic. Review our checklist to see how secure your home currently is, and what you can do to make it even safer.
Protect your home from burglars by ensuring that your home is equipped with helpful security features and technology. Make sure:
- All doors are secured with deadbolts
- About 58% of burglaries involve forcible entry, which can be deterred by strong locks. All locks should ideally be changed before you move into a new home, and all deadbolts must be in working order.
- All windows and sliding glass doors can be locked or secured with dowels
- This is especially important if you live on the ground floor or if your windows or sliding glass doors are accessible from the street.
- A neighbor or nearby friend has a copy of your house key
- This is very helpful if you lose your keys or need a trusted person to access your home.
- Each member of your family has a key
- This can prevent lockouts and other inconveniences or emergencies.
- Your valuables are secured in a safe
- The average victim loses $2,416 in a burglary. Keep items like passports, fine jewelry, and birth certificates in a safe that is fireproof, waterproof, and anchored to a wall.
- Your home is equipped with a security system
- Consider surveillance cameras, doorbell cameras, and/or motion sensors.
- Your home has flood lights and motion-sensitive lights
- Strong, bright lights can be a deterrent to thieves looking to slip into your home undetected.
- Your indoor and outdoor lights are on a timer
- 65% of burglaries happen during the working hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Timed lights can prevent burglaries if you’re out of town or away most of the day.
- You have exterior signs or decals stating your home is monitored
- Burglars are often deterred if they suspect they could trip a security system.
- Your doors and windows can be locked remotely
- Many security systems have features that enable you to control locks or even your garage door from your smartphone.
- Trees, shrubs, and bushes are trimmed to minimize hiding spots for burglars
- Landscaping features should not obscure your windows or your yard, as they provide an ideal hiding space for would-be burglars.
Make sure you and your family are prepared in case of emergencies, natural disasters, or daily accidents.
- You have a first-aid kit handy
- Your kit should include basic items like band-aids, gauze, and ice packs, and should be easily accessible.
- You have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- These come standard in most homes, but check often that yours are in working order. One in four smoke alarm failures are caused by dead batteries.
- Fire extinguishers are available throughout your home
- 52% of house fires are caused by cooking. Be sure you have portable fire extinguishers available in your kitchen and other areas of your home.
- You have basic emergency supplies like batteries, flashlights, candles, canned goods, and bottled water
- Keep your home filled with light sources and stocked with food and water in case of a power outage or storm.
- If you want to make sure you always have emergency supplies on hand, refer to the list here to stock your supply kit.
- You have an emergency escape plan
- Every member of your family should know how to escape in case of an earthquake or fire, and where the meeting point is.
- Your home is covered by basic insurance policies
- Depending on your location, this could include flood, fire, rental, and theft coverage.
- Your home is child- and pet-proof
- If you have a young child or pet, you’ll want to make sure wires and outlets are covered and out of reach.
Download and print our Ultimate Home Security and Safety Guide to begin to prepare your home.