Looking for a new project to start this weekend? It’s good to find things that keep you and your family busy. Spending unprecedented amounts of time at home can drive you stir-crazy, and getting things done is a great antidote to stress and worries.
However, starting the wrong project can lead to a half-finished bathroom or worse. Quick and do-able is the order of the day, especially if you’re extra busy during the week. Our suggestion: give your home a security and safety tune-up.
It’s an easy weekend activity that will keep you active, improve your home in the long run, and give you peace of mind that your home and family are safer.
Not sure what a home security overhaul looks like? Here’s a list of essential tasks.
1: Create an emergency action plan for your family
If a fire broke out in your home, would everyone know what to do? Create a simple plan for emergencies to be sure that they will. A good emergency plan includes:
- Where to meet in an emergency, and how to get there.
- Roles and responsibilities. For example, who dials for help?
- How to navigate specific hazards, such as smoke.
- Emergency contacts: who else will you alert?
Create, then practice different versions of your plan for a fire, a break-in and an extreme weather event. The Red Cross recommends that you practice twice a year.
If you’re an Alarm.com user, it’s easy to add a family member to your alerts as an emergency contact. And with professional monitoring, you won’t need to worry about dialing 911.
2: Prioritize yard tasks with security benefits
Take advantage of the warm weather to inspect your hedges, bushes and trees for security hazards. You’re looking for potential hiding spots that give intruders a place to lurk. Trim these areas until you have a direct line of sight to the street. Ideally, anyone in your front yard should be visible to you, your neighbors, and passers-by.
3: Connect with your neighbors on security
Home security extends beyond your home. Teaming up with neighbors is one of America’s top home security measures, and it’s easy to connect with neighbors digitally when you can’t meet in person.
Your neighbors can keep you informed about suspicious activity in the neighborhood and watch your home when you’re away. If you’re new in town, follow these neighborhood security tips to get started.
4: Give your home security technology an audit
Is your current security system out of date and difficult to use? Spend some time researching smart home security; it’s the easiest way to protect your home. A good modern security system will include:
- A mobile app to control everything, see what’s going on, and stay connected to home.
- Professional monitoring for emergencies. Here’s why it’s essential.
- The ability to add security devices like outdoor cameras, doorbell cameras, and smart locks.
Alarm.com-powered security systems include all of the above and more, with expert support at every step. Take the time to find a service provider and system that suits your family’s needs.
5: Show intruders they’re not welcome
Already have an Alarm.com-powered security system? Excellent work. But will an intruder know?
Burglars tend to take the path of least resistance and typically avoid homes with security systems. The more visible your system is, the more you’ll benefit. This means making sure that your yard signs are front and center. Adding an outdoor security camera helps too.
Don’t have a yard sign for your system? Contact your service provider and ask them to drop one off.
6: Get your lighting in shape for summer
You won’t always be at home—but you’ll always want potential intruders to think that you are. That’s why smart lights are an outdoor security essential. Ask your service provider about motion-triggered and automated lights. They’re easy to add to your security system and ensure that intruders won’t be able to hide in the dark.
For extra deterrence, ask your service provider about Alarm.com’s video analytics. This technology allows your security cameras to distinguish people from animals and vehicles, and trigger your outdoor lights accordingly. Find out more here.
7: Educate your kids on safety at home
We teach our kids to stay safe in the outside world. You should also teach safety at home—especially to older kids who want to stay home alone when you’re out. Your kids should know:
- Never to post on social media that they’re home alone
- Never to answer the door to strangers
- How to lock up and arm the security system
- What to do if they smell smoke or discover an emergency
For more tips, check out this Red Cross guide.
8: Set up new alerts for home safety
Alarm.com’s smartphone alerts help you stay one step ahead of danger. To enhance your safety at home, set up the following:
- Geo-Services reminders: When you don’t leave home as often, it’s easy to make home security mistakes like forgetting to lock the door when you do. Our Geo-Services reminders use your location to alert you if you leave home with your security system disarmed or your door unlocked, so that you can secure the house remotely.
- Contact sensor alerts: If your kids are exploring the house more than usual, setting up alerts for doors and windows will let you know if they’re go places they aren’t supposed to, or leave entry points to your home unsecured.
- Unexpected Activity: these alerts look out for your family by letting you know when something happens that doesn’t match your home’s everyday activity patterns. Find out more here.
9: Inspect your security and safety devices
Did you test your smoke detectors when the clocks changed this spring? If not, now is the time.
Giving your home security and safety devices a quick inspection every few months helps to ensure that they’ll always be ready when you need them. Test your smoke detectors and clean your security cameras, using your mobile app’s live feeds to make sure their angles are correct.
For additional peace of mind, set up a low battery alert for your Alarm.com-powered smoke detectors. Next time you need to change your batteries, you’ll know in advance.
10: Give your Alarm.com account a security audit
When you use smart technology to keep your home secure, it’s extra-important to prevent unauthorized access to your account and mobile app.
When you’re done tuning up your physical security, take a few minutes to double-check your digital home security too. To find out what to do—and what not to do—check out our guide to protecting your Alarm.com account from intruders.
Need a smarter home security system?
Protecting your home with Alarm.com is easy. Our service provider network includes some of the biggest home security brands and thousands of local smart home security experts.
They’ll help you figure out what you need, and they’ll support you all the way.