Learning to Play It Safe and Smart!

Safety Tips from National Crime Prevention Month and National Fire Prevention Week

October was a busy month for public safety education. In addition to being National Crime Prevention Month, October included National Fire Prevention Week. The Electronic Security Association (ESA) joined with public safety organizations across the nation to help educate consumers about crime and fire prevention.

With October coming to a close and the holiday season around the corner, now is the perfect time to start using all of the valuable crime and fire prevention tips to help keep your home and your loved ones safe and secure throughout the year. It is also a good time to learn more about advancements in home electronic security technology and how this technology can be utilized both inside and outside your home.

Consider using a security solution that includes instant alerts which can be sent directly to your smartphone. You can be notified the moment your security or smoke detectors are activated. Additionally, video surveillance cameras within your home can be programmed to send a live feed from the area in which the security alarm has been triggered. This real-time technology allows you – and first responders – to react quickly and stay up-to-date during emergency situations.

Electronic security technology can also enable you to remotely control indoor and outdoor lights, lock and unlock doors, control thermostats – and arm and disarm your security system from a smartphone, tablet or web-enabled device.

These security systems can sometimes seem complicated, but with today’s technology, it is easy to find a system that can meet your comfort level, lifestyle and budget.

Whether you decide to upgrade to a home security system using advanced technologies – or not – there are basic crime and fire prevention tips that should always be followed to keep your home safe and secure.

Crime Prevention Tips

  • Most burglars like to be in-and-out of a home as quickly as possible – so make your home as difficult as possible to break in.
  • Invest in security technology. Even simple technology, such as a security camera and/or motion-sensor light above an entry door can be a deterrent. If you have a security system, keep it armed when you or your loved ones are home.
  • A burglar is most likely to try the front door first, so install a quality knob-in-lock set with a heavy-duty deadbolt – reinforce the frame of the door and install a solid wood or metal door. FBI statistics show that more than 30 percent of burglars enter a home through an unlocked window or door. Be sure to keep all entry points – both windows and doors – closed and locked – this includes garage doors.
  • Keep your landscape neatly trimmed, especially shrubs and trees surrounding your home so you are not providing a place for a burglar to hide. Incorporate motion-sensor lights, remote-controlled lights and/or timed lights into your landscape.
  • NEVER hide a key outdoors or give your key to a worker.
  • Join a neighborhood watch group – and monitor your neighborhood website or listserv for local crime alerts.


Fire Prevention Tips

  • Install a monitored smoke detector on each level of your home – a professionally monitored system will help to get emergency services to your home as quickly as possible. Test your detectors monthly and replace the batteries as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and injuries – and the second leading cause of home fire deaths. It is highly important to maintain vigilance when performing this everyday task. Don’t leave items on the stove or in the oven unattended and be especially attentive when cooking with hot grease. Keep flammable materials such as dish towels, pot holders and paper towels away from the stove. And always have a working fire extinguisher at your fingertips! 
  • Heating equipment is the second leading cause of fires. Have your heating systems – including your fireplace and chimney – inspected and cleaned every year. Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from flammable materials – and unplug them when you leave your home.
  • As the Surgeon General has noted – smoking is hazardous to your health. Unsurprisingly, smoking is the leading cause of civilian fire deaths. The simplest prevention advice is to stop smoking. But if you can’t, don’t smoke indoors, make sure to completely extinguish the butt and definitely don’t smoke in bed.
  • With Halloween around the corner – remember holiday décor, especially candles can lead to a house fire. In fact, two out of five fires due to decorations are started by candles. Consider using battery-powered candles to keep the spooky glow without creating a fire hazard. 

For more information about National Crime Prevention Month, visit www.ncpc.org.

For more information about National Fire Prevention Week www.nfpa.org.


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