Monday, February 15, 2016

Secure Home: 3 Inventions that Keep Your Family Safe

As a homeowner, keeping your family and your property safe is of the utmost importance. According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, there were an estimated 2,159,878 burglaries in 2010. Furthermore, 60.5 percent of those burglaries involved forcible entry. Their findings indicate the "victims of burglary offenses suffered an estimated $4.6 billion in lost property." Today's marketplace offers a variety of solutions to help secure the home. The strategy you employ will depend on your unique needs and budget. Knowing you have done your part to safeguard your most valuable possession – the lives of your loved ones – is worth every bit of effort. Below you will find three ideas for consideration as you set out to protect your home.

The FakeTV

This American-made product simulates the flickering light emitted by traditional TV screens to help discourage potential burglars. According to alarm.org, burglars are three times less likely to break in when there is a deterrent in place. The clever FakeTV helps to mitigate the risk of burglary by providing the illusion someone is home. The device is built around a series of LED lights on a compact display. Transport of the FakeTV is quick in a pinch and energy consumption is quite low. The company currently offers three different models, ranging from $24.95-$39.95. At such a small investment, there is likely room for a FakeTV in most homeowners' budgets.

Infrared Security Cameras

Infrared cameras offer peace of mind in a technologically advanced package. The cameras are designed to offer quality video footage no matter the time of day or night, employing LED light at wavelengths virtually undetectable to the human eye. Infrared cameras are discreet, especially when compared to jarring security lights that disturb neighbors and can be damaged with little effort by a thief. Some companies, like Infrared Cameras Inc., work hard to develop this kind of unprecedented technology. Infrared cameras have many advantages over standard cameras. They their job well in nearly all conditions, including fog and mist.

Alarm System

The right alarm system can serve as a strong deterrent to potential home invaders. Of course, one size does not fit all, and the costs can easily mount depending on the company you select. Do your homework and get several estimates before signing a contract. A good system will alert the authorities about other home disasters, such as fires or flooding.

The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program found that "burglaries of residential properties accounted for 73.9 percent of all burglary offenses." Considering such risk, it is essential to formulate a multifaceted approach to help keep your home free from break-ins. Every step taken towards protecting yourself and your property is one in the right direction.


Written by Rachelle Wilber

Monday, February 08, 2016

How To Protect Your Home And Family If You Live In An Area With Extreme Weather

Winter weather has many challenges for homeowners. This is especially true for those who live in areas of the country where there is extreme cold weather. They face freezing rain, power outages, blizzards and ice storms. Taking measures to ensure that you have the resources to deal with winter’s challenges before it gets into full swing is very important. Basic necessities to protect your family include stocking up on warm blankets, extra supplies of food and water and a transistor radio with fresh batteries in the event of a power failure. There are also five important precautions to take to protect your home from the ravages of cold weather that will result in saving you time and money.

Outside Winterizing

Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear of leaves and debris so that ice does not form in them. Caulk and weather strip doors and windows to keep heat from escaping your home. Make sure that the siding and shutters are secure in the event of a storm. Spray an ice repellent or use sand or rock salt on the walkway and steps before the storm. This will help reduce tripping hazards.

Inside Winterizing

Check that pipes in unheated areas of your home are wrapped in insulation to prevent them from bursting or freezing. Be sure to have a supply of flashlights, matches and a portable generator in case of a power outage. Equally important is to be sure that there are working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, as well a fire extinguisher. Do a pre-winter maintenance of your furnace and water heater and have your chimney swept and cleaned. Be sure to include a fresh supply of firewood.

Trim Tree Branches

Check that overgrown or dead tree branches are trimmed or removed to prevent them from breaking and damaging your home. Do not underestimate the extra weight of snow and ice.

Replace Old Windows

Don’t wait until the weather gets cold to replace old and drafty windows. Consider replacing them with double pane energy efficiency windows. Fas Windows and Doors offers high quality windows that are hurricane resistant. Find windows that can protect against outside intruders and hold up in storms. Depending on the size of your home and the number of windows, replacing them will be a well worth investment for many years to come.

Water Heater Insulation

Similar to insulating your walls, cover your hot water tank during the brutal winter months with an insulation blanket. This is an inexpensive way to save money each month by improving your homes energy efficiency.

Early prevention is the key to keeping your home in good repair and being well-prepared for the challenges of the winter season. These tips can help make sure that your home and family are protected when a big storm hits.


Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She enjoys writing about home, family, business and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys spending time with her family and reading a good book when she isn't writing.

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