Smart homeowners know that the only sure-fire way to protect their assets in their home—we're talking flat screen TVs, computers, and other electronics and valuables such as jewelry— is to acquire homeowner's insurance. It can help replace or compensate for items stolen or ruined during a weather storm or fire. Hopefully you'll never have to file a claim, but it would be wise to make sure that you have the added tools to prevent certain situations from occurring or escalating like a working security system, dead-bolt locks, smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors, as well as easy access to a fire extinguisher, fire hydrant or better—a fire station.
Not only can these devices help prevent a catastrophe, but they may also help you get a huge discount on your home insurance policy—some providers even grant as much as 20% off the original price if a homeowner has a state-of-the art security system/alarm installed within their home. Of course all insurance providers vary, but if you're looking to save a few bucks you should definitely call and ask –some new features you've added to your home may actually make your rates cheaper. Of course, aside from obtaining insurance, you can do your very best to safeguard your home by making smart choices and educating your family on safety practices. To learn a few quick ways to avoid an unfortunate incident, follow some of these tips below.
Teach Children Early On
First and foremost you want to educate your children about home-safety. Teach them to never leave potential dangerous appliances plugged in when not in use, like flat/straightening irons, blow dryers, traditional irons, and of course kitchen appliances like the stove if your child is old enough to cook. While immediately unplugging devices after using them should be imbedded in your child's head, it's equally important to remind your child to be on the lookout for any burning candles as well as scout for any other hazards before leaving the house (of course you, the parent, should do the same). Showing your child where the fire extinguisher is located, as well as how to use it is also extremely helpful.
Don't Hide Keys in Obvious Places
Secondly you don't want to make a burglar's job any easier by making your spare home keys too accessible—criminals know to look under the mat and under the nearby plant potter to retrieve keys. If you're going to have a spare key near your home, at the very least hide it somewhere that is totally unique.
Lock Windows/ Doors
This tip sounds like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised to learn how many homeowners forget to check if all doors and windows are locked before they leave the house or worse—when they leave for a weekend trip. Not only can doing so make it harder for burglars to get in, but your home has a less likely risk of experiencing weather-related damage if windows are at least sealed.
Tracy Myers is a resident blogger at www.homeinsurance.org, a website dedicated to helping protect the consumer and his or her property. She encourages your feedback below.