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Keeping Your Family Safe:
Home Disasters That Are More Common
Than You Think

How to avoid potential dangers to your home and family

Our home is where we retreat to after a long day at work to relax and unwind with our family. We take a lot of things into account when buying a property; the size, the garden, the type of neighbourhood it is in.

After all, no one wants to live somewhere rife with crime and danger, especially if you have young children. But, even if you believe your home is the safest it can be, there are still various potential dangers you should be aware of, however unlikely they seem.

Wooden house on fire
Avoid every homeowner's nightmare scenario by taking preventative steps
to eliminate any chance of a house fire. (Image: Staticflickr.com)

House fires

It's every homeowner's worst nightmare. Thankfully, house fires are pretty rare. But when they do occur, it is more often than not due to accidental human error. Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council, told US News that almost every house fire that is dealt with could have been prevented. This is why it's vital to you and your family that you take steps to ensure that you never encounter a house fire. If you do, you need to have steps in place to ensure that no one gets injured. The leading cause of fires in the home is the kitchen. Items left on top of a hot stove, or an unattended stove overheating, can lead to a large a potentially devastating fire.

Electric heaters during winter can also cause many house fires. Try and stick with your central heating system and wrap up in blankets if you're cold. Encourage any smokers to smoke outside of the home as burning cigarette butts and embers are also a common cause of house fires. Having smoke alarms fitted on all levels of your home is essential for your family's safety - in fact, getting one in every room is ideal.

Home security video camera
Investing in a good home security system that include video surveillance is a
smart step to protecting your home from burglaries. (Image: Staticflickr.com)

When it comes to evacuating your property in the case of a house fire, we've all been told to leave anything valuable behind. However, there are some things you may have in your house that you simply cannot afford to lose in a fire. Important documents such as housing contracts or things to do with work could be the first to perish in a fire. In order to prevent this, invest in a fireproof safe that will render your documents indestructible should a fire break out.

Burglaries

Window security grills
Window security is one of essential steps in keeping your home safe.

Having your home burgled is another devastating event that can hugely impact you and your family. 2,000,000 home burglaries are reported to US police every year, all with varying degrees of seriousness.

Burglaries differ from robberies in the sense that in order for a crime to be deemed a 'burglary', the defendant need not have used force to enter the property. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your house is fully secured to deter criminals who would otherwise try and sneak in.

Thankfully there are various steps you can take to defend your home from burglars. If you tend to be away from your property for long periods of time, consider installing timed lights to give the impression that someone is in.

Leaving spare keys with a trusted friend or neighbour is also important, as most burglars know exactly where to look for hidden keys. Other tips include installing a home alarm system and storing any valuables well away from windows. Storage of your car in your garage is also an excellent deterrent for burglars.

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