Keeping Your Home and Family Safe with Preparation and Technology

If the worst should happen to your home, would you and yours be ready?
  • Homeowners insurance
  • fire

3 minutes read | June 9th 2020

Your home is your sanctuary, and you deserve to have it feel that way. Knowing that you're safe there is one way to feel good about fully letting go and enjoying your space. Plus, creating a safe environment in your home can reduce your risk for loss and keep your family safe.

These days, ever-changing technologies are making it easier than ever to stay safe in your home. Some options are high-tech, while others are tried and true with a twist of tech to help. Check out these tips to protect your home and family and reduce the risk of loss in the event of the unthinkable.

Have a Plan

The most important way to keep yourself and your family safe is to have a plan. And practice it. Yeah, that might sound weird, but everyone needs to know what to do in the event that things take a crazy turn.

You should outline what everyone should do in the event of an emergency, such as a fire or natural disaster. Try to anticipate the events that are likelier than others, and formulate what you'll do in each scenario. Talking it through can help to keep everyone calm should they even have to do these things, because hopefully there's some muscle memory kicking in (practice, remember that?). So what should the plan include?

  • A meeting place: Choose the tree out front, the neighbor's sidewalk, or another familiar landmark that's easy to get to if you're fleeing your home. Choose a second location that everyone's familiar with in case of evacuations, like a grandparent's house out of town. Be sure to talk about when everyone should leave and head out of the house, for example if the smoke alarm goes off. If a security alarm goes off, provide instructions, such as "lock your bedroom door" or "go to Mom's closet."

  • Everyone's responsibility: Yell loudly, telling everyone to get out, get themselves out of the house, get to the meeting spot, and grab children and pets or anyone needing assistance. Yell that everyone with phones should call 911.

  • Routes out of the house: Determine the options to get out. Add escape ladders on floors above ground, and practice using these in case other routes are blocked or unsafe. Practice unlocking windows so everyone knows ahead of time and isn't trying to figure things out in an emergency.

  • Lean on tech: Preprogram all family-member numbers and emergency numbers in everyone's phones. Use apps with family-locator options to easily track locations and connect quickly.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

To be ready for a natural disaster, you'll need some supplies. If you can, make one kit for your house and one to keep in your car. Stash basic first aid supplies along with candles, matches, flashlights, batteries, water, and any medications you need. Use apps that help in an emergency, too.

  • In times when communication is tough, a walkie talkie app helps with staying in contact.
  • Certain disaster organizations like the Red Cross have apps that help disseminate information even when the cell phones are jammed. You can also download apps from news organizations and even your local utility company to stay on top of what's going on near you.

Yes, You Need Fire Extinguishers

In the case of fires, smoke detectors are no brainers. But adding a fire extinguisher under the kitchen sink is also a must. Everyone should know how and when to use the extinguisher. Be sure to check it when you check your smoke detectors and replace as needed. Quick use of a fire extinguisher can prevent a major fire and save lives.

Understand Your Security Tech

Adding a security system helps keep you safe and is also a deterrent to would-be intruders. Make sure everyone in your home understands how it works and what the alarms mean. In the event of a break-in, remember your safe meeting space while you wait for the authorities. Be sure to review what to do in these scenarios so everyone is prepared.

The thing that'll help the most in an emergency is the one thing that you can do ahead of time: prepare. Take some time to think through your prep work, and walk everyone through the steps. Practice a few times a year — hopefully you'll never need to enact these plans.

Another important way to be prepared? Have the right homeowner's policy in place. We're here to help you figure out the different types of coverage that are right for you. Check out your options today.