Did’ya ever think you’d have to be taught how to throw out your trash?

With home safety becoming increasingly difficult, every advantage we can get over the bad guys — no matter how small or large it may seem — is worth doing. Take a look at the picture above; not a bad looking TV, right? I’m sure the home owner thinks so, and so, too, does the criminal that just walked by the box as well.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

The largest threat to the safety and security of  your home and family is laziness. Not knowing is one thing, but knowing and willingly doing nothing is completely different. (Don’t be one of those folks…)

It only takes a criminal one minute to decide if your house is worth breaking into, and it only takes five minutes to cut up your TV box, flip it inside out so the tan cardboard is showing, and tape/rope it up before you take it to the curb.

Here are nine other home safety tips:

  1. Sticking with the trash, any time you get something mailed to you (packages with shipping labels, magazines, or bills) that has your name and address on it, take them off, rip them up and throw them away separately.
  2. Do not solely rely on battery-operated flashlights. Get some hand crank flashlights and candles in case of power outages.
  3. Every time you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time (twice a year), change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Also a good time to swap out your firearms magazines to give the springs a chance to relax.
  4. Have at least one first aid kit for every floor of living space in your home. If  you have a work area in your garage or basement, get one for that room, too.
  5. You can never have too many fire extinguishers.
  6. If your home has multiple stories, get an emergency ladder.
  7. Have a means to adequately defend your family in your home. Even if they are children’s aluminum bats in a few rooms, have something. (You could always get firearms training as well, you know.)
  8. Take one of your house keys and secure it to a Cyalume light stick. If you ever have to call the police and do not want to go downstairs to open your front door — which is a good thing, especially in a fluid home invasion situation where you don’t know if the bad guys are still in the house or not — wait until the police arrive, then light up the Cyalume stick and throw it out your window onto the front lawn where the police can get it. They can then let themselves in and sweep the house for you. (If you dead bolt your front door, you can work with the police to make this situation safe for you to go downstairs.)
  9. Have an emergency contact list that is easily accessible to everyone. One on the refrigerator door and one upstairs in a desk drawer is best. Make sure you have the contact information for 911 (hey, kids forget and it’s good to have it listed just in case), police, fire, EMT, gas company, power company, attorney, neighbors, family, close friends, family physician, plumber and any other people that you may need to get in touch with quickly during an emergency.

These are not, by any stretch, a complete list of home safety suggestions and considerations. They will whet your appetite, however, and hopefully get you to start thinking more seriously about risk mitigation inside  your home.