5 Surefire Ways to Protect Your Home From the Unexpected

5 Surefire Ways to Protect Your Home From the Unexpected

We put so much time, love and energy into making our homes our own. So, why then do we fall short on protecting it from unexpected disasters? The idea of a natural disaster or burglary destroying our home isn’t pleasant to think about. It’s much easier to tune those bad thoughts out and just hope for the best. Unfortunately, that’s not realistic in the world we live in.

Protecting your home from the unknown requires a holistic approach. The five strategies below will help keep your home and family safe in just about any emergency.

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Home Insurance and Renters Insurance

If you only take away a single suggestion from this list make it this one. Home insurance and renters insurance provides a safety net in the event that a natural disaster, fire or burglary happens. Think about all of the things in your home. How much would it cost to replace your worldly possessions? Could you cover the cost on your own? For as little as $10 a month insurance can cover it for you.

When you’re shopping around for an insurance policy ask yourself:

· What types of events are covered by the insurance policy?

· How much will the deductible be?

· Are your belongings covered under replacement cost value or actual cost value?

· Do you need a rider for additional coverage on high priced items?

· Does the policy include flood damage?

The experts at Acceptance Insurance point out that renters aren’t covered under their landlord’s insurance. You’ll need your own renters insurance to protect assets in your rental property.

Install a Security System

The Electronic Security Association says just having a sign that lets others know you have a security system can be enough to dissuade criminals from breaking into your home. In fact, their research found 9 out of 10 burglars will bypass a home with an alarm. It makes sense when you consider that many of today’s systems will automatically alert the police if your alarm is triggered.

Given that the average break-in costs the homeowner $2,185 in stolen items, a security system is a smart financial decision.

It’s important to invest a little more for a wireless alarm system. A quarter of burglars have admitted that they cut the wires of the security system before breaking into a home. With a wireless system there will be no ugly wires to look at, installation will be easier and it will

keep your home better protected. Also ask your security company for yard signs and decals that can be put up around the exterior of your home.

Bonus: Having a security system could get you discounts on home and renters insurance.

Make an Emergency Kit

It’s never a bad idea to have an emergency kit that’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. The uses can range from taking care of a scraped knee to helping your family get through a disaster without going hungry.

Ready.gov is an excellent resource for how to put together an emergency kit that can get your through just about any situation.

Know How Your Home Works

In the past I’ve preached the importance of making a home inventory for insurance purposes (see above). But it’s just as important to inventory your home systems. If the power goes out unexpectedly or a natural disaster strikes you may need to turn on or shut off certain systems for safety reasons.

The systems you need to know are:

· Water main and shut off valves.

· Electrical system – where the electrical panel is located, how to turn off the main electric switch and what each fuse or circuit breaker controls.

· Gas – where the gas meter is located and how to shut off the valve.

Fire Protection

The National Fire Protection Association reports that there were 369,500 home fires in 2013 that caused $6.8 billion in damage. Smoke alarms are an absolute must in every home, and they are usually required in rental properties. But once they’re up the work isn’t done. You should check all your fire extinguishers every six months to make sure they are working properly.

Did you know there are five types of fire extinguishers? Having the right fire extinguisher that’s in working condition can mean the difference between putting out a fire immediately and having your home completely destroyed.

* · In the kitchen you should have a foam fire extinguisher handy. These extinguishers are marked with a yellow band.

* · Out in the garage you may want to keep a dry powder extinguisher nearby in case there’s an electrical fire.

You never know when the unexpected will happen, but you can plan for it with the five tips above.

Comments

  1. CR Williams says:

    Thanks for sharing I sure can use this information.

  2. Sarah L says:

    Very good tips. I currently do most of them except the security system.

  3. Dandi D says:

    This was a really helpful and informative read.

  4. My best friend had a fre two years ago. Luckily, she had takena video inventory of the house which was a huge help with the insurance. plus, who can remember what’s in all of those drawers and closets? There were tons of things she wouldn’t have been reimbursed for because she didn’t even remember she had them!

  5. Karen Glatt says:

    Homeowners insurance is a must, and I have this because if something happens to my stuff from a fire, I will get help with getting money to buy my stuff. I also think I need to get a security system for safety. These are all such good tips!

  6. Anne says:

    As renters, we’ve always carried rental insurance. Your advice to inventory our belongings hits home–that’s something we haven’t done, and now that you’ve got me thinking about it, I can see that it’s something we really should do. Thanks.

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