Protect Your Home with Proper Landscaping

By: Safe Haven,

Spring is the ideal time of year to refresh your home both inside and out. Realtor.com states that an easy way to increase your curb appeal is to invest some money in upgrades. Did you know that making improvements to the exterior of your home can do more than increase your curb appeal? It can improve your home security!

Tip #1
When it comes to landscaping additions, there are many different options to consider. If you’re adding plants to your outdoor decor, you’ll first want to consider the overall height and distance of the plants from your home’s exterior. If plants are too tall or too wide, they can easily provide a hiding place for potential intruders. If plants are too high, a thief can take their time without worry about being seen while they work to break into your home. If you already have shrubbery around your home, it’s important to stay vigilant in trimming them down so they do not become overgrown.

Tip #2
If you’re already working on improvements to the exterior of your home, you may want to consider adding some additional external lighting. Similar to the problems that can arise from having tall trees which can block windows, lack of light can cause problems in and around your home. Studies show that properly placing lighting can reduce the chances of an intrusion. That’s because exterior lighting can act as a spotlight for thieves, attempting to break into your home. A study provided by Florida Atlantic University stated that if exterior lights are angled too high, it may create a dark hiding place for potential thieves while they take their time to carefully open up windows or doors. It’s important to make sure your lights are angled to illuminate possible entries into your home and create an unwanted spotlight for thieves.

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Home Security Fire Preparedness Tips

By: Safe Haven,

The transition from winter to spring can bring dry weather which makes homes more susceptible to home fires. Recent events such as the massive blaze in Kansas City that damaged over 20 different homes after a fire broke out on a construction site, underscore the importance of fire preparedness. Between 2010-2014, fire departments across the nation responded to over 350,000 different home fires per year. On average, these home fires caused over $6.7 billion direct damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

The NFPA warns that the ability for homeowners to receive advance notice of a fire from smoke alarms and make plans ahead of time can make all the difference. The association claims that home fires can spread rapidly, leaving occupants with as little as one to two minutes to escape.

Tip #1 – Install a smoke detection system.
It’s important to install smoke alarms in every bedroom and level of the house. When you install these units, it’s worth connecting the devices to a central system such as our monitored home security system. If one of these devices were to be set off by an emergency, an ADT monitoring agent would be able to alert the authorities while checking on your safety.

Tip #2 – Make a plan.
A fire can happen quickly and make you anxious and unsure of what to do. By making a plan on where to go in case of a fire, homeowners can help protect themselves and their families. Discuss a plan with every member of your family as to how to get out of the house and where to meet outside in case of a fire incident. Once you make a plan that everyone understands and is comfortable with, practice it.

Tip #3 – Purchase additional supplies.
There are several important items that can help you in the event of a fire. A foldable fire ladder can help you escape your home if the stairs have been cut off by fallen debris or too much heat. These ladders are generally made from aluminum and function similarly to a boat ladder. They’re easily folded up and stored in a bedroom and hook onto a window ledge, allowing you and your family to simply drop down to safety. The second item that can help slow the spread of fire is a home fire extinguisher. Many times a small fire can be stopped or slowed by a fire extinguisher for relatively little money.

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How to Secure Your Home Security Technology Against Thieves

By: Safe Haven,

Home security can extend far past simply securing your windows and doors. It’s also vital to secure your wireless network in a world filled with technology and interconnected devices. Rest assured, today’s thieves are working on new ways to steal from you. One major point of entry for an outsider is a device you may not even think to protect, your wireless network and router.

Your wireless router helps to connect numerous devices in your home including computers, tablets, smartphones, game systems, televisions and even wireless security systems. While connecting these devices to your home network may make your life more convenient and allow you to adjust or interact with them via the Internet, you could be leaving yourself open to a malicious cyber attack. In an interview with a Geek Squad agent, Better Homes and Gardens learned a few tips on how to increase your home’s wireless network security. Perhaps to of the easiest ways to increase this security is to not only change your network name but also choose a secure password that can not easily be guessed. Tech support companies such as Geek Squad recommend changing your network name to something that does not provide potential threats with too much information such as your address or last name. They also recommend more complex passwords that utilize a mix of characters and special symbols to help add complexity.

In that same article, Better Homes and Gardens also discusses how thieves with access to your wireless routers can grant themselves access to personal information such as credit card numbers, banking information and much more personal information without your knowledge. This becomes a danger as you may not even know that someone has stolen this personal data before it’s too late.

An important part of improving your digital security is regularly updating your smart devices. These updates improve security functionality to help repel would-be intruders from accessing your devices, according to Norton.

The relatively recent trend of wireless home security systems also adds to the potential of a thief gaining access to your home. If someone were to hack your network, they could potentially turn off your alarm system and enter your home. This would allow them to take their time in searching your home for your valuables without the worry of being caught by the police.

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Safe Haven Security Discusses Home Safety During Severe Weather

By: ,

Spring is quickly approaching which means so too is tornado season. The age old idiom of April showers bring May flowers leaves out one important detail, severe storms. The Midwest has already experienced several severe thunderstorms this year that have shaken up many communities and caused millions in property damage. Severe storms can cause dangerous straight line winds and on extreme occasions, even tornados. While it’s virtually impossible to prevent either of these from affecting your home, it’s easy to be better prepared for them.

Tip #1: Decide on a safe room/area in your home to take shelter.

This is perhaps the most important thing to consider when preparing for a severe thunderstorm or tornado. The Red Cross recommends taking shelter in either a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with little to no windows. When severe weather strikes, wind can be traveling anywhere from 50 to over 100 miles per hour. This is more than enough to shatter glass and even rip parts of your home away.

Tip #2: Make sure to keep emergency supplies in your shelter area.

A wide range of accidents can occur during severe weather. It’s best to prepare for any situation with a simple first aid kit, extra batteries, blankets and a portable radio. Access to a NOAA Weather Radio can be vital for individuals that live in certain areas where natural disasters such as tornadoes are more prevalent. These radios can provide homeowners with crucial weather updates from local officials during storms.

Tip #3: Ensure you have proper insurance coverage on your home.

While dealing with severe weather and tornadoes is hard enough, the last thing you want to contend with is the recovery of damaged and lost property after an incident. One insurance provider, Allstate, mentions that many insurance policies typically cover damage caused by wind and hail. We encourage you to talk with your insurance agent to discover your coverage level in case of an emergency.

Tip #4: Keep your smartphone handy

Try to keep your smartphone handy can prove to be vital during severe weather. If you get cut off from your alarm pad you can utilize your ADT Pulse application to alert emergency services for help. To learn more about what your ADT Pulse app can do we encourage you to read more online.

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