Our locks can help keep your family and valuables safe, but you can do a lot more on your own to make sure everyone stays safe and secure day or night. Our team has put together some of their favorite home safety tips for you. We hope you’ll find them useful. And, don’t forget to call Bill’s Lock and Key if you need a new lock, new keys, or a home safe. We’re here to help.

Securing Your Home and Valuables

If you’ve got valuable jewelry, cash, or other items that would be attractive to an intruder, keeping them in an unlikely spot can help ensure their safety. A child’s dresser drawer or inside a pair of socks are both good choices.

Do you have a mail slot in your door? You should know that it significantly reduces the structural strength of that door. Take precautions to make sure your front door is secure. Call us, we can help with that.

Rose bushes or other thorny shrubs can help deter someone from breaking into a ground-floor window.

Put your lights and your television on timers when you are going to be away from home overnight, so the house won’t look empty.

Check window latches before bed if you’ve had anyone you don’t know well in your home that day.

Choose a trusted locksmith! We’ve talked about this before. There are a lot of scam artists out there. Make sure you know who you are working with!

Keep Your Family Safe Every Day

Don’t leave young children alone around any water. A child can drown in less than one foot of water.

Keep all medicines and cleaning supplies out of the reach of children.

Keep plastic bags out of the reach of children.

Know the poison help line phone number. Program it into your phone. Tape it to the bottom of your home phone. The number is 1-800-222-1222.

Don’t leave guns around. Lock them up!

Make sure large items of furniture, televisions sitting on consoles, and other heavy items are secured to a wall.

Emergency Preparedness

Don’t be searching for your car keys in an emergency. Keep a spare set next to your bed.

Be sure you have an emergency kit that provides everything your family needs for two to three days in case you ever have to leave your home in a hurry. Your kit should always include, at a minimum, enough water and food for everyone.

  • You’ll need more water than you think.  A gallon of water per person, per day is the minimum. Be sure you’ve got plenty of nonperishable, nutritious food that doesn’t require a lot of work to prepare. Things like beef jerky, protein bars, and canned fruit (don’t forget a can opener!), are good choices.
  • Make sure your kit contains flashlights, extra batteries, a red-cross approved first-aid kit, a supply of any medication that you can’t go without, a set of basic tools, copies of any important documents that you may have to leave behind, all important contact information, cash, an extra cell phone and chargers. Don’t forget personal hygiene items.
  • If you have family members with special needs, don’t forget to include items in your emergency kit for them.
  • Depending on the type of emergency, these items might also be helpful: a whistle, respiratory masks, towels, gloves, duct tape, and extra clothing and shoes.

Fire Safety

Make sure you have smoke detectors on every level of your home, especially in bedrooms. We recommend testing your smoke alarm batteries monthly and, by the way, so does the Red Cross.

Have an emergency plan. Practice your plan. Be sure everyone in the family knows their best exit path in case of a fire. Have a meeting place outside, at least 100 feet away from the house, where everyone will gather. Be sure to check that windows you may need to use as emergency exits are easy to unlock and open, and that they aren’t obstructed by anything that would impede someone’s escape.

Make sure you have fire extinguishers in the kitchen and garage. It is a good idea to have one or two more somewhere in the house where they’ll be easily accessible. Check your fire extinguishers once every three months to make sure that they are fully charged and operational. Don’t forget to make sure that everyone in your home knows how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

Unplug space heaters! Don’t just turn them off when they are not in use.

Over the holidays, when things are hectic, fires are more likely. Make sure to keep candles away from anything flammable. If you’ve got young children and animals running around, we recommend skipping the candles altogether. Don’t forget to check the oven regularly! With everyone coming and going, reheating and eating, it is easy for an empty oven to be left on. Even worse, the oven may be left on with food still in it, which is a fire just waiting to happen.

Don’t Forget the Locks

Lastly, don’t forget to make sure your home has secure locks and deadbolts. We install electronic deadbolts that are excellent for home security, especially if you’ve got kids that have to be home alone. Give us a call to learn about them.

We hope you found these tips useful. Check back soon for more helpful safety tips.