Too often, people take their homes for granted, content that nothing unfortunate could befall them and that, should the unthinkable happen, there's nothing that could be done to prevent damage anyway. But ask anyone who has dealt with damage to their home, and you will likely get the same resounding advice: take whatever reasonable steps you can to protect your home.
- Burglary is an awful violation; your home has been invaded by an unknown thief. To protect your home from these people, you can install a home security system. Different kinds exist - some burglar alarms focus on delivering truly alarming sound when the perimeter is penetrated, waking up neighbors and threatening the burglar with unwanted attention. Other security systems rely less on sound, and instead alert the police of the break-in.
If an alarm system isn't your cup of tea, you might rather keep a large dog. The old cartoons of thieves running from dogs are quite accurate, really - very little deters like the look of a large dog that could bite when protective instincts are roused by an intruder.
If minor flooding is a concern where you live, make sure your sump pump is functional, strong enough and can operate in a power outage. A backup sump pump is never a bad idea. For more advice on sump pumps, consult our article, "How To Use a Sump Pump."
When major flooding is a concern and more protection than a sump pump will be necessary to protect your home from the rising water, flood barriers can be purchased to fortify your home against water damage. Check out PS Doors for an idea of the variety of flood barriers available to protect your home. You'll likely want a heavy-duty pump to take care of the water that manages to seep past the barriers. For information about pumps, check out LSU AgCenter's information on pump use to protect your home during a flood.
When high wind is a danger in your region, there are steps you can take to protect your home from wind damage. Installing hurricane straps on your home can reduce the risk of your roof blowing off in extreme, hurricane-class winds. Use storm shutters to protect windows and other glass during a severe windstorm - wind can cause some seriously large objects to fly through the air.
Earthquakes can do serious damage to your home as well, depending on where you live. You can protect the interior of your home from damage by bolting large pieces of furniture to walls and organizing the objects in your rooms in such a way that heavy items will not crush anything or anyone.
When it comes to exterior measures to protect your home from earthquake damage, consider bolting your home to its foundation - a relatively inexpensive protective measure. And remember, if you live on any slope and you're thinking about cutting down those trees in your yard, that their root systems can protect your home from sliding during an earthquake.
Fire can cause damage from within your home or as a result of a fire miles away. The first step in protecting your home from fire damage is to be equipped with functioning smoke detectors. You should have a smoke detector on every floor of your home, and one either inside or outside every bedroom to ensure that your loved ones and your home are protected. And don't let their batteries expire! These devices save lives every year.
It seems like there are larger and fiercer forest fires ravaging our country every year, especially in the West. To reduce the chances of your home catching fire, reduce the amount of dry brush and yard waste that may accumulate in the yard around your home. You can also use a fire retardant treatment on the shingles of your roof, reducing the risk of a roof fire that can easily be caused by burning debris blown onto it. And teach your children fire safety techniques around the house to prevent any accidental fires.