From natural disasters to burglaries to fires, there are plenty of reasons to worry about the safety of your home and family. Give yourself peace of mind — keep your family safe at home with the help of this comprehensive list of safety tips.
Keep Your Home Safe
Use a Home Security System
A home security system is one way to deter burglars and keep your home and family safe. Smart home devices can help secure your home by allowing you to program alarms, access video doorbells or detect maintenance issues remotely via your smartphone. Don’t forget to use the stickers or signs the alarm company offers — these items alert potential robbers that you have an alarm system, which may be the best deterrent of all.
Have a Fire Safety Plan
You likely have smoke detectors in your home, but have you tested them lately to ensure they are fully functional? Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. It’s also a good idea to create an emergency fire escape plan and practice it with your family so everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire. But the best way to keep your home and family safe from a fire is to take steps to prevent fires before they happen.
Walk through your house and identify places where trips and falls are likely — loose rugs or wires, steep or poorly lit staircases. Then, take the time to eliminate these hazards.
Protect Your Personal Information
Secure Your Documents
One way to secure important documents is to use a safe deposit box at your bank. There, you can keep original documents, like birth certificates, wills, social security information and tax returns, that you don’t need to reference frequently. For documents you wish to keep at home, consider investing in a home safe that’s fireproof and has a secure locking mechanism. This will protect your personal information from people you don’t want accessing it and from natural disasters like fires or floods.
Safeguard Personal Information Online
Keeping your online information secure might require a little extra work, but safeguarding your assets is worth it. Start by making sure you keep your security software current — this is your best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats. If you use mobile apps to store personal information, keep in mind these are also susceptible to online threats. Use two-factor authentication for your most vulnerable accounts, like your bank, to prevent hackers from accessing your information.
Use Password Best Practices
You may be tempted to incorporate personal information into your passwords to help you easily remember them. But doing so makes it alarmingly easy for hackers to crack your code. Your password should not include anything related to your name, nickname or even the name of your family pet. Your password also shouldn’t contain easily recognizable numbers like phone numbers or addresses or other information someone could guess by looking at your mail.
Monitor Your Credit
Stay ahead of identity theft by regularly monitoring your credit activity on an annual basis. You are entitled to a free credit report once a year from the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Transunion.
Protect Your Identity
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. If someone steals your wallet, digs through your garbage or hacks into your computer, it could cost you thousands of dollars and countless hours to restore and repair what has taken a lifetime to build. Fortunately, it only takes a few steps to protect yourself from identity theft.
Don’t forget to keep your children’s information secure, too. Children can also become victims of identity theft, but may not realize their information has been compromised until later in life. Contact your Farm Bureau agent to learn more about how you can protect your family with Farm Bureau’s Identity Theft Protection.
Practice Disaster Preparedness
Plan for Storms
Every season brings potential weather emergencies that can harm your home. The best way to help protect your family is to develop an emergency plan. Your family should practice periodic storm drills so that everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency. A storm safety checklist is an effective way to show your kids how to respond when a storm hits so they know what to do to stay safe.
Know How to Handle Severe Weather
Do you know how to handle power outages and other threats during severe weather like tornados and blizzards? Take these into account when you’re creating your emergency plan.
Protect Your Home
Make sure your homeowners insurance can weather the storm. Contact your Farm Bureau agent to schedule a SuperCheck® to ensure that your insurance continues to offer the best coverage for your needs.
In addition to keeping your home and belongings safe, it’s important to take a close look at your finances to make sure you’re prepared in the event of a disaster or tragedy. Your Farm Bureau agent can help ensure that your family is protected with the adequate amount and right kind of life insurance for your specific situation.
Protect Against the Unexpected
Life is full of the unexpected, but with the help of a Farm Bureau agent, you can help your family stay protected from the unexpected.