When is the last time you did a security and life safety assessment for your family and your home? There frequently is a direct correlation between how well a home is maintained and how well the family and its property are secured. When there is lots of clutter, or burned-out lights, we often find that security and life safety matters at that home is often overlooked. Conversely, when there is a well-maintained home, generally home security and home safety measures have been addressed with varying effectiveness.
Good housekeeping is an important part of your overall home security and life safety. A poorly maintained home can actually encourage acts of vandalism, graffiti, and other crime. Common sense maintenance can be one of your best burglar deterrents. Here are some housekeeping tips to keep your home and property clean and free of debris. Avoid storing equipment or materials outdoors except in enclosed yard areas. If materials or equipment must be stored in an open area, it should be neatly stacked in an organized manner.
Don’t let your exterior areas become “bone yards” for unused furnishings or equipment –promptly dispose of unneeded items. Do not store pallets or other items next to fences. Try to maintain at least a five-foot “clear zone” on both sides of a fence. Promptly repair cracked or broken windows. Clean interior and exterior light fixtures regularly. Trim trees and other landscaping so that clear sight lines are maintained and so that light fixtures are not blocked.
Keep walls, ceilings and floors clean. Paint walls and ceilings a light, reflective color to increase the effectiveness of lighting and improve visibility. Graffiti should be removed or painted over as soon as possible after it is discovered. Prior to removing graffiti, take several photos of it. Local law enforcement officials often request photos of graffiti so that they can identify the “tags” of specific gangs or graffiti vandals.
By raising awareness from the potential hazards of burglars and intruders, we prepare ourselves for what may be to come. Good housekeeping is one of the foundations of good security and life safety practices. When families are prompted to clean-up and put things away as soon as they are done using them, their homes are safer, more spacious, and more productive. It’s so basic that it’s part of one of the simplest policies: Work safely, Clean-up, and get results.