If you’re one of the 40 million Americans who will move this year, you’re probably excited for the new opportunities that will come with a change of address. Just remember, even new homes have safety hazards, and your new neighborhood isn’t impervious to crime, no matter how low the average rates are. Whether you’re planning a cross-country move or just relocating down the street, follow these tips to stay safe in your new home.
It’s easy to assume a new house will be safe for your family, but it’s possible that high radon levels, asbestos insulation, a cracked furnace heat exchanger, mold growth behind the shower walls, or other hazards could be present. A thorough home inspection before closing on the house puts your mind at ease when it comes time to sign on the dotted line.
After the stress of moving day has passed, sit down with your kids to establish some home safety rules. For example, make sure your children know to keep windows and doors closed and locked while home alone, and never to open the door for someone they don’t know. Write up the rules you decide on and have every family member sign it. Then, hang the agreement where you’ll notice it often, such as on the fridge or bulletin board.
If you bought a house from another owner, always replace the locks. You don’t know the history of this house or who else might have a key. Now is a great opportunity to pick out doorknobs in your preferred style and finish.
Find a reputable security company to install the equipment you need to make your home safer. CCTV cameras, window and door contacts, motion sensors, alarms, and other features guard your house and make it much less appealing to intruders and burglars.
Whether installed independently or in conjunction with a security system, outdoor lighting is an effective way to deter prowlers. After all, unlawful people like to work in the shadows where they’re hidden from view, so illuminating your home and garden is a security feature all on its own. Plus, exterior lighting makes your home more beautiful after dark.
Chances are your neighbors will notice you moving in and come over to welcome you to the neighborhood. For those who don’t stop by, knock on their door and introduce yourself once you’ve settled into your new house. By getting to know your neighbors, you build trust in the community, learn about neighborhood watch programs, and feel comfortable asking someone close by to housesit when you go on vacation.
Once you get to know your neighbors, ask around to find out who would be willing to act as a “safe house” where your family can turn to in an emergency. Explain this safe house concept to your kids and make a few practice-runs to ensure everyone knows where to go during a time of need.
If you’re relocating to or from the DC, VA, or MD area, count on Georgetown Moving and Storage Company for a smooth, stress-free move. We always put our customers’ health and safety first when helping with the transition to a new home. After all, our goal is to make moving day as painless as possible.
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