Evaluating the Safety of Your New Home

Home Safety How-To

If you’ve just bought a new house, a home safety self-evaluation should be at the top of your list. Whether it’s an odorless gas or fire hazard, your new house might be potentially dangerous from the get-go. A home safety self-evaluation can be quick and easy if you follow our simple guidelines:

Check Deadbolts

Changing the locks on your doors when you move into a new home is always a smart idea. The previous owner may have given spare keys to handymen, babysitters, dog walkers, other family members or neighbors. It’s also a good idea to make sure deadbolts are created from quality materials and work effectively.


A good deadbolt should be made of steel, not a soft metal like brass.


The bolt should extend at least one inch into your door frame. Otherwise it could be pried open.


The metal section where you place the key is called a cylinder. You should have a free-spinning or tapered cylinder in order to prevent someone from forcing the door open.

Once you’re sure that deadbolts are high-quality and effective, you need to actually use them every single day.

Inspect Exterior Doors

Before replacing locks and checking deadbolts, the doors need to be sturdy. Check and see if your exterior doors are solid-core, meaning solid all the way through. Solid-core doors are heavy and can handle more pressure and abuse. These doors also provide better fire protection than hollow-core doors. Also make sure that the door between your garage and home is solid-core, since burglars can gain access this way as well. Consider replacing any exterior doors that are made with glass, since it’s easy to break.

60% of convicted burglars think twice before targeting a home with an alarm system
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Evaluate Vegetation

Never neglect the outside of your home during a home safety evaluation. Check to see what kind of cover a burglar could use, as plants and trees can provide a great hiding place for someone trying to break in. Make sure vegetation is well-pruned and not overgrown.

Check the Outdoor Lighting

Adequate lighting for porches, doorways, garages and along the driveway and walkways can be a great security addition. Always light up your front and backyards, and any areas where burglars can hide. Motion sensors for the front and back of your house will pick up any movement within a certain range and turn on a light when motion is sensed.

Check for Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Your home should be equipped with fire and carbon monoxide detectors, but you need to make sure they’re functional. Replace the batteries in all detectors just in case. Make sure there are detectors on every floor of your home, and place them in the hallways or areas outside bedrooms.

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