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  • Writer's pictureCathy Hertler

13 Essentials to Protect Your Most Important Investment

Moved in the last few years? Many features and a few tried-and-true essentials provide the options you need to protect your new home.

Your home is a major investment. If you are one of the many Americans who moved over the last several years or are planning to buy a new home soon, you might be wondering how you can protect your asset. Luckily, there are many features that offer layers of protection for your home and your family.

New Locks It doesn’t matter if you’ve purchased a home in an established neighborhood or a newly built home. Changing the locks is essential for safety. Video Doorbell or Front door Camera In today’s delivery-first world, we receive more packages than ever. Let’s not forget visitors, salespeople and the like. Nearly all of us can remember a time that the doorbell rang and we really wanted to know who was there before we got up to answer it. A video doorbell or a security camera allows homeowners to verify the person at the door via live video on an app. Many record footage as well, so if you do ever run into an issue, you can review that footage. Programable Thermostat A programable thermostat can make the home more energy-efficient and helps save on energy costs by programing the heat to turn on or off based on your families schedule. New Blinds or Window Treatments Upgrade the home’s ambiance and privacy with window treatments or blinds, especially for bedrooms and other areas that need more privacy. Blinds can also help insulate rooms from drafty windows and keep rooms warmer during the winter months. Fire Extinguisher It’s a good idea to have several fire extinguishers handy around the home. Having one of these potentially life-saving devices—and knowing how to use it—could make a huge difference. The number of rooms and stories in the home will determine the number of fire extinguishers you may need and where to place them. Smoke Alarms Smoke alarms throughout your home can save a life. Some homes have hardwired systems that alert all the alarms at the same time, while other homes are stand alones. Either way, having enough in your home and in the proper locations can save lives. If you have a gas furnace, boiler, hot water tank or stove, make sure to have carbon monoxide detectors as well through out the home. Carbon monoxide is odorless and proper detectors, can alert you of a leak. It is also smart to create your family’s escape route especially if you have children. First-Aid Kit Pick up a first-aid kit before the unpacking or renovations begin in case there are any bumps or bruises along the way. First-aid kits can simply be stored once the household is unpacked. As a general rule, bandages, compresses, antibiotic ointment and over-the-counter pain relievers are useful in the kit. Toolkits It’s a rite of passage for every homeowner to buy a toolkit, and in a world where everything exists on YouTube, simple projects are usually doable for most people. A toolkit equipped with the essentials gives you the flexibility to get the job done on your own time and in the way you’d like it done. Flashlights Does the power ever go out at a convenient time? You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of a power outage before you remember you need a flashlight. Buy more than one, and keep them in easily accessible areas of the house. That way, you don’t have to waste time looking for one in the dark. You’ll also want to keep extra batteries in nearby places. Surge Protectors If you’ve ever lost a trusted appliance or video game console from a lightning strike, you know the pain of not using a surge protector. They’re affordable and easy to use, and worth the investment since they protect some of your most-used and reliable electronics. Motion Sensor Lights and Video Cameras Inevitably, you’ll have to take out the trash one evening or walk outside to get the mail at night. You might think about installing motion-sensor outdoor lights for safety and convenience. Suppose you want to keep an eye on your home, even when you're not there. In that case, you might also consider installing connected home video surveillance cameras, which will allow you to see exactly what’s walking through the yard or up to the front door—whether it’s a critter or a more serious intruder. Outdoor Storage Protection Outdoor space might be a large part of a home or renovation investment, and there are ways to keep the lawn mower, grill or boat safe. Outdoor camera can protect free-standing structures. When attached to a gate or shed door, these rugged sensors send an alert in the event of movement, giving you peace of mind knowing your outdoor items are secure. Investing in structures such as sheds or storage bins that can lock is a smart idea. Connected Home Security System Home security systems don't just offer peace of mind; from the day you install them, they can also provide several of the above listed safety features with one system. Whether it’s wireless contact sensors for doors and windows, video cameras with alerts and live streaming, safety devices like connected smoke detectors or a smart water valve that provides alerts and shutdown measures to protect against freezes, leaks and bursts, a security system protects and manages the entire home.

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