Safety is one of the main concerns that a new homeowner has. Not only do they want to keep their valuables secure, but they also want to keep their entire family safe. These are ten simple things every homeowner can do to enhance the safety and security of our homes, new and old.

1. Upgraded Locks

Whether moving into a new home or upgrading security on your existing home, quality locks are essential. If your home is older, locks and handles may have begun to degrade over time.

However, changing door locks is relatively easy and inexpensive. You want to make sure that all exterior doors have deadbolt locks, and if there is glass, the deadbolt requires a key inside and out. A deadbolt with a turning lock inside is easily reached by intruders after breaking a window. Consider doorbells with security systems as well. Cameras can be installed to see who is standing outside your door.

2. Safety Equipment Needs to Be Replaced Often

Did you know fire extinguishers have expiration dates? You should replace them often to make sure that they are effective. You also need more than one type of fire extinguisher in your home. Electrical, grease, and chemical-based fires all have different elements so they will need different types of fire extinguisher to put them out. Local hardware and home improvement stores often carry what you need for home use.

3. Smoke and CO Detectors

Almost every home has a smoke detector of some kind. However, not all homes have carbon monoxide detectors. These must be installed in your home as you never know when you will have a problem. Installing a detector can save a life! Many smoke detectors available today already have to CO detector included. Most people are capable of changing these detectors themselves. If you are unable to do it yourself, see if a friend or family member would help. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase, and installation takes seconds.

4. Child Safety

Outlets, stoves, drawers, and cabinets are hazards for small children. If you have small children, you will want to invest in safety equipment. These are very inexpensive but can prove most helpful. Oven knob covers, cabinet locks, and outlet covers can be installed in a kitchen in less than ten minutes. Doorknob covers are also simple to install. These covers may keep children out of rooms or inside the house. If your child knows how to open the door with one, consider a chain or lock located near the top of the door to prevent them from accessing the lock.

5. Night Lights and Walkway Lights

Stumbling in the dark is no fun for anyone. Walking into the hall at night to use the bathroom can be even worse. Children need to be able to move about the house when necessary. Installing nightlights in the hall and walkway lights outside can make traveling in and around the house much safer. These lights are inexpensive and easy to install. Nightlights can also be fun characters to help children feel more at ease in the dark.

6. Automatic Lights

While we are on the topic of safety lights, motion sensor lights, and automatic interior lights can also be great additions to your home. Motion sensor lights will sometimes keep intruders away and will often help you navigate your way to the door after dark. Automatic lights in the house can also thwart intruders if you are out of town. They will think that someone is at home. If they think someone is home, they are less likely to break into your home. Be sure, though, if you are using this feature to keep burglars out, you are also putting a hold on mail and deliveries while you are away on holiday. Having someone stop by the house at different times of the day, may also keep the burglars from entering.

7. Safety and First Aid Kits

You should always have a stocked first aid kit with wipes, bandages, scissors, tape, ointments, and creams. Kits are easy to find in drug stores and major retailers. Many times, at the beginning of summer, you can find travel kits and deals on first aid kits in discount stores. Target and Walmart often have sales that allow shoppers to purchase a certain number of items and get a free bag. Keep a check on the expiration dates of creams and ointments.

8. Shower and Tub Safety

Showers and tubs can be fall hazards. Installing handrails, anti-slip grips, and shower seats can minimize falls, especially for older people. Consider installing all of these if you can. Shower seats may be unnecessary if you do not have any elderly people living with you, but as you age, you may want to consider including something to help with mobility. Floor grips can help children and adults, so find some that everyone loves to make your shower safe and fun.

9. Food Safety

Thermometers, working equipment, and clean surfaces can make kitchen safety simple. Be sure that you are cooking and storing food at proper temperatures. If your refrigerator or stove is not set to the appropriate temperature, foodborne illness could occur. If you have ever had food poisoning, you know that this is not the way you want to spend your day. Take a little extra time to improve your food safety.

10. Fence/Gate

Install a fence with a gate around your property. Not only can this deter intruders, but it can also prevent accidents by unwanted guests. You will also limit your liabilities. If you have a swimming pool, you will need to make sure that the gate has a childproof lock as well.

Final thoughts

All of these changes will help to upgrade the safety at your home and many of them are inexpensive and easy to install. Consider contacting security companies for the installation of more technical equipment but you can make the easy upgrades yourself. How have you upgraded the safety features of your home recently?

Author bio: Elizabeth Shields is co-owner of a company in Indianapolis called DeluxeMaid. Her interested are varied and include home design, construction, and small business.