In the mid-2000s, home safety concepts had to include the construction of a panic room, a specially equipped and secure room that homeowners can rush into, locked from the inside, protecting themselves in a steel and iron cocoon from any outside threat. The panic room will have video cameras to monitor what is happening outside, some provisions like food and water, and a phone connection to call for help. The sudden popularity of panic rooms was probably influenced by a 2002 thriller movie starring Jodie Foster and Kirsten Stewart.
Anti-burglar and Anti-home Invasion
The movie entitled, Panic Room, tells the mother-and-daughter story of Meg (played by Foster) and Sarah (Stewart’s character) who moved into a high-end, four-storey home in the Upper West Side of New York. It turns out that the previous multi-millionaire owner of the house had left millions worth of bearer bonds in a compartment inside the property. The previous owner’s grandson hired two other men to break into the house to retrieve the bonds, only to find out that there are new residents.
Meg, seeing the three men entering the property through video cameras, rushed to enter the panic room with Sara. The film continued with a struggle between the home invaders and Meg trying to outwit each other. The story ended with one burglar burned, two other invaders turning against each other, and the mother-and-daughter being rescued by police. In the last moments of the movie, Meg and Sarah are shown looking at newspaper listings, searching for a new house to live in.
Definitely, not every home has a panic room like the one portrayed in the Jodie Foster movie. But there are other ways to make a home safer from criminals and other intruders. These days, the most accessible way to strengthen home security is to have alarm systems and closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) installed in vulnerable areas or spots around the property.
Protecting one’s family is not only about knowing how to deny criminals or home invaders any access to the home. There is also a need to make our homes weather and disaster-proof. The first step is to check with the local disaster monitoring office regarding the geographical location of the property. It is important to know if there are any ground fissures, earthquake fault zones, or flood-prone spots in the area where the house is located.
Next, one needs to consider hiring expert ceiling contractors who pay close attention to every detail, angle, and corner of a job. Whether it is the sun, rain, wind, or snow, these contractors with excellent industry reputation make sure that every roof panel, gutter, under deck drainage, trays, and pans are all put together according to specification.
A house that is more than three years old may also benefit from an architectural and engineering evaluation to check for structural integrity and any need for repair. This is especially true for old homes and inherited real properties that have been in use for many years. A thorough check of beams, pillars, arches, and other main structural components is key to prevent the unexpected, sudden partial collapse of any part of the house during a temblor.
In terms of child safety, the primary considerations for making a house safer is to check every room, corner, and open space of the property. For homes with very small children, pay close attention to sharp corners, high stairwell spacing, protruding objects that could cause a bump or accidental tripping of the feet. It is also important to install electric socket covers to prevent small children from innocently poking the slots. All combustible items, matches, and household chemicals need to be stowed away, far from reach of any child.
It is also a good idea to check the ladder of the double decker if children in the home use this type of bed. Look for loose rivets or broken steps that could cause an accident if not properly maintained. Back in the kitchen, make sure to keep knives and other sharp objects unreachable to small children who may wander there during playtime.
Periodically, it is good to request a licensed electrician and a specialist from the local fire station to inspect the house for any fire hazard such as exposed electrical wiring, worn-out cooking gas line, heaters, and other potential causes of a house fire. It is also good to keep cigarettes and lighters, as well as candles properly kept away after use since all these are among the most common causes of house fires.
Protecting our family from online threats must also be a priority. For families with young children, consult a computer expert on how to put filters, parent controls, and other safety features on computers, laptops, smartphones, and other gadgets used by children. Purchasing an updated anti-virus and anti-spying software is also a good investment. It is good to check with children every so often about the websites they visit, social media accounts they use, and how to behave online when using chat and video apps. They need to be warned against online predators, scammers, and identity thieves.
Security and Safety Mindset
Finally, it is important for all members of the family to develop and maintain a security and safety mindset. This is all about being vigilant, practicing threat or danger awareness, and being calm yet alert to respond to any emergency situation. Taking care of every member of the family means being able to help each member recognize and stay away from anything that could cause harm or injury. By knowing potential hazards, taking action to deter threats, and make the home safe, a family can live in peace and safety knowing that they are ready and prepared for anything that comes their way.