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Safeguards

Making your Home Unattractive to Burglars.

    In 2010, there were about 6,000 burglaries in homes every day nationwide, according to the FBI. More than a third of the time, that burglar went through the front door, and he usually paid a visit on weekdays from 10 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.

    These intrusions might not amount to much loss – a few dollars left on a dresser, a TV set or a video camera – but the Justice Department says only about 14 percent of burglaries in single-family houses are ever solved. Once you have had a break-in like this, the feeling of safety you once had in your home may be gone for quite a while.

    Keeping Your Home Safe While You're Away

      It’s a given that you’ll lock the doors and arrange to forward your mail before you head for cooler climes and leave your Arizona home empty for the summer. Here are 11 precautions you might not have thought of for keeping your empty house safe while you’re away.

    1. Leave the air conditioner on—but crank the thermostat up to around 88 degrees. Place five-gallon buckets of water around the inside of the house. The water will slowly evaporate and add moisture to the indoor air.

    2. Weatherstrip around windows and doors before you leave.

    Rural and Urban Homes need Safeguards for External Fires

        Whether you have a cabin near a national forest or a ranch-style home in the suburbs, our dry, hot weather puts it at risk for catching on fire.

         That risk is heightened when the house next door is vacant, if your home sits close to another one or if you live next to an alley.
      It’s not just wildfires that threaten homes from the outside.The hot exhaust from a car driving through an alley ignited the dry grass on the ground and sent that flame onto a wood fence and into a home.

    Inspecting Your Home for Potential Saftey Problems


    If you want your house to be a safe place for everyone from your kids to your aging parents, look hard for hidden hazards in every room.
     
    Scout out problems that could cause:
     
    1.Falls.Remove anything that anyone could trip over, slip on, topple off of or tumble out of. It could be spilled food on the kitchen floor, a slippery shower, an area rug that’s missing its non-slip mat or an exposed extension cord. People sometimes fall because they can’t see the steps, so think about adding bright lights—and a light switch at the top and bottom of the staircase.

    Know How to Shut Off Utilies before a Crisis

    Whether you do a lot of repairs around your house or rely on reputable contractors to make them for you, you—and everyone in your family—should know how to turn off the water supply, gas and electricity to your house.

              So before you have an emergency at your house that involves water, electricity or gas, take a few minutes to locate the shut-off valves for those utilities. Test them to make sure they’re in good working condition. Older valves that haven’t been touched in years can break, and it’s better for that to happen during a test run than during an emergency.

    Expansive Soils Can Damage your Home

      If the dirt around your home’s foundation seems to be separating from the house, or if you’re noticing a lot of cracks on your indoor walls around windows and doors, the problem could be the soil under your house.
           
             More than half of homes around the country—and more in Arizona—are built on soil that’s considered “expansive”—that is, it swells when it gets wet and shrinks when it gets dry—and about half of them will suffer some damage because of that swelling and shrinking, the U.

    Fissures

        A horse died in Chandler Heights a few years ago when a tiny crack in the earth opened up during a monsoon thunderstorm and swallowed its corral. A consulting geologist I know says nearby homeowners are lucky the crack—called an earth fissure—didn’t open up under their homes and swallow them, too.
            Hundreds of earth fissures—cracks at or near the soil surface caused by decades of removing more groundwater than the rain and snow can replenish—are scattered around Arizona’s valleys, and there’s no telling when they will transform from harmless cracks to huge gullies.