Winter has some good and bad influences on overall home security. It’s hard to accidentally leave a window open when it’s below zero! Then again, it’s also hard to see out into the yard when the window is frosted over. Like every season, winter carries with it special considerations for protecting one’s home, both against crime and accident.
In very snowy climates, it’s well known that blowing snow up against the exterior of the house provides some effective insulation. This practice, while it does represent a pretty clever use of what is normally a massive inconvenience, is not the best idea, particularly in urban areas. While you may be providing some extra insulation, you’re also providing a ramp that leads straight to your windows and an easy way for thieves to carry your belongings out.
Your windows will, undoubtedly, get fogged and frosted from time to time. At night, this can make it impossible to see out into your yard and outbuildings. Motion detecting lights are very important in the winter, especially considering how short the daylight lasts. Consider installing some or, better yet, add some security cameras to your home security devices.
The cold weather of winter means that materials shrink and expand as temperatures drop and rise erratically. Make doubly sure that doors are closed when you leave, particularly on buildings such as garages and sheds which aren’t typically heated. It’s quite possible for the door to catch enough in the frame to feel like it’s closed without actually being latched. You’ll eliminate false alarms and accidentally providing unfettered access to your property.
Though it’s not protection against crime, make sure you stock up on basic needs such as water and food in case you get snowed in. You don’t have to go out and buy a generator and a 50 gallon drum of wheat, just be prepared for a few hours or maybe a day’s worth of impassible roads.
Make absolutely certain that your furnace is burning cleanly and that your house is equipped with carbon monoxide detectors. One of the greatest threats to your well-being is a necessity: home heating. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and positively lethal. This gas is generated by inefficient combustion and takes many lives every year. Have your furnace checked before the heating season.
If you’re foresighted enough to have a monitored home security system, go the extra mile and have carbon monoxide sensors added to the array of safety devices. This will ensure that the monitoring service will contact rescue personnel if there is a disaster underway and you’re incapacitated. Freeze sensors are also a good idea and widely available. When you’re away at work, being alerted of a furnace that’s failed can avert a huge repair bill and having to find out about the whole situation after most repair people have gone home for the day and when their services will come at a premium. Winter is one of the seasons that truly makes one appreciate the value of their home!