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For many, owning a home is the cornerstone of providing a sense of security to your life. However, no matter where or how you live, there are countless elements, natural and human alike, that may threaten your family and property. For first-time homeowners in particular, here are some essential devices and service that will keep your home safe.

fire alarm1. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are readily available but less costly and easy to install. Both detectors are available in DC and AC styles. Although it is necessary to perform regular testing and battery replacement, the DC option should be weighed against the threat of power outages. However, some brands offer AC detectors with battery backup, as well as combination detectors.

2. Home security systems come in a wide variety of capabilities, packages and costs. Many can be installed fairly easily by the homeowner, depending on how elaborate the system is and, of course, your DIY abilities.

If you decide on a system that is monitored by a surveillance company, they may or may not insist on performing the installation themselves or by a sub-contractor. A number of newer providers give you the option of self-installation, which usually means saving you hard coin.

In any instance, you can choose how elaborate a system you purchase. Sensors can be installed at door locations only at any or all windows. Also, motion, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can be incorporated into the same system. †Furthermore, the big names in security all offer ways of syncing your home monitor to mobile device, allowing you to monitor your home from remoter locations.

fire extinguisher3. Fire Extinguishers may be one of the most overlooked of all safety devices. Where to put them and how many to buy depends on several factors, including floor space and the kinds of things you do in your house. Bear in mind as well that there are various types available for different types of fires, and that extinguishers need to be periodically charged.

4. Dead Bolts may be the simplest and least expensive ways to prevent break-ins. If youíre handy with simple tools, you can install them yourself. They really donít require regular maintenance and last quite a while.

5. Motion Sensors are available for both indoor and outdoor use, and may trigger lights to go on or can set off an alarm. Be sure to do your research of the types available and their levels of sensitivity.

In addition to these safeguards, there are cost-free ways of feeling safer. Neighborhood Watch Programs exist in many areas and are very effective, provided participants are dedicated to their purpose. There are numerous sites that outline how to set these programs up, so get involved!

Also, donít forget to observe age old vacation safeguards,like setting light timers, lawn maintenance and mail and newspaper pickup (if you still subscribe to a newspaper) with a friend or neighbor to make sure burglars don’t know you’re away.

Finally, keep in mind that all or most of these measures are recognized by homeowner insurance companies, who usually offer discounts on premiums when present in your home. Even without the price break, however, these are all steps that you should take if you want to feel truly secure.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in Southern California whose writing covers a wide range of topics, including home security, DIY, health and marketing. She runs her company, Gryffin Media, from home, so she is sure to follow all of these steps to keep her home and family safe.

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