Out of all the rooms our residential customers ask us for help securing, bedrooms receive the most attention by far. This should come as no surprise, due to the amount of time we spend in bedrooms and the items that we often store in them. In this post, we share some of our most important tips to improve bedroom security. We will begin with some best practices to add security against bedroom fires. These include tips for both fire detection and prevention. Additionally, we will also look at ways to minimize the damage caused by fires that do occur. From there, we will discuss securing bedrooms against the risk of burglary. Let’s start by examining some ways to detect smoke or carbon monoxide in bedrooms.
Ensure Proper Smoke and CO Detection
We always recommend testing your smoke and CO alarms throughout the house. However, bedroom smoke and CO detection deserve special attention. As the United States Fire Administration points out, more deadly fires occur in bedrooms than in any other room. So what can you do to prepare for these disasters? For starters, you can make sure your home meets minimum fire safety requirements. You may recall from our post on Residential Smoke Alarm Requirements in Massachusetts that bedrooms of homes built after 1997 require smoke alarms both inside and directly outside of the bedroom.
When selling a home built in any year, you must also make sure to have carbon monoxide alarms installed within 10 feet of all bedroom doors. Regardless of your home’s age or whether you plan on selling your home, we recommend adding this detection. After installing these alarms, remember to maintain and test them regularly as well. The USFA recommends testing alarms monthly. In addition, make sure that you do not let devices remain installed past their intended use. You should replace smoke alarms every 10 years or sooner, and CO alarms no more than every 6 years. Finally, we recommend installing monitored smoke and CO detection as part of a burglar alarm system. Doing so will ensure a fire department response to a fire or carbon monoxide event. The installation and maintenance of proper fire detection add a tremendous amount of bedroom security to your home.
Take Common-Sense Steps to Prevent Bedroom Fire Emergencies
In addition to adding proper fire detection, we recommend taking steps to prevent fires in the first place. Bedrooms create unique fire hazards. For one, homeowners often fall asleep before they plan on doing so. When this happens, lit candles or cigarettes, or any electronic devices left on the bed now pose a great threat. Leaving laptops on beds, or keeping devices charging with cords under sheets and blankets can cause a fire. So too can allowing flammable objects such as bedding and curtains to get within three feet of candles, lamps, heaters, or any other heat sources. Blow out any candles before going to bed, and avoid smoking in bed at all costs. Turn off any space heaters or electric blankets before going to bed as well.
Above and beyond these fire prevention steps, you should also have a plan to minimize fire damage. We recommend hanging fire extinguishers in bedrooms. This could help you keep a fire in check before it gets out of control. In our post on Improving Fire Safety for Your Family, we also share tips and resources for creating a fire escape plan. Mapping out routes to escape a fire and practicing your plan go a long way towards escaping a fire safely. You can greatly improve bedroom security by doing all you can to prevent bedroom fires and to minimize their damage should they occur. Let’s also look at a few ways to secure your bedroom in case of a burglary.
Take Measures to Track People Entering and Leaving Bedrooms
In our post on Avoiding Common Security Mistakes, we pointed out that homeowners tend to keep their most valuable possessions in their bedrooms. In the case something does disappear from a bedroom, you’ll want to know how it happened. We have a couple of ways to help you with this. Here, we’ll look at two of our most popular ways to monitor access to bedrooms. Following these steps will allow you to track the people that enter your bedroom (and the items that leave it) closely.
Use Home Video Surveillance to Monitor Your Home
Residential surveillance systems have gotten more and more popular with our customers. We can install cameras both inside and outside your home. Exterior cameras provide a great overall view of your house. In the case of a burglary, homeowners have often found then invaluable in identifying how and when a crime occurred, at times even leading to an arrest of the criminal. To watch over the most important areas of your home, also consider adding interior cameras that monitor your bedroom doors. In the event something does go missing, reviewing your surveillance footage can help you track down the culprit.
Most homeowners also tie their cameras in to their local internet network, which allows for remote viewing. Taking this step provides the ability to look in to your home at any time. If you do install cameras, make sure to follow our Best Practices for Surveillance Cameras Maintenance. That post includes plenty of information on choosing the right cameras and maintaining them properly. It will also help prevent your cameras’ footage from leaking to outside observers. Cameras work best when paired with a monitored home security system. Let’s look at some best practices for burglar alarms as well.
Add Security Equipment to Improve Bedroom Security
If you do have a monitored burglar alarm system, consider installing equipment that makes entering the bedroom without a siren and police response impossible. Many homeowners cover important rooms with motion detectors. Consider also adding window contacts on double-hung windows, or glassbreak detectors for areas with casement windows.
In a previous post, we also shared some Unconventional Uses for Contact Sensors. There, we discussed the idea of adding sensors that alert you to activity around the house. Monitoring your alarm with an interactive cellular dialer, such as ours powered by Alarm.com, allows you to receive alerts any time someone activates a contact sensor. Customers often place these sensors on places such as liquor cabinets and pool gates. Consider installing them on bedroom doors to monitor people entering your bedroom. Receiving an activity alert even when your security system is disarmed adds quite a bit of bedroom security. Perhaps one of your children wishes to “borrow” some jewelry while you’re outside. Or maybe you want to make sure nobody goes in the wrong door and snoops during a barbecue or gathering. Either way, following this tip makes it nearly impossible for people to enter your bedroom without you knowing.
Properly Secure Any Weapons Stored in Your Bedroom
Our customers who own weapons often keep these weapons in their bedroom. Many of these same customers believe that their weapons will keep them safe from burglars. Of course, this is only true if the homeowner is home at the time of a break-in. Homeowners walking in on a break-in can find themselves in great danger if a thief finds these weapons first. We recommend using safes to safeguard your weapons. In fact, Massachusetts requires keeping guns in a locked container, if they are not locked with a tamper-resistant safety device, such as a mechanical lock. Even knives and other potential weapons should be stored in a safe place.
The potential for tragedies due to children or criminals finding your weapons in your absence make it well worth it to purchase a safe to secure your weapons. We have a wide variety of safes that will suit this purpose. If you own guns, we offer a variety of gun safes for all sizes and quantities of firearms. Using a safe to store your weapons adds bedroom security against both accidents and burglars. If you are considering purchasing a safe, make sure to follow our Best Practices for Safes to ensure proper maintenance and installation of your safe as well.
Putting Together a Complete Bedroom Security Plan
We hope that this post has given you some ideas for improving bedroom security in your own home. If you have any questions about the tips shared in this post, or about home security in general, please do not hesitate to contact us. We provide free home site surveys to help you address security concerns and make our own recommendations. We can help boost security in areas of specific importance such as bedrooms. Additionally, we can work on an overall safety measures for your entire home. Together, we will create a complete home security plan to keep your loved ones and valuables as safe and secure as possible.