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Cheap Home Protection Hacks That Could Save You Thousands

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As a homeowner, you know how many things can go wrong in a house – with the structure itself and the internal systems that keep your place running efficiently and safely. Regular maintenance goes a long way to protecting your home and so, too, do expensive products like smart alarm systems, security cameras, and environmental sensors.

But what if your budget doesn’t stretch to smart gadgets? Does that mean you just have to take your chances on keeping your home and family safe? The good news is, not at all. By researching and using inexpensive products – in conjunction with regular equipment checks and repairs – you can protect your abode and prevent catastrophes like theft, fire, or water damage.


External lights: The operative word here is illumination since burglars prefer the shadows over the spotlight. Install motion-sensor lights in any dark areas around your property. Focus on doors and walkways, and near any shed or garage.

This inexpensive deterrent also keeps your family from getting hurt in the dark. Most models are programmed to only come on at night, so they don’t take a lot of energy to run.

Doors and windows: Install deadbolts on all the external doors. And if you’ve just moved in or the opposite – you’ve been there for years and have handed out spare keys to friends, family, and service people, change the locks. Another low-cost option, cut a wooden dowel to fit any sliding doors or windows. This will stop anyone from prying them open after they’ve broken the flimsy locks.

Costs nothing: Keep your doors and windows locked. This simple act has deterred untold numbers of potential intruders. An attached garage is another gateway into the house, but the external garage door and the door leading into the main house are two places frequently overlooked when it comes to security. Keep both these doors closed and locked — even when someone’s home. Keeping your lawn and bushes trimmed cab be a free security solution. A tidy lawn says to any would-be intruder, “We’re at home and we take good care of our property.” What’s more, neatly trimmed greenery gives the baddies fewer places to skulk.

Fire and Carbon Monoxide

Smoke alarms: These are your first line of defense when it comes to protection from a house fire. You need to have a smoke alarm on every level of your home with one inside each bedroom. Check alarms once a month using the test feature and replace the batteries at least once a year.

Fire extinguishers: Since most home fires start in the kitchen, you’ll want to put a fire extinguisher in there, at a minimum. But it’s smart to have them handy in multiple locations around the house. Extinguishers should be installed near exits, away from heat sources, and up high enough that kids can’t reach them.

Carbon monoxide alarms: This deadly gas is invisible, odorless, and colorless and even a small amount of carbon monoxide (CO) can be fatal if inhaled for long enough. Install CO alarms on each level of your home and outside bedrooms.

Fire retardant gel: A couple of gallons of inexpensive, non-toxic, and environmentally-safe retardant will prevent the spread of flames and suppress any buildup of deadly smoke. Simply follow product directions and apply to wooden furniture or drapes and rugs.

Costs nothing: Download the free Red Cross Emergency App to learn how to prevent a home fire and what to do if one starts. Use the app’s Family Safe feature to help stay in touch with loved ones.

Water Damage

Water sensor: While you can spend several hundred dollars on a smart water detector, you can also find more basic models that do the job too. Simple sensors are battery-powered and can be placed on the floor in bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry rooms, the source of most water damage.

Hoses: Hoses on washing machines, dishwashers, and fridges are the common culprit for leaks. Inspect hoses regularly and replace them every five years to avoid a deluge. If any of those hoses look crimped, bent, or worn, replace them right away.

Floor pans: Place this cheap solution under all your big appliances. While floor pans won’t protect your home from a big leak, they can help prevent damage from small or slow, undetected leaks.

Gutter guards: Install these handy attachments to help keep your roof gutters clear. That way, the water from your roof can flow freely away and won’t pool, which can lead to flooding and leaks.

Costs nothing: Be vigilant! Get an inspection schedule on the calendar for your hoses, appliances, water heater, and water line. Checking these items once every few months is not too often. While you’re at it, take a look at your door jambs and window casements before the rainy season too.

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The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.