Ounces versus Pounds: A look at sound preventive measures – The HomeMonday, October 12th, 2009 by Charles Mayfield, CFP®
Whether it was your mother, father, teacher or friend…you have likely heard the phrase “an ounce of prevention is equal to a pound of cure“. There are countless things that we can do to be prepared for whatever life should throw our way. Here are just a few things that make a ton of sense around the house:
Put it on Tape: With video cameras being so prevalent, how hard would it be to take 10 minutes and stroll through you house to film what you have? Even if it takes 20 minutes…it is well worth the trip. Store the video on a computer zip drive, disc or the classic videotape. Make sure it’s in a nice safe place in the event of a fire, flood or theft.
Check the batteries: Most modern security systems have hardwired smoke detectors…but still check them. You will still want to make sure smoke detectors work properly and all monitors should feature a test button. You should also be keeping a flashlight or two on hand (and candles) in the event of a power outage. It would make sense to check the batteries on them also.
For the Kids: If you have little ones roaming about, make sure they know how to get out of the house. Go over the procedures in the event they smell smoke, hear the alarm or think something is wrong. Committing the path out of the house can be a life saver when things go really wrong.
Review that Coverage: Your homeowners insurance should reflect a proper and current level of coverage for your home. If you have made additions or improvement, bought expensive art, collectibles or jewelry, or added members to the household; these are all things that may impact the different levels of coverage for either your home or personal property.
Store it Properly: Take the important documents and make them really safe. This includes all insurance policies (especially home/auto/umbrella). They make fairly inexpensive safes for your home that are fireproof. Safe deposit boxes at the local bank work well for this too. You don’t want there to be any disputing coverage limits when things go wrong.
You’ll thank yourself for taking the few minutes a year to take these precautions. Hopefully you will never have to be glad you did.