Intruder Protection

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Home Protection

We often rely on our homes to protect us from the perils of the outside world, but what protects our homes? Whether the threat is a natural disaster or burglars, insects, or bacteria, there are a variety of potential dangers facing our homes each day. Take charge of keeping your home (and your family) safe with the help of the excellent Web sites we've included in this guide.

Intruder Protection

The FBI reports that in 2005 alone, more than two million burglary offenses were committed in the United States. Even the thought of having an unwanted person in your home can be frightening, so we've found some Web sites that can help you learn what you should do to protect your family and your home against criminal activity.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • You'll find an abundant list of Web sites selling home security products. Before you start buying alarm systems and security cameras, check the sites we've listed here to learn how to select the right security system and make other necessary corrections that can improve the safety of your home.
  • If you're considering buying a gun to keep in your home, make sure you follow necessary safety precautions. The National Rifle Association has a list of gun safety tips for parents.

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For home security tips …
To learn about burglar alarms …
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Mold and Pest Prevention

Unless you’ve made some interesting pet choices, there's a good chance anything in your home with more than four legs is an unwanted guest. Finding something growing in your home that you haven't planted yourself will likely also be an unpleasant surprise. Whether you’ve got a minor irritant or serious health and structural problem, we’ve found credible Web sites that can help you get rid of it, and sites to help you prevent these hazards from ever getting inside.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • The Web sites in this section offer some preventative measures you can take to stop mold growth in your home but in essence it all comes down to keeping your home as dry as possible inside.
  • If you're not comfortable trying to handle a mold problem yourself, you’ll want to make sure that whomever you hire has proper training and experience. Checking for membership in a professional organization like the National Association of Mold Professionals is a good place to start.

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For mold prevention and removal …
For general pest control and prevention tips …
To protect your home against specific pests …
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Natural Disaster Damage

Natural disasters may be unpredictable but homeowners generally know if the area in which they live is prone to certain types of events. We've selected some Web sites that can help you protect your home against some common natural disasters, severe weather, and other problems.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • In addition to the tips provided by disaster-readiness sites, also check the Web site of your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance provider for more advice about keeping your home safe.
  • Web sites for major relief agencies generally offer advance preparation tips you can use to get your home ready for a natural disaster. For example, the Web site of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) teaches you about different types of disasters and hazards, explaining how to prepare for them and what to do during and after a disaster.
  • It's also possible to make some preparations in the event of a terrorist attack. LIFELines, a site of the U.S. Navy, explains that many of the preparations you would make in this regard are very similar to how you would prepare for a natural disaster.
  • It goes without saying, but protecting your family should come before protecting your home. If a disaster looks as though it will be too severe, the safest option may be evacuating to safer area. Check the Web sites of your local news outlets and your local government for evacuation warnings and instructions.

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For sites that review many types of damage prevention …
To prepare for emergency evacuation …
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Protect Against Other Types of Home Damage

Web sites that provide overviews of many types of damage prevention are useful if you find your home facing a variety of elements. Often, though, your concerns are more specific and a Web site that goes into greater detail about a certain type of damage is necessary.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • If you're moving, it would be wise to check with other homeowners in your new area to find out the common types of home damage they face. Your realtor or insurance company will also be able to provide information.
  • An area's climate can heavily dictate the type of damage common to homes. If you're planning a move and aren't sure of the climate in your new city, use this weather almanac from USA Today as a starting point.

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To protect your home against fire damage …
To protect your home against water damage …
To protect your home from storm damage …
To protect your home against earthquake damage …
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Homeowners Insurance

A good homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance policy brings peace of mind from knowing you'll have help in the event your home is ever damaged. The sites in this section explain how homeowner’s insurance works, how to select the right coverage for your needs, and how to file an insurance claim should something happen to your home.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • To find insurance companies in your area, try an online directory like YellowPages.com or simply type "homeowner’s insurance" and the name of your state into a search engine.
  • Don’t forget to check the legitimacy and record of an insurance company before you buy a policy. You can do this with just a few clicks at the Better Business Bureau Web site.
  • The more familiar you are with your insurance policy, the better off you'll be in the event you ever need to file a claim. If there's something you don't understand on your policy, check with your agent or review the company's Web site to see if your questions are answered there.

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To learn about insurance …
If you need to file an insurance claim …
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