Feel safe and secure by following our tips and resources to helping keep your home safe.
Home Security
  • Install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors, and keep doors, garage doors and windows locked at all times, even when you are at home.
  • Do not open the door without question at the sound of knock. Question who is there; confirm identity by looking out of a window or install peepholes in your doors.
  • If you are not expecting a package, delivery or service call do not answer the door. Insist upon verbal verification of employer and call company to confirm delivery is legitimate. Your front door should remain closed and locked.
  • Never rely on a chain-latch as barrier to partially open the door; a home invader will kick in the door.
  • Never leave a spare key hidden outside.
  • Keep a flashlight, charged cellphone and your vehicle key fob within easy access. If needed you can hit the panic button on your key fob and call for help on your cell phone.
  • Be aware of unusual activity around your neighborhood; report suspicious behavior.
  • You may want to let your neighbor know that you are planning a trip and ask them to keep an eye on your house. Consider giving them a contact number for emergencies.
Securing Your Home To Return To Secondary Home

Emergency Contacts

  • Everyone should keep their emergency contact list up-to-date. Resident Services, located in Friendship Commons, has forms available for residents to fill out so that we have all your current information in case of emergency.
  • Keep an up-to-date list in your wallet or purse. In the event that an accident occurs, and you are not able to provide necessary information, this information could be invaluable.

Safety & Security

  • Check the mailing address you have on file with On Top of the World, to be sure we have your current information. Important information from your Association is mailed to the address that you have designated.
  • Check that we have your correct phone numbers listed. There are occasions when it is necessary to contact you, such as a problem with your home while you are out of town.
  • Ask a close friend or neighbor, to keep an eye on your home while you are away. Have them check on your property every few weeks for problems that could pop up, such as plumbing leaks or storm damage.
  • Have your mail picked up, or supply the Post Office with a change of address.
  • Stop newspaper deliveries. Stacks of paper outside or a full mailbox may attract unwanted attention.
  • Make sure to turn off the water to your home. A broken pipe can cause a great deal of damage.
  • Turn off the main water valve unless you have an automatic fire-sprinkler system. If you do, turn off the water valves to your washing machine, kitchen and bathroom sinks, dishwasher and toilets.
  • Do not turn off the irrigation, as this will kill your lawn.
  • Make sure all smoke alarms are working and have fresh batteries.
  • Make sure all doors and windows are locked.
  • Close your drapes and blinds. This will help keep strangers from peeping in to see what you own and check for signs you may be away.

A/C Settings & Mold Prevention

  • Change your A/C filter. If it is washable, then wash it. An accumulation of dirt plus the summer heat and humidity can lead to mildew and mold growth, which can spread through the house.
  • For programmable or smart thermostats: Set your A/C to run at 72 degrees for just two hours each morning before sunrise and at 88 degrees for the remainder of the time.
  • For non-programmable thermostats: Set your A/C to run at 80 degrees while you are away. If you live in a condo or apartment, set your A/C at 77 degrees.
  • Monitor your electricity and water bills for unusual variances while you are away, and check for any unusual changes in energy usage. For example, a variance in your electric bill could indicate an appliance or A/C malfunction
  • Open your closet and cabinet doors, just to keep fresh air moving in and out of those areas.


  • Cable or satellite boxes: Unplug or turn off to avoid paying for energy you aren’t using.
  • Water heater: Turn off the circuit breaker to the water heater.
  • Small appliances and electronics: Unplug. For security reasons, you may want to place timers on indoor lamps. If you leave your broadband connected when away, you can use smart plugs to control table lamps.
  • Dishwasher: Empty and leave the door open.
  • Washing machine: Leave the lid open.


  • If you prefer to keep your refrigerator on, set it at its warmest setting.
  • If you prefer to keep your refrigerator off, make sure to clean the interior with a solution of 1 tbsp. of baking soda in 1 quart of water, dry thoroughly and leave doors open. Turn off the circuit breaker to the refrigerator. Remove all food from the freezer and refrigerator, and leave the door(s) propped open.
  • If you have an automatic ice maker, switch it to the “off” position.
Fire Safety

Make a Home Escape Plan

  • Know at least 2 ways out of every room
  • Practice your home fire drill
  • Replace batteries in your smoke detectors every six months.
  • If the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out.
  • Call 911
  • Never go back inside a burning home
  • Always have a fire extinguisher that is accessible and suitable for your home.

Cook With Caution

  • Stay in the kitchen while cooking otherwise turn off the stove.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire oven mitts, towels, curtains, utensils away from your stove top.
  • If a pan or pot with grease or oil catches fire don’t panic. Cover it with a lid or use a wet a dish cloth, wring it out and then carefully place over the pot or pan.

“Candle With Care”

  • Blow out candles when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • Avoid use of candles in bedrooms where you may fall asleep, and keep them at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.

Home Heating Safety

  • Remember to turn portable space heaters off before bedtime or leaving a room.
  • Keep anything flammable at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
  • NEVER use an oven to heat your home.

Smoking Safety

  • If you smoke, smoke outdoors only.
  • If you smoke indoors, stay alert, especially if drowsy or taking prescription medications.
  • NEVER smoke in bed.

Electrical Safety

  • Only plug one heat producing appliance (coffee maker, toaster, space heater) into a receptacle outlet at time.
  • Make sure that the electrical outlet that you are using is a “GFCI” (ground fault circuit interrupter) if you are using an electrical appliance near a sink or water (i.e. hand held hair dryer)
  • Check electrical cords to make sure they are in good working condition, are not across doorways or under carpets.
  • Check electrical cords to make sure that they have a ground
  • Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on lamps and fixtures.