In the modern age, almost every American home is packed full of valuables of all sorts. The consumer economy means that many people have lots of electronic equipment: from smart television sets to tablets and laptop computers, expensive and valuable items are in every room of the home these days. In many ways, this sort of development is excellent as it means that there’s a whole world of knowledge, entertainment and more at people’s fingertips. However, it also has a downside, which is that a home full of consumer goods is one that’s attractive to burglars, damage and more. This article will share some top tips for preventing these problems from arising.
Burglary and theft
It’s believed that losses from property crime in the US exceeded $15.3bn in 2017 alone. With sobering figures like that showing that the problem is large, acting to defend yourself against burglary and theft is a wise move. The first, and arguably the most effective, way to defend yourself and your items against theft is to change your behavior. While crimes are always the fault of the perpetrator, you can take several steps to reduce the risk that your items will go missing. Locking your doors and windows at night is one way to go, while ensuring that you always place your electronic items into a closed and secure bag when not using them on public transport is another. For valuable items that aren’t electronic, such as passports and cash, using a safety deposit box may well be your best bet.
It’s also possible to make life difficult for the criminal in the event that you do fall victim to theft. Many consumer electronics goods such as smartphones can be installed with tracking devices to ensure that you can see where they’re being taken to, while auto-wiping software can protect your privacy and render devices useless if they’re taken.
Sadly, it’s also the case that valuable items are vulnerable to being damaged by accident. While no malice may have been intended if your buddy spills beer all over your laptop computer, it’s still a nightmare in many ways – and if the item is a write-off, then it can be just as bad or even worse than a theft as it can feel like there’s no hope of reversing the problem.
There are some ways to defend yourself against this though. Appliance insurance covers a range of items, and it’s a good idea to protect the appliances in your home – especially if paying upfront and in full to replace them would be a financial struggle. If your items are rare (which is often the case for non-electronic valuables, such as works of art or age-old bottles of wine), then it may be worth storing them away from your property and in a specialist place with the facilities to look after them more appropriately.
Depreciation and failure
Valuable items need love, care and attention in order to work well for the long term, but all too often, owners and users find themselves too lazy to do essential device maintenance work – such as installing the required updates on a phone or a laptop, or cleaning the screen of their television. These may seem like small tasks, and that’s why they’re so easy to ignore, but over time, they can cause significant depreciation in the value of the asset.
Take the example of a software update for a computer. If software updates are left to build up and are not installed, then it could be the case that your device becomes slow – or, worse, becomes vulnerable to the sort of viruses that may end up rendering it unusable. While this might not seem as pressing a problem as, say, protecting your valuables from theft, it’s still vital to invest the time in preventing asset depreciation.
Looking after your valuables is a wise move – but in order to stay on top of it, you’ll need to come at the problem from several different angles. You’ll have to be sure, for example, that you’re reducing the risks of property crime while also thinking about ways to avoid the common problem of accidental damage. With asset depreciation to factor into the mix, it’s also wise to ensure that you do everything from installing property updates to cleaning your items on a regular basis. While there’s no foolproof way to defend against all issues with valuables, there are certainly ways to cut the chances of problems happening to you.