Home Security Means Being Prepared
Do you keep an inventory list of valuables in your home? If so, is that list up to date? If your list is ever lost, destroyed or stolen, does a backup copy exist anywhere?
Hopefully, you’ll never experience a burglary, fire, flood or other catastrophe. If you do, however, an inventory list will go a long way in helping you file a police report or insurance claim. A good inventory list may even help authorities verify you as an owner in order to return your stolen items.
The following are a few tips on how to create a good home inventory system.
Spreadsheets and forms
You have several options when it comes to creating an inventory list. Most home security experts, however, recommend that you speak with your insurance company and local police departments to determine if inventory templates are available to you. A computer generated spreadsheet is also a good idea for keeping a running list of items that you own.
What to Include On Your Home Inventory List
Be sure to include essential information such as the date that you purchased or received an item, its dollar value and note any unique markings such as scratches or discolorations. Some people even create their own identifying markers, which are normally out of sight and unnoticeable to others. Also, be sure to jot down the serial numbers of all electronic devices. Attaching photocopies or scanned copies of receipts, as well as actual photographs of each item in your home inventory list helps in creating a well-rounded inventory system.
Where to Store Your List
Once again, your local police department or insurance agent may be able to recommend a safe third-party storage system for your home inventory list. For jewelry and electronics, in particular, you may want to inquire about a safe database that pawn brokers may also check to identify whether items are stolen or not. A flash drive or other external computer storage will work, too. If utilizing cloud storage, be sure to thoroughly vet the security of whichever service you consider and be sure to keep your list password protected. You may also want to store a physical list at your office, at a relative’s home or at another safe, but private location.
Keeping Your List Updated
With whichever method you choose to create and store a home inventory list, be sure to update it frequently. The best rule is to update it just as soon as a new item is acquired. If time is an issue, you may want to schedule a certain day each month to update your list (including any attachments), as well as assuring that any backup and off-site lists are up to date, too.
Do you have any ideas or stories to share about creating an inventory list? Please be sure to leave your own tips in the comments section below.