December 21 ,2018
6 Common Home Security Mistakes
Having a home security system is a great way to protect your home and your family. But that does not mean that you can just forget about all of the other things you need to do to ensure the security of your home.
Thousands of homes are broken into every day, and many of these incidents are partially the result of homeowners doing things (or failing to do things) that compromise their home security. In this post, we are going to look at some of the most common security mistakes people make at their homes.
1. Not Locking Doors or Windows
Starting off with something obvious, failing to lock doors or windows is one of the most common security mistakes people make. Burglars look for soft targets, and an unlocked front door or open window is about as soft as it can get.
It’s not even just forgetting to lock doors or close windows. People often leave a door unlocked or a window open because they are only going to be gone for just a few minutes. However, most burglaries take less than 10 minutes from start to finish, so you don’t want to make it easy by leaving a door or window unlocked.
2. Hiding a Key Outside
People think they are clever with the location of a hidden key outside the house, but most burglars know where to look. Whether it is under the front mat, in a fake rock or under a flowerpot, leaving a key outside is a serious security risk. If you are worried about getting locked out, you are much better off leaving a key with a trusted friend or family member.
If you want to get around leaving keys outside or having to trust someone with a key, you could consider installing a keyless entry system. Smart locks are very affordable and they offer a range of features that can improve your home security. With features like keypads for unlocking the door and the ability to control locks from your smartphone, you won’t have to worry about losing a key or leaving one outside.
3. Forgetting to Secure Second Floor Windows
People have a tendency to believe their second floor windows are safe from burglars. While they are a less likely target than doors and windows on the first floor, burglars will try to access the second floor windows if they think they can gain access that way. Don’t rely on a difficult climb to act as a deterrent, some burglars will find ways to get to those open or unlocked second story windows.
Furthermore, you should look for ways that you might be making it easier to access the second floor. If you have a ladder, keep stored in the garage or a shed. If you can’t store it somewhere secure, get a bike lock and lock it to something that can’t be moved. Additionally, look for things like trees that might be able to provide access. If you have to, cut some branches back to make it harder to reach the windows.
4. Signs of an Unoccupied Home
Going on vacation is great, but you do not want to announce it to every person that passes your house by leaving some of the telltale signs of an empty home. If you have a subscription to the newspaper, put it on hold while you are away. Go to the post office to arrange for a hold on your mail. See if you can get someone you trust to stop by once a day to collect any packages or door flyers that may accumulate in front of the house.
As another sign of an empty home, you have your lights. Burglars look for two things in this regard: a home where the lights are always off or a home where one light is on all day and all night. Both of these are signs that the homeowner is away. If you want to give the appearance of people being at home, you should set a few lights on a timer. If you have a smart home security system, you could also consider smart lights. Many of these systems have a vacation mode that will simulate the lighting pattern of an occupied home.
5. Providing Cover for Burglars
Is it any surprise that burglars prefer to commit their crimes in places where they won’t be seen? If you have large bushes growing around doors and windows or poor lighting on your home exterior, you are providing favorable conditions for a burglar. Trim bushes and trees away from your windows and make sure your home exterior is well lit. You should also consider motion lights, which are more efficient and more effective as a deterrent.
If you want to go one step further in deterring criminals and removing the idea of getting away with a crime unseen, you could consider installing home security cameras on the exterior. When a burglar sees cameras, they know that even if they are not seen while they are committing the crime, that there will be video evidence that can help police catch them after the fact.
6. Too Much Sharing
There is nothing wrong with being active on Facebook or any other social media platform, but you need to be careful about what and when you share certain types of information. We have already heard a number of stories about burglars using social media to glean information about the homes they target.
One tip is to not post about expensive items you just bought. You might be excited about your new 4K TV or a new piece of jewelry you just got as a gift, but these types of posts can also gain the attention of criminals. Furthermore, you do not want to announce when you are going on vacation or out for the evening. When a burglar sees this, they will know that your home is going to be empty.
Avoiding these common mistakes can go a long way toward improving your home security and preventing a break in. To take your security to the next level and provide your home with the best protection possible, you should consider installing a smart security system.
For more information on smart security systems, contact Cornerstone Protection for a free consultation. Our security experts will explain your options, listen to your security concerns and help you design an alarm system that is customized for your needs.