Sure, we’ve all heard not to leave a spare key under the doormat and to always leave a light on when we’re not home. And while we try to practice our best security measures to ensure the safety of our family and home, unfortunately, sometimes simple steps are overlooked.
Statistics from the FBI show that there is a burglary once every sixteen seconds in the United States. Most of these could easily be prevented just by taking a few additional precautions. To ensure your property is as safe as possible, you should avoid making any of these five home security mistakes.
Leaving doors and windows unlocked
Most burglaries, robberies and home invasions begin at the victim’s front door. You should always be sure to lock your doors and windows, especially while you are inside. Leaving a key underneath a door mat or fake rock is essentially the same thing as leaving a door unlocked. Instead, leave a key with a trusted neighbor, friend or family member.
Allowing easy access to tools
It’s just as important to lock your garage or storage shed as it is your home. That’s because would-be intruders could easily gain access to items such as hoes, shovels, or hammers, which could then be used to compromise your locks or even break windows. What’s worse is that once inside your home, criminals would also have a weapon that could be used against you. Always ensure storage areas are locked, and consider using a gaplock device on rolling garage doors so that burglars cannot pry them open with a coat hanger.
Providing places for intruders to hide
When “casing” houses, burglars often look for yards that provide concealment in the way of dark shadows, trees, lamp posts, or other fixtures. For this reason, one of the best things you can do to improve home security is to evaluate your landscaping. Trim trees and shrubs that are close to your home, and consider installing additional landscape lighting where needed. If your yard appears well lit and maintained, chances are that burglars will choose another home instead.
Advertising expensive items
While home break-ins are often planned, a good number are also crimes of opportunity. The best way to prevent your home from this type of break-in is to ensure that valuable items are not visible from the street. Stand outside your home to get a better picture as to what others see when they are passing by. If things such as computers and televisions can be seen easily, you may want to move them. If this isn’t possible, consider installing heavier blinds and curtains instead.
You should also take care not to “advertise” recent purchases by placing empty cardboard boxes near the curb. Avoid uploading photographs to social media, particularly after posting your travel plans (which also gives thieves the green light for committing a burglary).
Making it obvious that no one is home
When you must be away from home for an extended period, be sure to:
- Stop mail and newspaper delivery
- Place interior lights on a timer
- Arrange for someone to cut grass and pull weeds
- Have a friend park an extra vehicle in your driveway
These common home security mistakes are easy to fix, and will help you greatly reduce the odds of a break-in. Another way to make your family safer is with a home security system. Our systems can easily be customized to fit your needs, providing you with the greatest security possible.