The 5 Common Home Security Mistakes You’re Making Right Now
Did you know that the majority of home break-ins occur during the day?
Or that about 30% of all burglaries happen because of an unlocked door?
Or, that, according to the FBI, a home burglary is estimated to occur every 13 seconds in the United States alone?
Home security is often the first thing to go when aiming to make our lives easier.
Image from Vin Technology
We do things like leave windows open to save time, skip turning the alarm on, or leave the backdoor unlocked.
Yet, what many people don’t realize is that by making our own lives easier, you’re making the lives of potential burglars easier as well.
Statistics don’t lie, and with 66% of all burglaries belonging to residential areas, it’s important to understand what the common home security mistakes are and what you can do to avoid committing them.
Leaving Your Key Under the Doormat
It seems so obvious: do not leave your home key available for others to use, but for whatever reason this mistake gets made time and time again. Sure, leaving a key under the mat, fake rock, or even inside of some kind of small statue may seem like a good idea for you. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that fake rock doesn’t actually look real. In fact, it looks so unreal that chances are the burglar casing your home has seen ten just like it. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your home is secure and that your “hidden key” will remain only to your knowledge. Always assume that someone has either seen you move your key before, or that they will be able to easily find it when you’re not home. The worst part? Because home burglaries mostly occur during the day, there’s a strong likelihood that your neighbors won’t think anything of someone walking into your home through your front door by using a key, making them unlikely to call the police. Keep your home safe by stopping the habit and leaving your key with a trusted neighbor instead.
Image from Gear Fuse
Installing Cheap Locks
When locks become rusted or keys become jammed, many people will turn to the easiest and quickest solution as opposed to the safest. Given the option, people in this situation will head to their local home improvement store and drop a few bucks on a new set of locks for their doors. Of course, while this might save you some of your valuable time, it also might lead to bigger problems down the road. Common locks, such as those found from a home improvement store, can be purchased and studied by potential burglars. Not to mention, a lock that is not done by a professional locksmith can be easily broken and, therefore, broken into. Ensure the safety of your home by securing it with substantial lock power that is installed by a professional locksmith, rather than that of your own two hands.
Ladders Out In the Front Yard
A rather surprising, but common, home security mistake that many make, is leaving a ladder within easy grasp in the yard. Particularly for those who have a second story home, leaving a ladder can lead to an easy break-in, even where you were sure none would occur. Commonly, when folks leave their home for the day, they have a tendency to leave one or two windows open on the top floor. Whether it’s done because you forgot to shut them before leaving, or because you’re “airing the home out” does not matter. What matters, is the assumption that is made that because it’s on the second floor, your home remains safe. Be mindful that burglars look for easy ways in, even for the top floor, making that ladder lying in the front yard perfect for easy access to top windows that you may have left open.
Forgetting To Turn The Alarm On
We’ve all been there—that frustrating moment when you’re on the way to work or some special event and realize that you aren’t quite sure whether or not you actually locked the door or turned on the alarm. Maybe you imagined it and never actually flicked the on switch, or more likely you’re panicking for no reason at all. Whatever the truth, you know that you won’t rest easy until you drive back home and check it yourself. But the fact is, when you’re already on the road and risking running late, you’re unlikely to go home and check on things. Forgetting to turn your alarm on accounts for a 300% in burglaries from properly protected homes. Instead of risking your home’s security, consider calling in late and turning around, or even checking with a trusted neighbor or family member to secure the home for you.
Image from Fresh Your Home Design
Posting On Social Media
Perhaps one of the most overlooked things that can weaken your home’s security is to post on social media about any upcoming trips you may be taking. Consider how many people you know on your Facebook friend list—if I had to guess it’s not nearly as many as you might immediately think. Posting about any extended time you’ll be away opens your property up to fair game for those hoping to break in. While it may be exciting to post about upcoming trips you may be taking, think about leaving out the exact dates. At the very least, mention in any posts any family members or friends who will be checking in throughout the duration of your vacation. Even if it’s not necessarily true, a quick “Thanks again to my mom, for watching the place while we’re gone”, will deter potential burglars from breaking in.
For more home security tips, tricks, and statistics, take a look at Safe Guard the World’s “Security Statistics” page.
What common security mistakes have you made?
Leave your advice in the comments below!