Everyone likes to think that their home is secure. You live in a nice neighborhood, you have great neighbors, and you lock your doors and arm your security system — well, most of the time you lock the doors. Who’s going to break into your house? That doesn’t happen in this neighborhood. So you forgot to arm the alarm before going to the grocery store — you’ll only be gone for thirty minutes. Is anything really going to happen?
The simple answer is — you just never know. We are all human and we all forget things from time to time, but when it comes to home security we all engage in common mistakes that can be easily avoided. Here are the twelve most common security mistakes made by homeowners.
- The first mistake is probably one that not many people still do, but it is the easiest way for someone to break into your house. Do not leave a key under a doormat. EVER. This is the oldest trick in the book for burglars.
- Do not leave your key anywhere outside your home! Some homeowners think they are tricking intruders by placing their key under a lawn ornament or under a large rock but this is just as bad as leaving your key right under the mat. Intruders know to look in these places as well.
- You forget to lock your doors and windows every time you leave. This is very easy to avoid, and an extremely easy way to let an intruder into your home if your doors remain unlocked.
- Never leave a ladder outside. A ladder easily accessible outside is an open invitation to your second story, which can be less secure than your main floor. Keep the ladder in the garage or a locked shed.
- Even if your garage is shut, remember to lock the door leading into the house. Many garages can be easily triggered to open with a simple wire hanger. Don’t let a possible intruder gain access to your home through a false sense of security in your garage door.
- Focus on second story security. A lot of homeowners neglect their second story windows and do not lock them properly. These windows are an open invite to any burglar that knows how to climb well.
- Fake security systems are exactly what their name states — fake. Experienced intruders have no problem identifying a fake security system. If you do not have a security system, don’t draw attention to the fact with fake signs and cameras.
- If you do have a real security system, use it! Many homeowners simply forget to turn theirs on every time they leave the house. You paid for it, you might as well get good use out of it. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
- We all know how excited you are for your upcoming vacation, but try to refrain from posting all about it on social media before you leave. This is an easy way for anyone lurking on your profile to know exactly when you will be gone.
- Speaking of vacations, always remember to have a neighbor pick up your mail, or have it kept at the post office until you return. Piled up mail and newspapers are an easily identifiable sign that no one is home.
- Install proper outdoor lighting. A well lit house is a house that an intruder will most likely stay away from. Motion sensing lights are a great deterrent against any intruder.
- Most doorframes are more easily broken into than you think. Invest in long, thick screws to install your doorframe with.
Avoiding these twelve common mistakes can go a long way in making your home more safe and secure. You just never know when or if an intruder is going to target your home. It’s always better to be on the safe side than to regret not locking that one door or window.