Home security is a major concern for any homeowner but sometimes, the strategies that are used can actually help a criminal choose your house as a target rather than prevent it.
Whether you are ready to take your home’s security seriously, or you just want to make sure that you’re not doing anything wrong, we are going to share some of the most common mistakes that homeowners make when planning their home security.
- 1 1. Gates and Fences are Too High
- 2 2. Leaving Mail to Pile Up
- 3 3. Leaving a Spare Key Outside
- 4 4. Using Static Lighting
- 5 5. Packaging for Expensive Items Left by the Curb
- 6 6. Keeping Valuables Visible
- 7 7. Posting on Social Media About When You Are Going Away
- 8 8. Leaving Doors and Windows Unlocked
- 9 9. Forgetting to Lock the Garage Door
- 10 10. Leaving Tools and Ladders Outside
- 11 11. Trusting That a Dog is All You Need
1. Gates and Fences are Too High
Everybody likes their privacy and fences certainly work at helping us to feel more secure but there are right and wrong ways of using gates and fences for your home security. The problem is that if these gates and fences are too high, they can work in a criminal’s favor by giving them a place to hide.
Now, we are not saying that you shouldn’t use fencing but you should make sure that the doors to your home can be seen from the street. This gives any potential burglar a much greater chance of being seen if they plan on targeting your home.
2. Leaving Mail to Pile Up
Nothing quite says that a home is empty more than a pile of mail. A criminal wouldn’t even need to stake out a property to know that the homeowners are away. This can be dealt with by contacting the local post office and suspending the service until you return. If you have newspapers delivered, you should do the same with those too.
3. Leaving a Spare Key Outside
While many people like to leave a spare key hidden somewhere around the property, they often leave them in really obvious places. The most common reasons for hiding a key may be in case you accidentally lock yourself out or have someone take care of the home.
If you leave the spare key under a welcome mat or flower pot, you are asking for trouble. There are many different products available that you can hide the key inside so that it looks like something completely different. I would avoid going for a fake rock as these are also pretty obvious.
4. Using Static Lighting
Outdoor lighting should be a top priority when planning your home security but don’t make the mistake of installing static lights. What many homeowners do is install these lights and then simply turn them on when it gets dark. These lights work well in lighting up your yard but it also creates dense pockets of shadows that a criminal can use to hide in.
Instead, you should install motion sensor lighting which will still give you the illumination but will also come as a shock to anyone that may be prowling around the home, and immediately raise concerns in their minds about whether or not they’ve been spotted.
5. Packaging for Expensive Items Left by the Curb
Trash and recycling in most areas is usually collected curbside. If you have boxes and other packaging from expensive items such as TVs or computers, don’t just put the packaging by the curb as it is. This immediately shows any criminals that you have a brand new TV to steal. Instead, cut the packaging up with a knife or scissors and stack it so that it doesn’t clearly display what was inside.
6. Keeping Valuables Visible
A criminal doesn’t even need to step into a lot of homes to know what they are going to break in and steal. Leaving valuables where they are visible from outside is an easy way to become a target. This isn’t always going to be easy. Items such as TVs are hard to hide out of sight due to their size but in this case you should pull the curtains or blinds shut in the evening.
7. Posting on Social Media About When You Are Going Away
Social media is a great way of keeping in touch with your friends and family but you also don’t know who is watching and reading what you post. If you want to post about the fact that you’re going away on vacation, share the information and photos when you get back instead. Never share your travel plans unless you’re comfortable with the entire social media community knowing about them. Anything you post is automatically set to ‘public‘ which means that people don’t need to be on your friends list to see them. All criminals need to do is search for terms such as ‘out of town‘, ‘going away‘, and instantly be given dates and times that you will be out of the house. If you want to post about it before you go, make sure that you set the post to ‘private‘.
8. Leaving Doors and Windows Unlocked
I shouldn’t even have to mention how important this is. Did you know that roughly a third of all burglaries happen when someone enters the home straight through an unlocked door or window? It doesn’t matter if you are only going to be gone for a few minutes or a few weeks, lock up. It is recommended that you get into the habit of doing this even when you are at home for your own personal safety.
9. Forgetting to Lock the Garage Door
The garage is not only the place where expensive items are usually stored but if it is connected to the house then it is also an easy way into the house for a criminal. Anyone can still open a garage door from the outside if you fail to lock it. And of course, don’t drive away from the house until you have seen the garage door close fully.
10. Leaving Tools and Ladders Outside
Just because the rear garden may not be as easily accessible as the front, it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily more secure. You would never leave tools lying around the front garden so don’t do it at the back either. Tools and ladders can easily be used by a criminal to gain entry into your property. Always keep any tools and ladders locked away securely so that they can’t be used against you.
11. Trusting That a Dog is All You Need
Dogs are a great addition to any home security plan but it doesn’t mean that a dog is all you need. There have been many cases in the past where a dog has become injured by an intruder and some where the dogs were of no use at all. Make sure to keep your home as well as your furry friend safe by having a security system installed.
When planning your home security, it isn’t just about what will make you feel safer at home, but what will actually make you safer. No single layer of security is enough on its own, the best protection involves multiple layers that all work together.