Top 7 Mistakes People Make When Trying to Protect Their Home
Is your home an unwitting beacon for thieves and burglars? It could be if you aren’t careful. Take a look at these next 7 tips to make sure you aren’t unknowingly saying “welcome” to every criminal that might pass by.
1. Hiding a Key On the Property
Sure, hiding a key under a rock may fool an amateur thief once in awhile, but hiding a key on your property in case you lock yourself out is not a good idea. A career burglar will know where to look every single time, making your home security efforts practically useless if the burglar simply walks through the front door. It is a much better idea to leave the key with a neighbor or in a secure lockbox.
2. Not Fixing Broken Locks
Broken locks on doors or windows are quite inviting to intruders and burglars. Sure, you mean to fix them, but you just never seem to get around to it. Having a broken lock on a door or window is about as safe as not locking your home at all, so fixing locks as soon as they break should be a top priority. When you do fix the lock, think about upgrading to a more secure piece of hardware.
3. Not Trimming Shrubbery
Overgrown landscaping does more than keep your house cool; it act as a great hiding spot for an intruder as he tries to find a way to break into your home. Cut back the landscaping and make sure all bushes and shrubs are trimmed on a regular basis. If your home becomes too hot in the summer, install window awnings to keep your house cool.
4. Keeping One Light On
Keeping one light on all the time is no better than keeping your home dark. One light signals to a smart thief that no one is home as there is no movement inside your home. It is better to get a few inexpensive lighting timers that will turn lights on and off when you are not home. This gives the appearance of people being inside and a professional burglar will just move on.
5. Stopping Your Mail and Newspaper When on Vacation
Contrary to popular belief, don’t stop your mail and newspaper when you leave town. Even though you may trust your mail carrier and newspaper delivery person, that does not mean they are trustworthy. Even if they are trustworthy, you don’t know who they might tell that you are away. It is not worth the risk. Have a trusted neighbor get your paper and pick up your mail instead.
6. Getting a Big Dog
Yes, big dogs are scary looking. But little dogs make noise, usually a lot of noise. Getting a small dog is better protection as the noise the dog makes will discourage a professional thief from trying to break into your home.
7. Letting Burglars Know What Type of Alarm System You Have
A professional burglar would love to know what kind of burglar alarm system you have. Don’t tell him. Rather than posting the lawn sign and window stickers your alarm company gives you stop by the hardware store and get generic signs. These will alert a burglar that there is an alarm to deal with but will not give him the information he wants in order to bypass it.
8. Not Turning on Your Alarm System
The burglar alarm only works if it is turned on. Whether you are going away for a few minutes, all day or on a trip, get in the habit of setting your burglar alarm every time you walk out of the house.
Home security is a matter of maintenance, common sense and good habits. These seven tips do not guarantee that your home will not be burglarized but do make it more difficult. So, make sure that your renters or homeowners insurance is up-to-date and make an inventory of your belongings – just in case.
Author Bio: Elli is a guest author who writes for www.yourlocalsecurity.com. When she’s not blogging about home security, she enjoys spending time in the outdoors, hiking, fishing, and backpacking!