Wherever you live, and whatever type of home you have, keeping it secure and ensuring the safety of those inside your home is something you cannot ignore. It is your responsibility as a homeowner to do your best to secure your home from intruders and thieves, but how can you be sure your methods will work? To give you a head start, here are a few home security mistakes you might like to avoid:
Many people take a great first step and get a security or alarm system. But, according to Guardian Protection, if the responsibility of alarm monitoring is 100% on you, then you’re basically taking on a full-time job. If something happens and you’re not available — at work, asleep, or on vacation — who is going to take care of your property?
Chances are, you won’t be able to single-handedly watch for alarm system alerts, 24/7/365. That means something major could slip through the cracks. That’s where alarm monitoring comes into play. They look after your property 24/7 so that you don’t have to.
For more info on alarm monitoring read this article.
Hiding Keys Outside
According to Family Handyman, many people hide a house key somewhere in the yard. That’s great if someone is taking care of your home or if you accidentally lock yourself out. Unfortunately, most homeowners “hide” their key in obvious spots where a burglar will look immediately. Don’t just put that key under the welcome mat!
Poor Quality Locks
Having cheap or standard locks means thieves can very quickly and easily break the lock and gain access to your property. As all property types are different, get advise from a trusted locksmith on the various options available to you.
Chubb, mobile locksmiths in New Zealand, suggest the key factors to consider are:
- Size and shape of premises
- Number of levels
- Quantity of doors – Main entry/exit doors and internal doors
- Number of windows
- Door and Window material (Wood, Aluminium)
Ideally, your lock solution should include:
- Deadbolts – Front and Back Doors
- Restricted Keys
- Window Locks
- Ranch Slider locks where required
- Patio Bolts where required
You can find trusted locksmiths in Auckland here.
Protecting your privacy too much
Whilst it can be tempting to have high hedges, fences and gates around your property to afford you more privacy, they might actually be doing more harm than good. Tall bushes and trees up against your property might provide the perfect hiding place for potential intruders, enabling them to sneak up to your home undetected.
Going It Alone
If you’re calling your neighbor “whatshisname” or “lady with the blue Honda,” it’s probably time to introduce yourself. Get to know the people who live near you and help each other out. These relationships not only improve overall personal well-being; they can also make neighborhoods safer.
More friendly, familiar faces equals more conversations, increasing the likelihood that neighbors will speak up if they see something out of the ordinary. Consider every new neighbour another set of eyes looking out for your property.
A Better Home Security Solution Than Static Lights
Many homeowners first respond to home security needs by installing outdoor lighting. They turn on the lights at the end of the day, or maybe install a timer or light sensor so that the lights come on automatically at night. While those fixtures do light up your yard, they also creates dense pockets of shadows that make great hiding spots.
You can find a much better solution in motion sensors. You still have the illumination, but they may surprise someone prowling around the home, and surprises scare most intruders away. Plus, the sudden change can attract attention. Motion sensors save energy, leading to lower electric bills and longer-lasting light bulbs.
Visible Valuables Jeopardise Home Security
Besides measures outside your home, give some thought to what can be seen inside your home, as well. Many homeowners forget that windows create a two-way portal: Just as you can see out of them, a potential intruder can see in.
If you have especially valuable items, consider whether they can be seen from a ground-floor window, such as first-floor bedrooms where jewelry or other valuable items may reside on dressers. Some large items like televisions present difficult home-security positioning issues. In that case, pull the shades or shut the blinds each evening. Similarly, give a little thought to putting away valuables by either tucking them out of sight or in a dedicated secret hideaway.
Packaging Left by the Curb
As well as couriers leaving boxes for you – or your burglar – to find when you get home, many neighbourhoods employ roadside rubbish and recycling collection. Don’t just leave packaging from an expensive item such as a television or laptop by the curb. That broadcasts the presence of an expensive new item in the home.
Alarm System Line of Sight
Alarm systems are wonderful tools, but sometimes the installation crews don’t guide customers enough during installation. Too often, crews install the control pad where it can be seen from a first floor window. That allows potential thieves to peer in and see whether the system is activated. That alarm company yard sign won’t mean much if they know the system is off — particularly at night when the green or red status light shines like a beacon in a darkened home.
Social Media Travel Posts
Social media is a fantastic tool, great for staying in touch with friends and sharing travel experiences and photos … after your trip is over.
Remember that social media channels are built as public platforms, like talking to a crowd with a megaphone. Don’t share travel plans unless you’re comfortable with the entire social media community knowing. Because social media accounts default to a public setting, criminals easily search for keywords like trip, travel, vacation and out-of-town to identify homes with their occupants away.
Mail Piling Up Undermines Home Security Measures
Few things advertise an absent homeowner like piled-up mail and newspapers. Criminals don’t even need to slow down their vehicle to spot an overflowing mailbox or newspapers scattered on a porch.
To avoid this, contact your local post office and/or newspaper to suspend service while away. Because these services sometimes miss a day or take a little bit of time to cease delivery, it’s also a good idea to ask a friend or neighbor to swing by and collect any mail or newspapers that accumulate.
Ladder Access Hurts Home Security
You may have noticed most of these tips have addressed first-floor issues — burglars looking to remain out-of-sight and move quickly won’t often bring a ladder with them on a break-in. However, some homeowners make it easy on the bad guys by providing simple access to their second floor.
Don’t leave ladders lying around the yard (or hanging on the back of the garage) where prowlers can access them. Most burglars act on opportunity, and won’t consider a second-floor entry unless you make it easy for them by leaving a ladder on hand.
Don’t Sleep on Daytime Risk
Most people associate break-ins with the nighttime. While burglars do appreciate the cover of darkness, what they really appreciate is an empty house. At night, people usually hang around home. Instead, burglars find homes more inviting with everyone at school and work!
Since most break-ins occur during the day, take the appropriate measures. Turn on your alarm system when you’re gone, keep an eye out for suspicious activity and make sure you close and lock all doors and windows. This applies when you go to work, school or just out to run errands.
For more info, read, 5 Benefits of Using a Professional Locksmith Service