Home security is no laughing matter. That is because few things are more important than the safety of your most valuable things—whether they are objects, pets, or people. And although you might think that you are safe when you lock the door to your house every night, there are actually an alarming amount of security mistakes that many people make on a regular basis. So to help you to amp up the security of your home, here are six of the most common home security mistakes that you might not even realize that you are making.
1. Forgetting the Basics
Many burglars are looking for nothing more than convenience. So when you leave your door unlocked—whether front, back, or side door—it is kind of like an open invitation for them to step inside and take a look around your house. Even if you have a automated security system installed, it is not a reliable substitute for good common sense. In 2008, when a group of teenagers broke into celebrities homes and raided them, it was widely reported that many of the celebrities, such as Paris Hilton, had left their doors unlocked, making it incredibly easy for the group to break in.
2. Neglecting the Upstairs
Although most burglars enter through the bottom floor doors and windows, that does not mean that you should forget about the rest of the house. Many people are guilty of making careless mistakes, such as leaving upstairs windows unlocked, or ladders lying next to their homes or outside somewhere. Such things not only encourage, but actually aid burglars in stealing your things.
3. Not Monitoring Your Trash
It might sound crazy, but it really matters what you throw out. Dedicated burglars will check through your trash and find out when you have recently bought new, expensive items, by looking through your recents. Bank statements can also be found. And if you leave your old boxes out on the curb to be collected, you might as well put a sign up in your window that says “there is a brand new television (or similar) inside this house.” Make sure that you shred all of your documents, and take your boxes to a landfill.
4. Leaving Clues When You Are Away
When you go on vacation, there are certain clues that burglars look out for. If your trash is uncollected, or your newspapers or mail are piling up, it can be a big indication that a house is unoccupied. Have your neighbors help you out by taking your trash out, or collecting your mail. Also automate your lights so that they will switch on and give the appearance of someone being home.
5. Broadcasting Your Whereabouts Online
You might not think twice about posting your holiday plans on Facebook or Twitter, but you might be surprised at just how many people can see your online activity, and take note of when you will be away. Careful about which information you share online.
6. Not installing a Security System/The Wrong System
In this day and age, burglars are getting smarter, and we have to make sure that our homes are up to the task. A home security system installed by a reputable company can be the difference between you and a whole lot of trouble. When looking for a service, check out the companies reviews and package deals when considering who to go with. Right now, Vivint, ADT, and Protect America are top in the nation for home security so these might be a good place to start. Check out the reviews page, such as Vivint reviews for more info. Even the sight of a home security system can be enough to deter a burglar, so it really is worth it to make the investment.
David Glenn is a home improvement expert. He occasionally freelance writes about home automation and making your home more green.