Common Home Security Mistakes
Did you ever consider that by leaving for work each morning (even if you lock the doors) your home is vulnerable to burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and if you come home at the wrong time, robbery?
In 2014 there were approximately 4,596.1 burglaries per 100,000 households and resulted in an estimated total loss of $14.3 billion. Home alarms and home security systems play a role in fighting the trend of home invasions, but there are additional ways to reduce your risk. Consider the following mistakes:
Are You Guilty of Security Missteps?
Many security missteps are very obvious, so obvious that we often overlook them. However, the burglar casing your street will not overlook them.
Ladder lotto. Never leave a ladder out, even if it’s placed in the far reaches of your backyard. For burglars, this is like hitting the lottery jackpot, since they can easily use it to gain entry to a second-floor back window discreetly.
Trashy advertising. Perhaps you spent Sunday afternoon setting up your brand-new 52-inch flat screen HDTV smart television. Now you’re at your desk Monday, deciding which of your favorite series to binge watch tonight on Netflix. Sadly, it may not be there when you get home if you’ve advertised its make and model to the local burglar squad by leaving the box and packaging out for trash pickup.
Lights, cameras, action! Is your home living in the dark ages when it comes to security? Whether you’re already in for the night or not, your property should be well lit, at the very least with motion detection lights to deter theft. Should the lights suddenly come on, it’s a silent alarm to you as well as your neighbors that something’s afoot on your property.
One light left shining night after night is a burglar beacon. Set up a few digital timers or light simulators so lights come on at different hours of the night, replicating your family’s normal nightly habits.
If you’ve taken the commendable step of installing security cameras or standalone alarms, it’s up to your discretion whether you want to post warning decals and signs. However, do this with caution: If your system is within view of a window or even reflected in a mirror, a burglar can see it and know not only if it’s armed or disarmed, but exactly which areas are covered. Inspect your security system panel, and if it can be viewed through a window, make sure that window remains covered with blinds, drapes or shades when you’re not home or have retired for the night.
Social butterflies. If you’re an avid social media user, Facebook updates — sharing that you’re in Disney World or enjoying margaritas on the beach in Cancun — are also sharing the news that your house is up for grabs. Burglars have Facebook friends, too.
Nipping (or clipping) crime in the bud. Bushes can give your property color, texture and shade. Ones that are overgrown can provide a burglar with a place from which to peer into your windows unseen, or even worse, a robber to wait for your return. Keep your bushes compact, and keep pepper spray in your pocket or purse where you can access it easily should you need to use it for your own protection. Don’t be a double statistic, a property crime turned into a violent crime.
David Nance is a nationally acclaimed personal safety and home security expert who has been featured on The History Channel, Spike TV, FOX & Friends and more. He is also the CEO/V.P. of Sales & Marketing for SABRE — a company that specializes in wireless home security alarms and self defense products.