Common Home Security Mistakes

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

According to the latest FBI crime statistics, there were an estimated 1,117,696 burglaries in 2019. Residential burglaries account for a whopping 62.8% of those total burglaries. A home security system is a valuable tool in securing your property and safeguarding your family, but it is important to remember that it is not a magic shield. The most advanced security system cannot keep us safe if we neglect to lock the front door.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at the most common ways we invite Burglars into our homes.

Unlocked Doors

This seems like a no brainer. Everyone locks their doors these days, right? Well, as it turns out, many of us don’t lock our doors during the day. We have a list of justifications for this dangerous habit. From the belief that bad guys don’t break into homes during broad daylight, to the even more frightening admission that the door was unlocked because the owners were home. 

When we talk about burglary, we often conjure images of burglars wearing ski masks and sneaking around in the dead of night armed with a crow bar and a sack of ill-gotten goods. The statistics paint a very different picture. Approximately 2/3 of all burglaries in the United States occur during daylight hours. The majority of the time the burglar is known to the homeowner in some way. This means, depending on the relationship between the homeowner and burglar, the bandit may know that you leave your doors unlocked during the day. They may also know that when you pop over to the neighbors for a chat, you are always gone for at least 30 minutes. One of the simplest and wisest steps you can take to secure your home is to get in the habit of locking your doors.

Unlocked or Open Windows

Windows are frequently opened to air out the house or enjoy the outside weather. But it is very easy to forget making sure they have all been securely closed and locked at the end of the day. The same advice applies here as with the unsecured doors. It is vital to start making it a habit to check that all doors and windows are closed and locked everyday. 

Ignoring A Knock On The Door

This will seem to contradict the advice that most of us were raised to follow. The police once advised that we should not answer the door for people that we do not know. They have reversed their stance after a recent trend of burglaries and home invasions that involved young men and women knocking on doors in the middle of the day, attempting forced entry if no one answered the door.  The police believe that they are knocking on the door to find out whether anyone is home. When no one responds to their knocking, they assume that it is safe to break in.

**IMPORTANT : You should acknowledge the knocking at the door, but DO NOT open the door. Ideally you should have a doorbell camera professionally installed. This would allow you to see and speak with unexpected or unwelcome without compromising your safety.

Inadequate Locks

Depending on the type of dwelling you have, the locks securing your doors and windows may be more of a privacy lock than an actual security feature. This is the case in many manufactured homes. Privacy locks are the small thumb-turn locks that are built into your doorknob or door handle. On sliding glass doors and windows the standard thumb lever locking device is a privacy lock. Privacy locks will not prevent entry into your home. At a bare minimum, all entry doors should have an independent deadbolt lock. Sliding glass doors and windows should have more robust locks added to reinforce their standard issue privacy locks.

Too Much Privacy

It is human nature to feel safer when we are shielded from view. Unfortunately, this is a false sense of safety at best and invites danger at worst. If you can do whatever you like in your yard without being observed by anyone, so can a burglar. There is no need to rip out all of your plants though. You may simply need to relocate any tall or wide shrubs or trees out to the fence line so windows and doors aren’t obscured. 

Poor Lighting

Most homes have inadequate outside lighting. We commonly have one light at the front door and one at the backdoor. This standard lighting configuration usually leaves as much as ¾ of the property hidden in darkness at night. All that darkness makes for great hiding places. The solution to this weak point is strategic lighting. You will need to figure out where your current blind spots are and install flood lights with motion sensors. Motion triggered flood lights save energy and are often enough to deter burglars who are startled by the sudden flood of light. 

Forgetting To Lock Your Garage Door

Garage doors are often an easy entry point for burglars. We commonly leave the garage bay door open when working outside. There are hundreds of security camera videos that show just how brazen many burglars are these days. The videos often show the homeowner working in another section of the yard while a thief walks into the open garage selecting the items he is going to take. 

It is better to keep the garage door shut or lowered to obstruct the view whenever possible. You should also get in the habit of taking the garage door opener with you when you exit the vehicle. Burglars have been known to steal the garage door-opener during the first break-in, intending to come back and use it to regain access to the garage in the middle of the night.

Advertising Expensive Purchases

It is a bad idea to put the boxes for your brand new 60-inch Smart TV, your new Play Station 5, or your new generator out at the curb waiting for trash collection. The entire time the boxes sit out at the curb, they serve as a billboard advertising exactly what the burglar will find inside your home. We recommend you break down the boxes and fit them inside the trash bin instead.

 Visible Valuables Inside

You need to be careful to not advertise your valuable items from inside your home as well. When you walk past an uncovered window during the day, you are unlikely to discern much detail inside the home unless you press your face right up against the glass. However, this changes considerably as soon as the sun goes down. At night, when you pass by your neighbors’ uncovered front window it is as if every detail of their life is lit up with stage lighting. You can see what type of TV they have and what they are watching on it.

Of course, because you are a courteous neighbor and not a burglar, you quickly avert your eyes . You don’t want to spy on your neighbors in the privacy of their own home after all. A burglar is not going to avert their gaze. They will most likely take a mental snapshot of everything they see of value and its location in your home. 

Be aware of the view provided by your windows and make sure that your valuables are not on display. The easiest solution is to start making sure the shades and curtains are drawn as soon as the sun sets. 

Oversharing

Be cautious about oversharing your travel plans on social media. You never know who is paying close attention. The last thing you want to do is let a huge group of strangers know that you and your entire family will be out of the country for the next three weeks. Share your vacation once you get back home.

Developing a False Sense of Safety

It is very easy to slip back into the mistakes and habits discussed in this blog. Try to get into a habit of scanning your surroundings. Scan your front yard before you park your car, regularly check the security camera feed, or look out the window when you hear a noise outside. Also, make a concerted effort to get to know your neighbors if you do not already.  

Avoid These Common Mistakes With Frase

Frase Protection has been providing quality security system installation and monitoring services to the people of Memphis for more than 40 years. We are proud to offer the best value in wireless home security and 24/7 monitoring for your peace of mind. Give us a call at (901) 755-1800 or fill out the “Contact Us” form on FraseProtection.com

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