Choosing a home security system is a vital safety step for your home and family. But along with selecting an alarm, lighting, or camera system, it’s also important to steer clear of some basic home security mis-steps and mistakes that could render your security technology useless.
A common and easily avoidable mistake: hiding your house key. The best alarm system in the world won’t keep out a thief you’ve handed him the key to your front door. Many people are concerned about being locked out of their home, and will place an extra key under a rock, above the door, or in a container somewhere on the property. A better plan: leave an extra key with a neighbor or purchase a finger print or keypad lock to replace a traditional keyed system. Don’t leave your house keys in your car either, even if your car is in your garage. That’s an open invitation to a car thief to come inside your home. And when you’re away from your property, the same rule applies – don’t leave your keys in your car. If you’re utilizing a valet parking system, remove your house keys from your key ring or keep a spare and separate car key for the valet’s use.
Another common mistake: letting a repair slide. If you have a broken window lock, even if that window is on the third floor, repair it ASAP. Making sure your windows and doors all utilize strong, working locks is important. Don’t assume that because a window isn’t on the ground floor, an intruder can’t find his way into your home.
And speaking of maintenance, keep your trees and shrubs trimmed and your garden well groomed. Potential intruders view ragged or overgrown foliage as an excellent hiding place. If your yard is neat and clipped, there will be no place for an intruder to lurk. Be sure to test your outdoor lights for burned out bulbs; and consider installing security lighting triggered by motion or body-heat as an additional safety system.
Also, if you have a storage shed or free standing garage, always lock them. Leaving these areas unsecured offers an intruder an inviting place to lurk, or to use your own tools and ladder to gain access to your home. Never leave tools or ladders lying open in your yard, either – again, that’s like setting out a welcome mat to a potential thief.
And, remember, safety systems are only as good as you make them. Installing a burglar alarm and not testing it might mean the system is useless. Not activating it means that it most assuredly will be. So be sure to test your alarm, check for software upgrades if applicable, and always turn it on when you’re away from home, even if you’re just heading to a neighbor’s house down the street. It only takes a few minutes for an intruder to gain access to your home.
Avoid these common mistakes and keep your home and family secure.