Are you making these top 10 home security mistakes? Avoid these common mistakes to save valuable property, lives and increase your safety
With nearly 50 years of experience in home security, we at Alert 360 have heard both tragic and miraculous stories from home and business owners. We hear these stories during initial consultations for a monitored security system or after an alarm activation and follow up with emergency personnel. These stories can be either heartbreaking or heartwarming – sometimes both.
From these actual life events, the following are the top home security mistakes we’ve witnessed over the years:
Believing a Break-in or Emergency will Never Happen at your Home
A recent crime report from the FBI estimated there were more than 1.2 million burglaries, resulting in $3.4 billion in property losses in one year alone. Overall crime has increased during the pandemic. Chances are, you know someone who has been the victim of a home break-in, property loss, or property damage.
Sadly, break-ins aren’t the only threat to homeowners. One of the largest insurance claims is related to water damage. At Alert 360, our home security and protection services include devices that monitor and alert homeowners to water leaks, smoke, temperature changes or access to sensitive areas. In addition, our life-safety medical alert option helps ensure your elderly loved ones receive critical assistance sooner rather than later.
When you include these home security services along with intrusion detection and security video monitoring you enjoy more complete protection of the property, people and pets you value most.
Ignoring Front Door and Porch Security
One of the most common entries for thieves is the front door, and most burglaries actually occur during the day. Simply being aware of who visits your home – whether you are home or not – can increase home security.
Unfortunately, porch piracy also remains big news and an even bigger problem for homeowners. A recent study reports nearly 40 percent of consumers have been victims of package theft from their front porch. Of those, 44 percent have had a package stolen at least twice. Fortunately, there are easy home security steps to take that help to prevent your packages from being stolen and increase the overall security of your home.
The easiest way to protect your front door is with an outdoor security camera or video doorbell. Alert 360’s video doorbell camera provides security where it’s needed most – at your front door. This camera provides the added benefit of allowing you to talk to visitors without opening the door, whether you are home or across town. Also, keep these top tips in mind for increasing your front door security with or without outdoor home security cameras:
• Screen visitors before opening the door. Install peepholes and ask to see identification from service and delivery people. Warmer weather is also the season for door-to-door sales. While some visitors who come to our doors don’t appear threatening, it’s wise to be cautious of scams;
• Don’t hide a spare key outside. Thieves know all the popular places homeowners use to hide keys. Consider leaving an extra set with a trusted neighbor or family member. Another option is installing a keyless, smart lock;
• Trim bushes or trees from around your front entrance. Large or overgrown shrubs provide the perfect hiding place for would-be thieves;
• Install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors. It sounds simple, but also keep all doors locked, even when you’re home;
• Consider smart lighting for your front porch. Smart or automated lights indicate you are home and reduce dark spaces for thieves to hide; and
• Review these front door security tips with your children so they know what to do when a stranger comes to the door.
Believing Home Break-ins Only Occur at Night
As mentioned above, most home break-ins actually occur during the day. It’s true that some thieves will attempt car break-ins at night. However, homes are most vulnerable when you’re at work or have left doors and garages open or unlocked in the daytime. Easy steps to prevent daytime break-ins include:
• Ensuring doors are locked even when you’re home;
• Using easy-to-install indoor and outdoor security cameras to monitor entries and your yard. (Bonus! High-quality outdoor security cameras will also help catch those car burglars.);
• Speaking to uninvited visitors using our two-way voice doorbell camera; and
• Stopping thieves who are looking for easy access to items by keeping your garage door closed even if you’re home. From golf clubs and tools to bicycles, your garage probably holds plenty of valuable items that are easy to cart off quickly.
Trying to DIY or Self Monitor your Home Security System
There is some peace of mind from at least having a security system. However, without professional alarm monitoring, there’s always the risk you might miss an important notification or not alert authorities in time. Monitored smoke, heat, intrusion, panic or medical alerts need immediate attention. With a professionally monitored security system, the alarm center can call for help even when you can’t, often within a matter of seconds. This response has proved to save lives and property. Having that responsibility on your shoulders while trying to enjoy a vacation, during an important meeting, or sleeping deeply is an unnecessary burden and potentially costly.
Alert 360 provides affordable, award-winning alarm monitoring because our mission is to help save lives and property. The Alert 360 family also knows how busy life can get, without adding life-safety and security monitoring to your plate. We’re passionate about monitoring our customers’ homes and businesses and are proud to have one of the fastest alarm response rates in the industry.
Forgetting External Security Threats and Landscaping Hazards are a common home security mistake
It’s wonderful if you have a monitored security system that includes indoor and outdoor security cameras. However, if your home is hard to see from the road or surrounded by large trees or shrubs, you’re creating ideal hiding places for thieves. When these thieves are casing your neighborhood, you’ll want to send a signal that your home hasn’t put out the welcome mat for them.
We mentioned a few landscaping tips related to increasing security at your front door. But there is still more than you can do all around your yard. Following are a few, easy home improvement and landscaping tips you can take to increase your home security.
• Prune shrubs, trees and bushes to reduce hiding places for thieves;
• Trim tree limbs away from second-story windows and plant thorny or prickly bushes around windows at ground level;
• Put away items that might aid a burglar in accessing your homes, such as ladders, trashcans, and buckets, which can be used to scale a fence or enter a window; and
• Install motion lights and smart lighting in vulnerable or isolated exterior areas and near entrances.
Not Including Lighting in your Home Security Plan
A home that appears occupied is less likely to be broken into. In addition to giving the appearance, you are home through two-way voice doorbell cameras, automated or smart lighting will signal to thieves to pick another home. It’s easy enough to add smart lighting to your home security system and to set automated schedules or control them using our free Alert 360 mobile security app. Smart lighting is one of the simplest and smartest steps to add security to your home. So avoid this home security mistake!
Ignoring the Power of Neighborhood Watch or Similar Programs
Getting to know your neighbors and being aware of usual and unusual activity in your neighborhood goes a long way in protecting your home. Neighborhood apps, such as Nextdoor help share insight concerning car break-ins at night, questionable door-to-door sales, lost pets and more. If your home has outdoor security cameras, you’ll be able to share if someone is casing the neighborhood or appears suspicious. Be sure to report suspicious neighborhood activity to local authorities. For more tips that help increase front door and neighborhood security, read “Prevent Crime in your Neighborhood.”
Leaving your Home Vulnerable to Break-ins when you Vacation
When preparing to leave town, there are a few things you can do to increase the security of your home while away. Of course, if you have home security cameras and an Alert 360 security system, it’s easy enough to control lighting, smart locks and your alarm via our mobile app. However, if you don’t have a security system, at the least have your mail stopped through USPS.com or have a trusted neighbor pick yours up daily. Using smart lighting and arranging for continued lawn care to give the appearance you are home is also wise. Using the steps above to create a more secure front entrance also apply before you head out on the road. Finally, try not to broadcast on social media that you are out of town. Wait to share fun family pics until after you return.
Thinking your Family Pet is Security Enough
It’s true that a barking dog can help deter some thieves. However, most experienced thieves know that Fido can easily be distracted with a treat. Additionally, even the smartest dog can’t dial 911 if there’s a break-in, fire, or carbon monoxide emergency and you can’t get to the phone.
Not Arming your Security System
Sounds crazy, right? But we’ve heard it plenty of times. You’re just running to the store or taking the kids to school. A bad guy can take advantage of these quick trips while you’re away from home. The best way to secure your home is to make it a habit to always arm your security system. If you forget in a hurry to get out the door, we make it easy to arm your security system after you leave with our mobile app or convenient Connected Car security option.
Alert 360 Makes Security Easy, Convenient and Inexpensive!
The above are just a few of the easy steps you can take to increase your home security. At Alert 360, we spend every second of every day focused on security solutions that work for our customers’ needs. Visit the blog section of our website to stay up to date on the latest tips and security products that will keep your home, property, family, and pets safer. Alert 360 also specializes in business security systems from small shops to large businesses at great prices!
The easiest way to ensure you’re covering all bases is to request a free home or business security evaluation. Our trained security consultants know how to identify and fix potential security risks at home or business with your budget in mind. Find an Alert 360 branch or authorized dealer near you or call us at 833-360-1595 to get a free consultation today!