10 Home Security Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Most homeowners know they need to take precautions, such as installing an alarm system and using programmable lights when away, to keep their property safe. But many homeowners are guilty of making these easily overlooked security mistakes. Take a moment to review this list of commonly made errors to help ensure you’re not unintentionally putting out the welcome mat for burglars.

1.   Hiding an Extra Key Outside Your Home

It’s not uncommon for people to have a backup plan just in case the lock themselves out of their own house. They hide their extra key in potted plants and fake rocks, under the welcome mat, or at the top of the door frame. This is the first place a burglar is going to look when breaking into your home. A better solution is to give your extra key to a nearby family member, friend, or trusted neighbor.

2.   Not Activating Your Alarm System

We’ve all read that placing security alarm company stickers will deter thieves. Unfortunately, many would-be burglars are wise to this trick. Having security stickers on your windows isn’t enough to keep a thief at bay; you need to install a security system. If you do have an alarm system installed, don’t forget to activate it, even when you leave your house for a quick run to the grocery store. You can also install apps that allow you to activate your alarm wherever you are for those times you forget to set it before leaving.

3.   Not Locking Your Garden Shed

Most thieves travel light. Unlike the cat burglars in movies, most thieves don’t carry a tool kit for breaking into a house. Instead, they look for unlocked sheds that contain tools or ladders to help them break in. Even if they don’t use them to break in, consider all the valuable tools that are ripe for the taking. Ensure your shed is securely locked and is equipped with a motion sensor light.

4.   Leaving Garage Windows Unlocked

Garage windows often provide easy access for burglars – they are typically out of sight and can be easily pried open with a screwdriver. Once a thief has made it into the garage, odds are he will be able to walk right into the house because most homeowners do not lock the door leading from the garage into the house. A quick fix is to install additional locks on your garage windows and ensure you always lock the garage door that leads to your house.

5.   Leaving Windows Open or Unlocked

It’s tempting to leave the windows open during the spring and autumn – seasonal breezes air out the house nicely. While there’s nothing wrong with opening the windows while you are home, ensure that windows are closed and locked at night and when you are not home.

6.   Poor Lighting

Thieves love the dark; it makes it easy for them to hide. Lack of proper lighting around your house is practically an invitation to burglars. If you’re worried about your electric bill, you can use solar lights in the yard and motion or heat activated security lights.

7.   Overgrown Landscaping

Whether you’re too busy to tend to your landscaping or simply you’re a fan of the plants-gone-wild look, keeping your yard neatly groomed is essential to keeping thieves away. Overgrown shrubbery and trees provide an excellent place for thieves to hide while scoping out your house or attempting to get in.

8.   Providing Easy Access to First Floor Windows

While you may love the Trumpet vine garden under your first floor windows because they attract hummingbirds, gentle flowers will also attract burglars. Make gaining access into your home more challenging by planting prickly bushes like roses, firethorn, and holly under first floor windows.

9.   Allowing Strangers into Your Home

What would you do if someone dressed in an official-looking cable or electric company uniform appeared at your front door to inspect your cable or take a meter reading? Would you let them in? Surprisingly, many of us, especially the elderly, are susceptible to this scam. Gaining access to a uniform isn’t as difficult as it may seem; thieves use this tactic to case your home for a later burglary or to distract you long enough to take something of value. If someone shows up at your front door unexpectedly, do not let him into your house. Call the company they claim to represent to verify their authenticity.

10. Telling Everyone Your Vacation Plans

It’s human nature to be excited about an upcoming vacation and in today’s connected society, it’s incredibly easy to share the news with the world via Facebook and Twitter. Don’t over-share your plans with casual acquaintances or co-workers. The fewer people who know you will be gone, the more secure your home will be. Only inform close family and friends about your vacation plans before your trip. Once you come back, you can share trip photos and details.


What other safety tips do you have for homeowners?


4 thoughts on “10 Home Security Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

  1. some home owners do few blunders that lead to security breaches. If people avoid doing above mentioned things then they can keep their home safe and protected.

  2. You could add don’t make your garage code 0000 or 1234 either. We do a lot of garage work, and those are very popular. Get creative people!

  3. Nice input! Home security is really a major concern. By not doing above mentioned mistakes we can deters wrongdoers to a great extent and thus ensure security. Installing CCTV cameras and dog ownership are also an effective way for home security.

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