In this article, I will cover common home security mistakes to avoid.
Having your home invaded is a terrifying experience, whether it is a burglar, murderer, or vandalizer.
This is a terrifying experience, even if you aren’t home because it will shatter your sense of security and make you feel violated. However, if you are unlucky enough to be there when it happens, your life is at risk.
According to the Larms, there were about 2,500,000 burglaries in 2019 in the U.S. alone. To be clear here, that is one burglary in the U.S. every 13 seconds. The saddest part about this is that according to Reolink, 94% of the burglarized houses were with houses somehow unlocked.
Before we begin, you can reference our 12 SHTF Home Security Tips To Fortify Your Home article to learn more protection strategies that you can implement in your home right now.
Lets dive right in.
1. Putting A Key Under Your Doormat
The first security mistake is storing your keys under your doormat. Do not store a key under your doormat. That is where a burglar will look first. This is something a lot of people are guilty of.
Doormats are typically given very little security. The most you could do to strengthen your doormat is to install a DIY surveillance camera overhead that allows you to keep an eye on whoever comes up to your door.
This doesn’t even help secure the mat; it simply provides you with a potential suspect in the event that someone breaks into your home.
2. Hiding a Key Anywhere Outside
You might be thinking that you can outsmart a criminal by putting your keys under a rock, bush, or lawn ornament might be a good idea, but it isn’t.
You would be surprised by how many burglars check areas like those. Instead, give a key to a trusted neighbor or bury it if you absolutely have to.
3. Having Weak Locks
Having a lock that is easy to break or picklock into puts you in a vulnerable position. Might as well have your windows unlocked if you come by someone with brute force or lockpicking knowledge, and you have weak locks.
Having weak locks and doors also makes it substantially harder to enter your house without a key. Deadbolt locks can usually help prevent this, with anti-lock picking technology at a great price.
4. Using Fake Security Equipment
Having a fake security camera or alarm system is noticeable. First time home buyers may be tempted to set up a fake security system to save money. Having a security system in or outside of your home that notifies you when there is movement is crucial for fundamental security.
The best part is that nowadays, security systems are significantly cheaper, so it is worth the investment. One more thing, try to be one of the 17% to have an actual security system. You’ll be significantly safer with a real security system.
5. Relying On A Barking Dog
This is a common home security mistake I was personally guilty of before.
A barking dog is a good deterrent. However, the dog won’t bark if they don’t wake up at night. If they happen to wake up, then the burglar better be afraid of dogs because the chances are that the dog won’t do much if it is asleep.
6. Not Having Enough Outdoor Lights
Dark areas are good areas to hide. Burglars can also blend in very well if your outdoor lighting isn’t powerful enough at night. Having lights that on all night is a waste of electricity, so I recommend you get motion sensor lights to deter burglars.
Sometimes, motion sensor lights aren’t even enough to deter burglars, that’s why we created the Free Survival Gear Ultimate List so that you can find survival gear without breaking the bank.
7. Visible Valuables
Putting valuable items near a window drastically increases the chances of that valuable item being stolen. If you can’t place your valuable items differently, then use a curtain or tint your windows.
It would also be beneficial to store larger valuable outdoor items (bikes, barbecues) in a storage unit near your home.
8. Not Maintaining Your Security System
Maintaining your security system is crucial for fundamental security. A good idea is to arm your security system regularly and check if it’s working periodically.
9. Announcing When You Will Be Gone
Many people announce when they will be gone on vacation or for any other activity on social media. This is not a good thing. You are basically yelling out, “I’m not going to be home!” which may attract some unsavory attention.
At least make your announcement after your event. This will keep your location anonymous and not attract unwanted burglars.
10. Announcing Your Wealth
Many people also announce their wealth by literally showing how much money they have in their bank account, or bragging about the new gadgets you received on social media, or even with a big group of friends.
This will also increase the chances of your chance of getting robbed, so it’s best not to do this frequently, or if you’re concerned about your security, never.
11. Having Certain Parts of Your House Unlocked
If you have a house that is above two stories, make sure to lock the windows everywhere, even on the top floors. It is okay to let some fresh air in, but make sure to close the windows or any other accessible place in your house(dog doors, additional doors, etc.)
12. Assuming Day-time is Safe
According to a case study conducted by Larms, there were 1,495,790 during the day in 2019. In other words, burglaries are 6% more likely to occur in the day than at night. Burglaries happen more in daylight than at night because we make it too easy for them.
13. Not Hiring A House Sitter
Information spreads, so if you are on vacation, don’t be cheap, hire a house sitter. They will maintain the house(water plants, mow lawns, clean up) and make it look like someone is there.
Also, in the case of a burglary, and 28% of burglaries do happen when someone is home, they can call 911 and keep the house as safe as possible.
14. Leaving Your Garage Door Open
Although only 9% of burglars enter through your garage, the chances are that when a burglar sees a garage door open, the burglar will probably attempt a robbery. So, if you are one of the few that keep your garage open for an extended period, try to close your garage when possible.
15. Leaving Packages Outside For A Long time.
According to Crresearch, 36% have had their packages stolen at least once. The average cost of the packages was $109. If you were one of the lucky ones who didn’t get burglarized, I recommend bringing the packages in ASAP.
If you aren’t able to bring in the packages in a timely manner, you can send packages to a neighbor, and they can potentially safekeep your packages with your neighbors for when you are available, but this requires a great relationship with your neighbors.
Bonus: Not Knowing Your Neighbors
It’s probably time to introduce yourself if you’re calling your neighbor “hey… guy” or “lady with the blue Honda.” Not just because it’s the classy thing to do.
Get to know the people in your neighborhood. These relationships not only improve overall personal well-being, but they can also make communities safer.
More friendly, familiar faces equals more conversations, which increases the likelihood that neighbors will speak up if they notice anything unusual. Consider each new friend to be another set of eyes on your property.
Bonus #2: Close Bushes
Your landscaping choices, like a fence, can make your home more or less welcoming to those with bad intentions. Bushes and trees against the house’s side provide cover in the same way that a privacy fence might.
Correct this error by keeping low-growing or thin-growing shrubs close to the house and taller, denser plants further away. You don’t have to give up all of your plants; just think about where they’re going.
Taller or denser shrubs and bushes are acceptable against solid walls as long as windows and doors are not obscured.
If you follow these steps, you will greatly improve your security and survivability. Although you will still need to implement additional home security practices to guard yourself against more experienced burglars and criminals, this is a good start.
Be sure to check out our 12 SHTF Home Security Tips To Fortify Your Home where we go over many more tips and tricks you can use to protect your home from Burglars. Check out this book, it helped me a ton with home security, and it will help you too.
I hope you learned a thing or two from this article on 15 home security mistakes you could be making.