Everybody wants to keep his or her home safe – the closer to Fort Knox the better. Family members and personal possessions are at stake. But sometimes people miss a crucial security step, ultimately putting their homes at risk. And this can be especially true for new home owners. Here are the most common home security mistakes and how to avoid them:
1. Not Making It Look Like the House is Occupied
The most important thing for preventing break-ins is making it look like your house is occupied. Burglars won’t want to break into your house if they think somebody is inside the building. So if you decide to go out during the night, consider leaving some lights on. Sure, this might add a little to the electricity bill, but it’ll also dissuade burglars. Another common cue for burglars is visible trash. If you buy a new television or stereo and leave the box outside, you’re giving potential burglars on the street a heads-up that you just bought something worth stealing. Make sure this kind of stuff isn’t obvious. Even ask your neighbors or landlord for a little help. Have your neighbors check on your house when you vacation. They can make it seem like somebody’s home.
2. Forgetting to Lock Up
Another big mistake people make is simply being forgetful about locking doors and windows. This seems like simple advice, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run. Double check your door every time you leave the house. It only takes a few seconds out of your day to make sure you secure all the doors. Doing so ensures that burglars will have to use force if they want to enter your home. Forced entries (even if you don’t have an alarm system) alert people in the area. Kicking in a door, or breaking a window, is loud, and this gives your security provider or neighbors an opportunity to respond. If you double check your locks when you leave the house, you limit break-ins by more than you can imagine.
3. Poor Security System Maintanince
Keep up with your security system needs. A common home security mistake is poor security system maintenance. This means not setting it up properly, not arming it when you leave, not replacing batteries or not being familiar with all of the capabilities of your system. A crucial part of operating a home security system is knowing the ins and outs. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions and explore the system,” says Kevin Raposo of the KnowTechie blog. This includes both installation and use. Most self-install systems are fairly easy to set up, so you should never need strangers in your home doing this for you. And be sure to ask your security provider about all the added features in your package. You want to make the most of it.
4. Not Having a Plan
Home security is all about being prepared. Know exactly what you want when shopping for a security system. Try to keep it simple; don’t buy more than what’s necessary. Do research. Talk to experts in order to make sure that you’re not buying security features you don’t need. Making a rash decision can be one of the worst things possible – you’ll end up paying more than you need to, or you’ll end up getting a system you don’t know how to operate. And don’t forget to have a general plan about home security. Beyond a specific system, make sure your family knows where to meet during emergencies and what to do during natural disasters.
Home security should be easy. So make sure you know what you’re getting before buying and operating a system. LiveWatch home security experts are available to discuss your safety needs. If you have any other advice for new home owners, or have any questions that the community can answer, please comment below or tweet @LW_Security.