Every year, we promise to do better and every year, at least some of those promises fall through the cracks.
Your security cannot be one of those things. Not this year. Burglars have gotten downright savvy, so if you’re still making home security mistakes that were barely acceptable in the 90s, it’s time to up your game.
You Still Have a Hide-a-Key
Go outside and get it, right now. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s well hidden, it’s not. Thieves know all the tricks. All. Of. Them. Instead, give your spare key to a neighbor. Better yet, install smart locks so a key isn’t even necessary.
You Haven’t Upgraded Your Locks
Builder-standard door and window locks (or worse, locks on older homes) are often light-duty. Burglars eat light duty for breakfast. Consider upgrading your locks from standard to heavy duty, to make breaking in as hard as possible.
You Forget to Lock Up
We see this a lot. You live in a safe neighborhood. You love your neighbors. And so, you sometimes (almost always?) forget to lock your doors. Or, you lock your doors but leave the windows cracked for Fido. Or, you lock your doors and windows, but routinely forget to lock the garage. Folks, 2016 is the year for better locking-up.
Your Still Have Fake Surveillance Cameras
Dummy cameras were a great idea 20 years ago, but it’s 2016 and thieves are hip to this trick. Most burglars know when you’re faking them out and, what’s worse, your non-working surveillance equipment signals that you probably haven’t secured the rest of your home, either. You’ve just become a burglary target.
You’ve Let Your Landscaping Grow Wild
Did you know that trimming your trees, shrubs and bushes is important to your home’s security? That’s because burglars usually stake out a home in advance, and they use overgrown landscaping to hide while they peep. Cut back your plants, and thieves will have no place to lurk.
Your Perimeter is Dark
Speaking of, shadows are another good place to hide. Ban them with plenty of outdoor lighting and floodlights, preferably on motion sensors to save on your energy bill.
Your Home is Dark
If you don’t get home until late, or if you’re going away for the weekend, or if you have a big business trip planned, don’t leave your home in the dark. Don’t leave just one light constantly on, either. Instead, automate your home’s lighting: create custom schedules, use the app to turn your lights on or off, and create rules to flip lights on if certain sensors are activated. In other words, create the appearance of someone at home.
Announcing Your Departure via Social Media
We know how tempting it is to post your excitement about an upcoming trip, or to check-in to Facebook at the airport, or post vacation-in-progress photos. But don’t. Wait until you get home, so the wrong person doesn’t catch wind that you’re away.
You Forget to Arm Your Alarm
This is such a common mistake, and it’s a bad one. This year, make sure to arm your security system every time you go out. (That’s why you bought it, right?) Stick a note on the doorknob until you get into the habit or, better yet, install smart features that auto-arm your system (or let you remote arm/disarm it via app, in case you forget).
Here’s to a safer, more enjoyable 2016!