Over 2 million home burglaries happened in 2012 alone. That’s 5,800 per day and one every 15 seconds.

Nobody wants to believe that they could be a victim of such a crime, but it happens all the time. Luckily, there are ways to prevent it.

The best way to protect your home and your family from break-ins is to ensure you aren’t making any home security mistakes that could leave you vulnerable.

Do you want to know more? Keep reading to discover the most common security mistakes you could be making at your home and how to fix them.

1. Putting Expensive Items on Show

It should come as no surprise that burglars like to focus their attention on homes with a lot of expensive items inside. Your first step to protecting your home will be to ensure you aren’t keeping any expensive items on show.

When decorating your home, try to keep anything ornate or luxurious in a place that can’t easily be seen by looking in the window. You can also make sure you keep the curtains closed or partially closed to block a burglar’s view from the street.

If you’ve just purchased a new TV, video game console, or anything else expensive, make sure you break down the boxes and put them in trash bags. Leaving them next to your garbage can is advertising the pricey new items you have inside.

2. Forgetting to Lock Doors and Windows

If you live in a nice neighborhood, you may feel safe leaving your doors unlocked or your windows open. However, this is a recipe for disaster. Since most home burglars want to break into expensive homes, your suburban neighborhood may be the perfect target.

Always make sure you’re keeping your doors and windows locked at all times. There are also smart locks that will allow you to lock your doors remotely if you or a member of your family forget.

3. Buying Cheap Locks

Of course, those locks won’t do much good if they’re cheap. Experienced burglars know how to pick standard locks, so make sure you upgrade to heavy-duty locks and deadbolts.

And don’t forget the windows here. There are quality window locks that will help keep burglars out.

4. Hiding Your Spare Key Outside

Even new burglars can get into your home if you’re leaving a spare key outside. The first thing they’ll look for is a store-bought keyholder. They’ll then check other common places, like under the doormat, in the mailbox, or in the grill.

If they find your key, they’ll have easy (and quiet) access to your home. Instead, consider installing a smart lock system, so you can remotely unlock the door if someone in your family forgot their key.

5. Leaving a Ladder Outside

If you’ve just spent the day trimming tall hedges or cleaning the gutters, you may have left your supplies in the back yard, so you don’t have to take them out tomorrow to finish the job.

However, most families don’t take the proper security measures out on second-floor windows. Leaving your ladder out gives burglars the perfect way to sneak into your home through a weak spot in your home security. Make sure you’re keeping your ladders in your locked garage or shed when not in use.

6. Buying Low-Quality or Fake Cameras

If this is your first time buying a home security system, you may be tempted to go with the cheapest option or to even install fake cameras. While this will deter some criminals, it’s better to invest in a quality system that will actually protect your home.

Alarm monitoring systems send alerts to a monitoring service whenever the alarm is triggered. The monitoring service will then determine if it’s a false alarm or real incident and will alert the police if it’s the latter. High-quality cameras will leave you with good evidence to hand over to the authorities to increase the odds of finding the culprit.

7. Forgetting to Turn Your Alarm On

Alright, so you invested in a good home security system. But that won’t do you any good if you’re constantly forgetting to turn the alarm on.

While you may think that all burglars work at night, many choose to act during the day when everyone is at work. So, unless your building has 24/7 residential security, you need to make sure your alarm is on at all times. There are even smart security systems that will let you activate it via an app on your phone if you forget before you leave the house.

8. Leaving Hiding Places in Your Yard

Even the best locks and security systems aren’t always enough to deter criminals. If your landscaping is full of potential hiding spaces, like big bushes and thick trees, this may be enough to convince a burglar to try and break into your home. Those who choose to work at night also like homes that keep their yards dark.

So, make sure you’re trimming any large bushes or trees and removing anything else that could be used as a hiding spot. Consider putting motion-activated lights around any entryway or potential hiding spot.

Home Security Mistakes to Avoid

Don’t let your home be the perfect target for criminals. Instead, follow the guide above to ensure you’re not making any big home security mistakes. From upgrading your locks to installing motion-activated lighting near your entryways, there are plenty of ways you can safeguard your home.

Do you want more helpful home ownership tips? Then check out our lifestyle blog page today.

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