You may not realize it, but you may very well have some bad habits that need ditching. Many people can be caught up in the lie that ‘burglary happens to everyone else’ and that somehow, their home is magically safe from robbers. This silly misconception has caused many homes to remain defenseless against thieves and experience the terrible result. In fact, your own home might be next on the hit list.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 bad habits homeowners have when it comes to home security. Remember, not only can these lead you to being a target for burglary, they might also put your safety at risk as well.
Take a look—do you have bad habits?
1. Forgetting to Lock Doors and Windows
Locking up your house should be a part of your daily routine. Before leaving your home or going to bed, you should be confident all the latches are latched, all the locks are locked, and everything that can be secured has been secured. This is basic home security that a surprising amount of people forget about.
2. Not Arming Your Security System
You’ve bought the system; you’ve put the signs out in the yard. All that remains is for you to actually use that system. While some well-placed signs might deter some of the more tentative criminals, expert thieves know that lots of homes put up signs without actually having, or using, their alarm systems.
I know that when you’re just running out for a few errands or going for a quick run with the dog, it’s easy to shrug off the need to arm your home. However, daylight hours are prime time for a robbery, and criminals will happily watch your house to see exactly when you leave. Professionals need only a few minutes to slip in and slip out. So, if you’ve got a system, use it.
3. TMI (Too Much Information)
I know we live in a day and age in which we feel that everything we are doing needs to be posted to social media so that everyone and their brother can know what we’re up to. There are, however, some things that shouldn’t be shared on the internet, or even with the next door neighbor. After all, neighbors account for a tidy percentage of home robberies.
Most robbers aren’t running loose in ski masks and black jumpsuits. A robber could be the quiet teenager down the hall or that door to door salesman. Don’t let bright smiles fool you into telling a stranger or acquaintance more than necessary.
Here’s a list of things that you should never broadcast to the public:
Travel plans. Don’t advertise to the whole world that you and your family have left for Fiji. Wait until you get back home to let everyone get jealous of your awesome vacation.
Work schedule. This is a bad idea for so many reasons. It alerts predators, burglars, and all manner of unsavory characters when you will or will not be at home. If you have kids at home while you’re working, you especially don’t want criminals sniffing around your house. Keep your work schedule mum. If someone needs to know your schedule, send them a private message or talk with them over the phone.
Your location. Again, this ties in with the vacation plans and the work schedule. I know it’s exciting to post that your current location is at the Seattle Space Needle, but do resist this urge.
Your Latest Big Purchase. Sharing big buys like a car, a flat screen TV, a great camera, a new sound system, or even a pair of Michael Kors designer heels is a bad idea. We’re not saying don’t buy it—we’re saying don’t shout to the world that you’ve got money to burn. That will easily put a big target right on your front door.
4. Ignoring the Experts
Some people, like us, for example, do home security for a living. We know that burglary statistics are rising. We even know what areas are experiencing the highest rate of robberies. Go ahead and ask the experts your questions. Don’t worry—we can answer your questions without transforming into the dreaded pushy salesman. Do some research, ask some questions, and see how you can protect your family from safety threats.
5. Listening to Bad Advice
While educating yourself about the in’s and out’s of home security, try to weed out the bad advice from the good. Non-experts have all sorts of DIY ideas to dissuade you from buying the right equipment. Know-it-alls may insist that you don’t need a home security system, or that they don’t need to be monitored. Ignore them. Be polite, of course, but ignore them. Non-experts simply don’t have the education to give qualified advice on the safety of your family. After all, none of them will be around when push suddenly comes to shove.
Fixing Your Habits:
Changing bad habits can be tough, but as we all know, it is completely worth the effort. If you need to, set reminders on your phone around your bed time to remember to lock the door and windows. Put a sticky on your computer that reminds you to keep your personal information off of social media. Try to have family members keep each other accountable to keep everyone safe. Be creative, and be determined.
Remember, the safety of your family is worth a little extra effort.