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10 Home Security Mistakes

Thousands of burglaries are reported in the US every day. Many of these burglaries are a result of preventable home security mistakes that we often overlook.  As homeowners, it is our responsibility to keep our homes safe and secure. We have complied a list of common home security mistakes and ways you can avoid them.

1. Leaving Doors or Windows Unlocked

Thirty percent of all burglaries occur through an unlocked door or window. Make it a part of your daily routine to check that the doors and windows in your home are locked.  If you frequently forget to lock the door you may want to invest in a z-wave door lock. Z-Wave door locks can be controlled remotely from your phone.

2. Leaving the Garage Door Open

Take a drive through any residential neighborhood and you will likely see a few wide-open garage doors with no residents in sight. Leaving your garage door open for even a short time gives a full view of the layout of your garage and how they can get into your home

If you’re guilty of leaving your garage door open, consider installing an overhead garage door sensor. A sensor can tell you if your overhead door is open or closed, and a closer will automatically close the garage after a certain amount of time.

3. Not Arming Your Security System

Arming your security system is a crucial step to ensure that our central monitoring station receives alarm notifications from your home. There are many times that a home owner could have avoided their losses completely by simply arming their system. You may need to set up a few reminders to get into the habit of setting your alarm or adding remote services. Remote services allow you to arm and disarm your system from anywhere at any time.

It is important to make sure you are setting the system when you are home and away. Burglaries do happen when people are at home, and those incidents are more likely to turn violent.  If you do not have a security system, consider getting one as soon as possible.

4. Assuming Your Pet Will Prevent Intruders

While some pets can be a good additional source of security and comfort, not all dogs are guard dogs.  If someone really wants to get in your home, regardless of your dog, they will find a way. As pet owners, we typically take our dogs out to play, go on walks or bring them with us on vacations. Not only will your security system remain reliable 24/7, it will also contact your local authorities in the event of an emergency.

5. Failing to Secure All First Floor Doors & Windows

In our 30 years in the industry, we’ve seen that most intruders prefer entering through a door. We suggest securing ALL first-floor doors and any doors on decks or balconies that an intruder might be able to climb up and enter though.

While all first-floor windows are vulnerable, the ones closer to the ground are easiest to climb through and are therefore the most vulnerable. We suggest protecting ALL first-floor ground-level windows with sensors.

6. Leaving Valuables in Plain Sight

Always be wary of advertising your high-value items. That may sound like common sense but many people do leave items of value in plain sight every day. Look in the windows of your home from outside to see if any valuables are visible. Draw your shades and curtains, or move your electronics to an area where they aren’t visible from the street. When purchasing new valuables, do not leave evidence of it. Break down any boxes and dispose of it inside a trash bag for privacy.

It is a wise idea to lock up the most important items in a household safe. Many thieves don’t draw the line at stealing physical items — they also want to steal your identity. Lock up social security cards and financial information as well.

7. Hiding a Spare Key

Do not put your home at risk by hiding spare keys outside. Instead, look into integrating z-wave locks to your home security system. This will allow you to lock and unlock your doors remotely for family or friends. It does not take an experienced burglar to figure out if you are hiding a spare key outside. The common hiding spots are typically under the mat, in the mailbox, in the grill or under a flower pot.

8. Neglecting Your Security System

Just like the appliances in your home, your security system will need regular maintenance to maximize its efficiency. Homeowners who preform regular maintenance tend to get more life out of their equipment. This also reduces the likelihood of any system downtime occurring – during which the house would be at risk.

Our UL Approved Central Monitoring Station will alert you when your system has low batteries or any other troubles on your system. At that time one of our highly trained technicians will come out to service and inspect the system. This will help prevent any false alarms for your home. False alarms fees are an unnecessary expense and waste emergency service resources that can be avoided.

9. Posting Vacation Plans on Social Media

In the age of social media, we are constantly sharing photos and tagging our location in pictures. Avoid sharing social media posts that show when you are away from home. This happens frequently with vacations and plans for the holidays. Criminals use this knowledge to their advantage to strike while you are away. If you are on vacation, wait until you return to post your photos.

If you are away for an extended amount of time, it is wise to connect with a friend or neighbor to prevent your home from appearing vacant. You don’t want newspapers and mail piling up outside. This is the easiest way for burglars to identify your home as being empty. It is helpful to install timers on lights so your home is always giving the impression someone is home.

10. Self-Monitoring Your Security System

From installation to responding to alarms, a self-monitored security system puts the control in your hands. A professionally monitored security system provides peace of mind that a self-monitored system cannot offer. You are no longer responsible for contacting the authorities during an emergency. This allows you extra time to focus on the safety of yourself, your family and your home.  

The connection on your self-monitored system is only as reliable as the availability to your phone. Dead zones, software crashes, and battery failures can cut your connection to your security system. If you lose cell service while traveling or your battery dies, your security system can’t alert you of any activity.

With our professionally monitored security system you will also receive professional installation at no extra cost. We do not use subcontractors. Our technicians are highly qualified, continually educated, and trained by our product manufacturers to ensure that your system’s installation is conducted with the highest level of expertise.  If you set up your self-monitored system incorrectly, you might not realize it until a problem arises. And if a product malfunctions, that leaves your home at risk.

Before we arrive on-sight, it is best that you understand the security process. For this, we have created a series of brief informational videos for you to quicky learn how to efficiently protect the vulnerable areas of your home. To determine what equipment will work best for your home and learn more about the security process visit us at www.execsecurityconsult.com.

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