Log on to your local neighborhood Facebook page. Or flip on the evening news.
Go ahead. Do it now. I’ll wait…
I can pretty much guarantee that when you do, you’ll see something posted regarding some stolen wheels, a home broken into, someone held at gunpoint in the middle of the night, etc. etc.
It’s all around us. And these days, the crimes seem to be growing in numbers.
Maybe that’s because there are more media outlets, so we hear more. Which I’m sure is true. But our population continues to grow, as well. And more people = more crime.
Unfortunately, as humans, we all suffer from the thought that nothing will happen to US. Yeah, sure, the neighbors house was broken into last night. But that would never happen to your house. Sound somewhat familiar? I’m sure it does.
The fact is, you’re making it almost as easy as possible for criminals to break into your home. Not because you aren’t aware of what can happen.
As humans we just often overlook the tiniest of details. We take things for granted. We want to give people the benefit of the doubt. We believe we live in a safe neighborhood. Which, by the way, nice neighborhoods are often attractive to criminals. They know you have nice things that can score them some quick dough.
Here are 15 common security tips that most homeowners are overlooking:
- Set a light to come on at certain times
Set lights on a timer to come on at certain times to give the appearance that someone is home. There are many timers you can pick up to do this. At Hawk Security, we offer some modules that can be programmed into your security system and controlled with your phone, to do just this.
- Always answer the door. Yes, even ladies.
Ever heard someone knock on your door, and you just stay put on the couch? If you don’t answer they’ll go away, right? Yes. In most cases. But aren’t you aware that criminals usually knock or ring your doorbell to see if anyone is home?
When I say answer your door, I don’t mean swing it wide open and invite them in! But you should at least make them aware that someone is, in fact, home. Whether that be talking through the door or even just cracking the door. Even if you’re home alone, simply speaking out loud “Honey, someone is at the door. I got it” will give the allusion multiple people are home.
[Tip] We provide a doorbell camera that solves this problem for you. Contact me for more information.
- Don’t leave garage door open
If you’re like almost everyone else, you leave your garage door wide open at times when your home. Guess what? It’s a wide open invitation for a thief to take all they can! Add this to not answering the door, and you’ve invited the city thugs to an “All-You-Can-Grab Buffet!!” Not to mention the fact, should they now proceed to come inside, the situation could escalate rather quickly.
- Don’t leave old newspapers on driveway
You’ve probably heard this a million times, and probably do a good job at picking up newspapers from your driveway. But what about when you’re out of town? Have a neighbor pick them up for you. A few newspapers laying on the driveway or in the yard, are open invites.
- Pick up flyers from around front door
Pretty much the same as above.
- Don’t park in the middle of the driveway
If you park in the middle of the driveway, you probably live alone. And guess what, when a criminal is casing your neighborhood and notices that car is no longer there, they know your home is empty. Cars parked in the middle of the driveway are much more memorable than a car that’s parked normally.
- Break boxes down for trash
We all know you’re proud of that nice curved 65” Sony. Or that PS4 your kids just got. And when you put your boxes out for trash day, you just told everyone what goodies you have inside. Break the boxes down and turn them inside-out, if you can, so it’s not as noticeable what you have.
[Here’s a story] A couple had just moved into their new home, in a new-construction neighborhood. They had unloaded a couple of brand new flatscreens, still in the box, along with a few other items, into the garage. The next day, they returned to finish moving, and the entire house – appliances that were already installed, flatscreens and everything in the garage – were gone.
Turns out, some sub-contractors working on the house next door, who by the way, see EVERYTHING going on, had phoned their “guys” as soon as the couple left. They kicked in the back door, pushed everything to the garage, loaded it up in a truck, and were gone within about 20 minutes.
- Keep security yard sign and/or window stickers out
When you install a security system, you will be given a yard sign. KEEP THAT VISIBLE IN YOUR YARD! It at least lets anyone know that the house actually does have an alarm!
I had a homeowner, who had a system from another company, once tell me, “I don’t want the sign in my yard because I don’t want people to know how to bypass it.”
- If you’re worried they will know how to bypass the system, based on who you have, you might want to reconsider your security choices.
- If I want to bypass your system, I don’t need to know whose system it is.
[TIP] If you want to learn about a system that CANNOT be bypassed, I’d be more than happy to have a conversation with you.
- Ditch the hidden keys under doormats (or fake rocks. or the doorframe)
It was common in the “good-ole-days” to leave your spare under the mat or above the door frame. Then came the ‘fake’ rocks. That stuff isn’t smart anymore. Life sure was simpler back then, though. Can we go back?
- Don’t leave a ladder laying around the yard
Us men love our tools! And many times a ladder can be found leaning against a fence in the back yard. You’d probably never think much about it. A ladder laying around provides easy access to a second story window, though.
- Don’t stack up firewood underneath a back window
Just like a ladder, stacked firewood can provide access to a window that otherwise might be just a little bit high to get to.
- Install motion lighting outside
Perimeter lighting provides a great deterrence in the middle of the night. No one wants to be see doing naughty things.
- Remove the cord from your garage door lift
Your garage is shut, but not ‘locked’ if you have a remote-controlled door lift. The string allows the door to be manually opened and can be accessed with the right equipment when your door is shut.
- Remove the family stick figures from your car window
They’re cute. But they also advertise exactly how many people are in your home. And when a criminal is driving behind you, they see this and follow you home. You just gave them a whole lot of information.
- Plant roses or other sharp, thorny plants by front windows
I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of sharp, thorny plants, and criminals aren’t exactly fond of them either. Planting these in front of your windows can help deter someone entering that window. Thorns to the tush? No thanks!
I hope these tips provided some value to you and give you some insight into some of the things you may be overlooking in your home.
If you found value, I hope you’ll share with a neighbor, friend, family member or anyone you see fit. I’d greatly appreciate it and maybe one of these tips can help protect someone else.
If you’d like to have a conversation about some additional security measures you can take to protect your family and your home, I’d love to have a conversation.
Hawk Security Services has been serving Texans for more than 40 years and provides state-of-the-art security and monitoring services to homeowners and businesses across Texas.
My mission is to protect you and your family and all my clients receive the exact same level of personal service that I would expect for my own family.
You can schedule your security assessment with me directly by visiting my online scheduler right here.
It’s simple. You just select the time that works best for you and you’re all set!
Thanks! And please share!