25 Home Security Mistakes to Avoid in 2024

Are you worried that a burglar might break into your home and steal your precious belongings?

Do you want to avoid all the home security mistakes that most homeowners make?

Well, you have come to the right place!

Home security is an alarming issue that needs to be addressed proactively. The urgency for good home security becomes quite clear when you look at the facts. About 2.5 million home burglaries are reported in the US alone each year. To put things into perspective, it means that a house is broken into every 13 seconds!

This is why you must focus on improving your home security. In this stride, let’s take a look at 25 common mistakes that can jeopardize your home security.

25 Home Security Mistakes That You Must Avoid

Home Security Mistakes

Here are the most common home security mistakes that you need to avoid:

Leaving Doors Unlocked

Did you know that 34% of burglars enter through the front door, while 32% enter through an unlocked door?

Given these alarming stats, it’s no surprise that most people make the mistake of leaving their front doors unlocked, which gives the burglars an easy way into their homes.


Leaving Your Windows Unlocked

Don’t leave your windows open, as they provide easy access for burglars to enter your home. This is also true for second-story windows, which a burglar can easily reach via a ladder.

Similarly, don’t leave your attic window and basement or egress window unsecured.


Hiding a Spare Key Outside

Hiding a Spare Key Outside

Never hide your spare key outside of your house regardless of how well hidden it is. Burglars are well aware of key hiding spots such as fake rocks, doormats, flower pots, etc.

Instead of using traditional keys, consider using a smart lock as it is much more secure than a key.


Unlocked Garage Door

Don’t forget to lock your garage door as that’s the place where people commonly store valuable tools and expensive gear, and it’s readily targeted by burglars.

You can invest in a smart lock for your garage as well so that you don’t have to worry about locking it ever again.


Leaving a Ladder Outside

It’s quite common for homeowners to leave their ladders lying around in their backyard or in an unlocked shed. Easy access to a ladder will allow a burglar to enter your home via a second-floor window or even the terrace.


Piled Up Mail

Piled Up Mail

Mail piled up in and around the mailbox is a tell-tale sign of a vacant house and an invitation to burglars.

So, to avoid this mistake, either put a hold on your mail until you return to your house or ask a trusted friend or neighbor to collect your mail every other day in your absence.


Relying on Your Guard Dog

Listen, it can be pretty tempting to forego expensive security measures and rely on man’s best friend to guard your house, but it doesn’t always work.

A smart burglar would be able to lure your furry friend away with some dog treats and gain its trust before entering your house.


Announcing Your Travel Plans on Social Media

People simply love to announce their travel plans on social media, pin their travel locations, or post pictures from their vacation.

However, this is a risky move since burglars often plan the burglary in advance and follow their targets on social media. If they know that you’re out of town, they will easily move ahead with their plan.


Leaving Untrimmed Trees and Large Bushes in Your Yard

While planting some trees and growing some bushes in your yard ensure privacy, these obstructions act as great hiding spots for burglars. They can also climb the trees to gain entry into your home. So, make sure to keep your greenery trimmed and away from the windows and walls of your home.


Not Using Enough Outdoor Lights

Outdoor Lights

Another home security mistake is not lighting up the exterior of your house. A dark or shaded front and backyards are easy hiding spots for burglars since they can easily hide in the shadows.

So, make sure to add sufficient lights to your patio or front and backyard. You can also install smart motion-activated lights to scare away the burglars.


Installing Fake Security Equipment

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by installing fake cameras or other security equipment on your property. This is because experienced burglars can clearly distinguish between real and fake security equipment.


Placing Valuables in Sight

All experienced criminals do thorough research before robbing a house. They might snoop into your home through your windows or act as the new maid, salesperson, plumber, jogger, etc., to scope your house.

This is why you must keep all of your valuables out of sight and away from your windows and front door.


Leaving Empty Boxes of Your Expensive Purchases Outside

Empty boxes of expensive purchases

A surefire way to grab the attention of burglars is to leave the boxes and cartons of your expensive purchases outside your house, where anyone can spot them.

So, make sure to break down or cut up boxes of your expensive gaming gear, machinery, high-tech gadgets, etc., before throwing them in the trash.


Installing an Alarm System in Clear View

Many homeowners make the mistake of installing their alarm system by the front door, which makes it incredibly easy for a burglar to see whether it’s turned on or not.

So, for your security system, make sure to choose a place that’s away from the front door.

Install it in a place where it’s still visible from the outside so that burglars stay away, but not so visible that they’re able to tell whether it’s armed or not.


Forgetting to Arm Your Alarm System

Having an alarm system won’t work if you keep forgetting to arm it. Make sure to check your system and arm it before going to sleep every night and when heading out of your house.

Also arm it when you’re in your garage, attic, basement, pool, or anywhere that’s not near the front door. This will help you become instantly aware in case a burglar does break into your property.


Assuming Daytime Is Safe

Associating break-ins and robberies with nighttime is among one of the most common home security mistakes.

According to a survey conducted in 2016, the most common time for burglaries was between noon and 4 pm.

That’s usually when parents are at work and children are at school or busy in after-school hobbies. So, make sure to be extra cautious during the day and keep your home security systems running.


Becoming Too Paranoid

While it’s good to be fairly cautious and invest in high-quality home security gadgets and systems, be careful not to go overboard and become paranoid.

If you invest in too many complicated grills, various locks, fences, etc., it will become hard for you to escape your home when a burglar breaks in.

Also, being too paranoid might lead you to make simple mistakes, like forgetting to unlock the front door.


Allowing Packages to Be Delivered to an Empty House

Don’t forget to track the delivery time of your online purchases so that you can be at home when they arrive at your doorsteps. If the packages arrive when you’re not at home or on vacation, then they’ll only stack up and attract the attention of burglars.


Not Being on Good Terms With Your Neighbors

Always make it a point to get to know your neighbors and befriend them. This way, when you have to leave your home for a vacation or work trip, then you can rely on your neighbor to keep an eye on it until you get back.


Lack of a Proper Security System

Don’t just rely on your house’s structural integrity and traditional lock and keys to secure your house. This is one of the worst home security mistakes that people make, particularly in a crime-ridden neighborhood.

Invest in digital tech to protect your home. Security systems and house alarms go a long way in protecting your home from burglars.


Not Using High-Resolution Cameras

When investing your hard-earned money into a security system for your place, make sure to choose one that’s the most effective and suits your needs the best.

You can’t rely on a security camera with a bad resolution or one that doesn’t work as efficiently as it should. Your cameras should at least have a 1080P resolution.


Not Replacing Damaged Doors and Windows

damaged door

Make sure to replace all the damaged windows and doors in your home as quickly as possible. This includes doors that are slightly unhinged or windows that easily open with some force or have cracks in them.

These doors and windows act as easy entryways for burglars.


Access to the Toolbox

Don’t ever leave your toolbox by the front door or anywhere in plain sight as an experienced burglar can easily use it to disarm your security system.


Leaving No Lights on While You’re Away

It’s a huge mistake to not leave any lights on when going on a vacation. You can’t even leave one light on as that will be suspicious after a while.

To be super careful, make sure to invest in digital timers for your lights so that a burglar watching your house doesn’t get suspicious when only one light stays on.


Not Being Cautious Enough

While you shouldn’t go overboard with your security, not being cautious enough is also not a smart move.

You have to be super careful when stepping out of your home and ensure that all the locks, cameras, and other security systems are working in optimal condition.


Conclusion: Common Home Security Mistakes

Home security should be a top priority of every homeowner or renter. Keep the aforementioned home security mistakes in mind so that you can avoid making them and keep burglars at bay!

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Edward Clark
Edward Clark, with 15 years of hands-on experience, is a distinguished expert in smart locks and home security systems. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a focus on Cybersecurity and is a member of the Electronic Security Association (ESA). His credentials include certifications from ASIS International, IAPP, CompTIA, NTS, and CEDIA. With expertise spanning risk management, electronic security, and data privacy, he's been featured in The Guardian, Forbes, Wired, and more. Edward's mission: guiding individuals toward secure homes using the latest technologies.

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