Every family’s priority is keeping themselves and their belongings safe. Sound safety practices begin with a safe and secure home, which is why you often hear about the importance of using a home security system.
As essential as it is, a security system is only a first step. In reality, it isn’t enough when used on its own. Today, many burglars will not be deterred by the sight of a camera and a home security sign and will find ways to bypass it, potentially violating your safety.
Learn the essential tips and tricks, including how to place decoy security systems and use self-defense weapons, to enhance the effectiveness of your home security setup and make your home as safe and secure as possible.
Avoiding a False Sense of Security
There is a critical difference between feeling safe and actual security. If you live in what you’d consider a safe neighborhood, it is tempting to reassure yourself and provide justifications that you don’t have to take security precautions like keeping your doors locked when you are at home.
In reality, a safe neighborhood is only relatively safe. Law enforcement refers to these areas as low-crime, but they never call them crime-free. Why? Because there simply is no such thing. A home invasion can happen anywhere.
One of the most common mistakes people make with home security is providing an easy way in for burglars. Why should they waste energy breaking through your locked front door if there’s another, easier access point?
Entry points that homeowners frequently neglect include:
- The front door: As many as one in four households do not lock their front doors, despite it being the most common entry point.
- The backdoor: Burglars always check for an unlocked backdoor if they can’t open the front door.
- Windows: Although any window is a potential target, windows on the second floor or higher are especially vulnerable because they are more frequently left open. Height will not deter a determined burglar; they will find a way to climb up to the window.
- The garage door: A rising trend among burglars is stealing your garage door remote by breaking into your vehicle to gain entry to your home from the garage.
Keep in mind that the old trick of a key hidden under a rock or a welcome mat doesn’t work, either. As part of their casing plans, burglars look for these, literally leaving no stone unturned and no corner on the outside of your home unexplored.
Improving Your Home Security System’s Efficiency
Having a home security system is good, but home security systems are more efficient if you give yourself every advantage possible to make them work.
Don’t expose your security system.
If it’s evident for anyone passing by that your house has a security system, it may only encourage burglars to bypass it and break inside. There are two approaches to dealing with this issue: concealing your home security system or tricking potential burglars with decoys and deterrents. You can combine both for maximum efficiency.
Conceal your cameras and their wires and cables with proper placement, such as under awnings, eaves, or ceilings. You can disguise cameras by hiding them inside objects and furniture, such as birdhouses, shelves, fake rocks, and fake smoke detectors. You can also purchase wireless cameras, eliminating the issue of hiding wires.
Consider installing security signs as a deterrent, but avoid using the branded signage that came with your security system. Instead, use another company’s or a generic model, and avoid using signage that accurately describes what your security system employs.
Maintain good security practices.
Aside from finding your entry points, part of the professional burglar’s casing process is observing you, your home, and your habits. Burglars look for easy targets with plenty of valuables. Your best defense is a mixture of solid security and not looking like you have anything worth taking.
One effective home security practice is to avoid leaving valuables in the open, visible from the outside. Hide smaller valuables safely, keep your safe out of view, and break down any boxes that high-ticket items came in before putting them outside for recycling.
Objects you should keep out of view include:
- Expensive electronics, such as televisions, computers (especially laptops), tablets, high-end smartphones, and latest-generation video game consoles
- Jewelry, including gold, silver, platinum, and gemstones
- Prescription meds
- Valuable weapons and self-defense products, such as knives, firearms, or stun guns
Defend your home while you are away.
Professional burglars watch social media accounts and keep an eye on your public posts for signs that you’re away. Use online privacy control measures and limit who can view your posts. Better yet, avoid posting vacation pics until you’re back at home.
Avoid leaving your lights on before you leave. Instead, keep your curtains closed, use smart automatic lighting systems, and install fake TV lights, which are light-emitting devices mimicking the changing colors of a television.
Postpone or reroute any deliveries before you leave, and don’t let mail, packages, or newspapers pile up in your mailbox or in front of your door. You can also ask a neighbor to collect your packages or contact your post office to hold your mail until you return.
The Worst-Case Scenario
Of course, there is the possibility of an invasion while you’re at home. You should prepare accordingly and be ready to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Ensure to review all your local laws regarding self-defense and the use of force before purchasing a self-defense weapon, and train and practice with the weapons you intend to use. Proficiency is an integral part of responsible weapon usage.
Protect Your Home
A home security system is only one of the tools you should have in your safety toolbox. Without suitable equipment, responsible habits, and good practices, your home may not be as safe and secure as you might think.
Good security practices are all about making your house into a hard target. It should present a high risk and a low reward situation to a potential burglar. As long as you follow these tips and tricks, you will be able to keep your home and your family safe.
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