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Top 5 Home Security Tips (That Go Beyond Arming Your Panel)

August 2016

spring-garden-window-frame-viewYour security system gives you peace of mind—and rightfully so (especially when it’s tailored to suit the needs of your home and family)! Of course, when it comes to protecting your loved ones and most-prized possessions, you want to cover yourself in any way possible.

Below, check out our list of 5 home security tips that every homeowner should be aware of—even if you’ve got a top-notch security system installed!

1) Utilize Yard Signs and Window Stickers

Of course, it’s the high-tech equipment inside your home that protects you in case of an intrusion, but did you know that the low-tech equipment outside—ie: yard signs and window stickers—can be a big deterrent to potential criminals as well?

Keep in mind, most residential burglars are amateurs, looking for the easiest targets, and in some cases, the knowledge that your home is equipped with an alarm system is enough to keep those less-brazen intruders at bay.

Security Note: Yard signs and window stickers should always be used as the first line of defense against intruders, and not your sole means of home security. Remember, yard signs might supply the bark in these situations, but your monitored security system is responsible for the bite!


2) Open Your Doors and Windows Sparingly

We get it, it’s summertime, and now and then it’s nice enough to open the doors and windows and let the fresh air circulate!

The bad news is, open entryways mean a disarmed security system to those on the prowl, and home intruders are always seeking a clear opportunity to get in and out (and remember, front doors are the most common entry point for burglaries).

Open windows can be an issue as well, and not only as a quick way in. In some cases, potential intruders utilize this opportunity to prop open or obstruct windows from closing, leaving an accessible route for a return visit.

Which all goes to say: Go ahead and open those windows when the feeling strikes!—just remember to always be present, and to lock up those perimeters when you’re stepping away.


3) Window Coverings are Your Friend

We know, the sun is shining! Who wants to keep their curtains closed on a clear summer day? This recommendation, much like the last one, is a simple reminder to be aware of what you’re showing to the world. Put yourself in the shoes of a burglar. What can you see through your window from the street? Anything valuable? Anything that would imply to a stranger that you might have some nice things inside? What about easy entryways or escape routes? Or your panel—can an intruder see if your panel is armed or disarmed from the porch?

Like we said, this isn’t about changing your lifestyle or living in fear. It’s about being proactive and aware of your surroundings!


4) Social Media

You’ve heard it before—if you’re going out of town, make sure the list of those in-the-know are on a need-to-know basis. After all, a continuously empty house is a home intruder’s dream come true. But what about social media? As technology evolves, so do the tools of those seeking to cause havoc. For instance, is it a good idea to post trip information on Facebook? What about pictures or location check-ins while you’re away? If your account is set to private, what’s the harm? Only your “friends” have access, right?

While that may be true, it’s always a good rule of thumb to keep details about your vacation under wraps, even digitally. After all, while you may know and trust all 500 of your Internet “friends,” what do you really know about their friends, the ones playing around on your friend’s unlocked smart phone? Or what about a friend who accidentally leaves his or her account logged in on a public computer, their “newsfeed” left open for everyone to see?

Best advice? As painful as it might be, it’s probably best to wait on posting those vacation pics  and updates until after you’re back in town.

(In any case, shouldn’t you be enjoying your time away? Zuckerberg’s a billionaire!—Facebook will be there when you get home.)


5) A Clean Front Lawn is a Safe Front Lawn!

This one is a two-parter:

Part one involves picking up all toys, bikes, barbecue grills, ride-on mowers, and other fun things whenever they’re not in use. Not only are they easy targets, but much like leaving your windows unobstructed, a yard full of nice toys may imply a house full of kids inside, which potentially means a house full of video games and other cool toys and gadgets. More than that, expensive toys on the lawn might mean parents with money to spend on other expendables/expensive things of their own.

Part two of this tip is to keep your front lawn clean of any unruly bushes or other easy places to hide. Make a potential burglar’s job as difficult as possible!

Again, this doesn’t mean tearing up your hedges, only that—and remember, this is the theme of the day!—it’s best to keep yourself aware at all times. If your home has a weak spot, figure it out first, before any possible intruders!