When it comes to keeping your family and belongings safe, no measure is excessive. Security is one aspect of our homes that we should never overlook. There’s always an opportunity to improve the security of our homes; we just need to know how intruders think. Mohammad Meraj Hoda, the Vice President of Business Development – Middle East & Africa at Ring tells us the common mistakes that residents commit when it comes to home security.
1. Posting Your Plans on Social Media
You should never be too trustworthy of your “friends” on social media. Globally, there are countless horror stories of people announcing their plans online and getting robbed by people in their social networks, so you should always err on the side of caution. Wait until you return from your trip or event before talking about it on social media, and if you absolutely need to share your plans, do it with a private group of people you can trust.
2. Having No Security Visible Outside
Savvy home invaders will know of all the latest security devices, and they’ll avoid homes if they know that they have effective security solutions in place. Sometimes, even just a security sign can deter a thief from breaking in, so get your devices set up, and make sure home intruders know that your home is protected. For apartment tenants, it is your right to make sure your building’s hallways and parking lots have working cameras.
3. Hiding a Spare Key Outside
This should go without saying, but you should never leave a spare key outside your home. Experienced home intruders will know all the common hiding places, so just avoid it altogether. If you absolutely need a backup plan to enter your home, consider giving a spare key to a trusted friend or neighbour, or purchasing smart door locks, which will allow you to remotely open your door, even if you can’t find your keys.
4. Leaving Doors and Windows Unlocked
This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are many instances where you may forget to close and lock your doors or windows. For example, during a hot summer, you may decide to leave a few windows cracked while you’re out of the house. Or if you’re in a hurry, you might leave the house without locking the door. Intruders take this as an open invitation, so always double-check them before leaving the house. If you decide to get smart locks, you can also use your smartphone to make sure your doors are locked while you’re away.
5. Don’t Open Doors for Strangers
In addition to ensuring a proper security system is in place, also remember not to open doors for strangers. Often intruders will disguise themselves as building maintenance or service providers or even beggars with children, but your family’s safety is never worth the risk.
6. Having Poor Outdoor Lighting
A home invader wants to get in and out of your house as quickly and covertly as possible. Because of this, a home with a dark front or back garden or a hallway with flickering lighting will be their preferred target. Make sure there are no blind spots on the outside of your home. Get a light for your front porch that stays on all night, and place motion-activated floodlights around your property.
7. Providing Hiding Spots for Home Intruders
Thick shrubbery and tall plants are great ways to provide some extra privacy for you and your home. Unfortunately, they also provide great hiding spots for home intruders lurking in your garden. If your entire front garden is visible from the street, a home invader will most likely think twice before trying to break-in. If it’s possible, be sure to keep the plants in your garden trimmed and use accent lights and floodlights to expose dark areas.
Mohammad Meraj Hoda is the Vice President of Business Development – Middle East & Africa at Ring.