Top 10 Home Security Mistakes to Avoid

Home security is something we all want to be on top of, but sometimes, we end up overlooking certain aspects. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the common home security mistakes that people tend to make and how you can prevent them.

Mistake 1: Not securing all entry points

First on our list is not paying enough attention to all entry points. It’s crucial to make sure doors, windows, and even garages are properly secured. Here are some tips on how you can keep your home’s access points safe:

  • Doors: Reinforce doorframes with strike plates and ensure deadbolts are installed on all exterior doors. Install a front door security device like a peephole camera, smart lock, or video doorbell.
  • Windows: Install window locks, especially on ground floor windows. Consider securing home windows with security film or bars for added protection.
  • Garages: Keep garage doors closed when not in use, install a garage door sensor, and ensure the door leading from the garage to your home is sturdy and locked.

Mistake 2: Hiding spare keys in obvious locations

It’s not uncommon for people to hide spare keys outside, but doing so in obvious places can put your home’s security at risk. Burglars know the common hiding spots, so let’s look at alternative solutions:

  • Keyless entry systems: Smart locks and keypads eliminate the need for physical keys. This can be an excellent option for DIY home security.
  • Trusted neighbor or friend: Give a spare key to someone you trust who lives nearby. They can help in case you get locked out or need someone to check on your home while you’re away.
  • Hidden lockbox: If you must hide a key outdoors, use a disguised lockbox or a well-concealed spot that is not easily visible.

Mistake 3: Overlooking interior security

While it’s crucial to focus on your home’s exterior, don’t forget the importance of interior security. Securing valuables inside can prevent losses in case of a break-in. Here are some tips for enhancing interior security:

  • Safe: Invest in a quality safe to store valuable items, important documents, and firearms. A fireproof and waterproof safe is best for protecting against damage from fire and water.
  • Visibility: Keep expensive items out of plain sight from windows to avoid attracting burglars.
  • Smart home devices: Use smart home security devices like motion sensors, smart plugs, and cameras to monitor activity and remotely control your home’s devices.

Mistake 4: Failing to update or maintain security systems

Outdated security systems can be unreliable and easy for burglars to bypass. Regular maintenance and updates are vital for ensuring your system stays effective. Here are some tips:

  • Software updates: Keep your smart home security devices up-to-date with the latest software and firmware versions.
  • Regular checks: Inspect security cameras, alarms, and sensors for wear and tear, replacing batteries and damaged components as needed.
  • Service agreements: If you have a professionally installed security system, ensure you have a service agreement for regular maintenance.

Mistake 5: Poor exterior lighting

Dark property exteriors can make your home a prime target for intruders. Improving outdoor lighting can help deter burglars and increase overall security. Consider these tips:

  • Motion-activated lights: Install home security lights that are triggered by movement to catch intruders off guard.
  • Timers: Use timers for exterior lights to give the impression that someone is home, even when you’re on vacation.
  • Strategic placement: Ensure all entry points, pathways, and blind spots are well-lit to eliminate hiding places for potential intruders.

Mistake 6: Not using home security while at home

Many people believe they only need to use their security system while away from home, but it’s important to use it while at home too. Here’s how:

  • Alarm systems: Set your alarm system to “stay” mode, which activates perimeter protection while allowing you to move freely inside.
  • Security cameras: Keep home security cameras active even when you’re home, as they can act as a deterrent and provide evidence if needed.
  • Smart home devices: Use devices like smart locks and door/window sensors to monitor your home’s entry points while you’re inside.

Mistake 7: Posting vacation plans on social media

Sharing travel plans publicly can be an open invitation to burglars. To maintain privacy during vacations, consider the following tips:

  • Privacy settings: Ensure your social media accounts are set to private, only allowing friends and family to view your posts.
  • Delayed posting: Wait to share vacation photos and updates until after you return home to reduce the risk of announcing an empty house.
  • Trusted contacts: Inform a few trusted neighbors or friends of your plans, so they can keep an eye on your home during your vacation.

Mistake 8: Not utilizing security signage or decals

Security signs and decals can act as a deterrent to potential intruders. To make the most of this simple security measure, follow these tips:

  • Visible placement: Position signs and decals prominently in your yard, near entry points, and on windows to make them easily visible.
  • Authenticity: Use signs and decals from your actual security company or a reputable provider to create a more credible deterrent.

Mistake 9: Forgetting to arm the security system

Forgetting to arm your security system can leave your home vulnerable. To help remember this crucial step, consider these suggestions:

  • Routine: Incorporate arming your system into your daily routine, like locking doors and turning off lights.
  • Reminders: Set reminders on your phone or leave notes near exit points to help you remember to arm the system.
  • Smart home integration: Utilize smart home security features to arm your system automatically or remotely if you forget.

Mistake 10: Neglecting to use or test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Functional detectors play a key role in ensuring the safety of your home and family. Follow these tips to keep your detectors in top condition:

  • Monthly tests: Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every month by pressing the test button on each device.
  • Battery checks: Replace the batteries in your detectors at least once a year or when the low battery alert sounds.
  • Detector replacement: Replace smoke detectors every 10 years and carbon monoxide detectors every 5-7 years, or as recommended by the manufacturer.


In conclusion, it’s essential to be aware of common home security mistakes and take steps to avoid them. By properly maintaining your security system, being cautious with your online presence, and regularly checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, you can greatly improve the safety and security of your home and family. Remember to always stay vigilant and proactive when it comes to protecting your loved ones and your property.

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