11 of the Biggest Home Security Mistakes

Services for Real Estate Pros with IDTheftSecurity.com Inc

One type of mistake that you should never have to learn from involves home security. Don’t wait till something bad happens to you to learn a lesson. Here are the top mistakes that people make; learn about them here rather than from personal experience:

  1. Leaving doors unlocked. Yes, leave your door unlocked often enough overnight, and a burglar will find it. They’re all out there, working their third shift while you’re asleep, jiggling hundreds of door knobs to find that one unlocked door. Yours will be next. Be smart and lock up! This also includes during the day and when you’re gone.
  2. Penny pinching when it comes to locks. You get what you pay for. Don’t put a price tag on your home’s security.
  3. If you have a house alarm, use it. It should always be on. Don’t make the excuse that you’ll forget to turn it off when you want to step outside to see a rainbow.
  4. Keep the garage locked at all times.
  5. Don’t leave ladders out. Don’t say, “I’m too tired; I’ll put it away tomorrow.” A burglar is never too tired to climb a ladder to your second story window.
  6. Don’t hide keys near the door. Give the spare to a trusted neighbor.
  7. Leaving windows open. Okay, so maybe you don’t have a fly or moth problem, but guess what else will come in: thieves. Lock windows even if you’ll be gone for “just a few minutes.”
  8. Don’t post your vacation plans or adventures on Facebook, etc., until after you return.
  9. Don’t leave intact boxes, that expensive items like flat screen TVs came in, outside for trash pickup. Break them down and stuff in a trash bag.
  10. Make sure your valuables aren’t visible through windows.
  11. Keep your house looking occupied at all times while you’re away: Have a neighbor collect your newspapers and mail; used automatic timed lighting devices (including outside at night); leave a kid’s bicycle lying by the front door, etc. Another way to give it that “lived in look” is with the BeOn proactive smart lighting home security system. Check it out.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to BeOn Home Security discussing burglar proofing your home on NECN. Disclosures.


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Nina Hollander 12/28/2014 09:42 PM
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Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

Hi Robert, these are great tips to keep your house secure. Thanks.

Dec 28, 2014 04:27 AM #1
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Robert Siciliano, i'm sure each one of us is broken at least one of these. So, it doesn't make sense to throw stones, but we should all learn.

Dec 28, 2014 03:47 PM #2
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

These are very needed tips -- we can't be too careful.

Dec 28, 2014 07:47 PM #3
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate


I see so many people doing #8. Announcing your vacation plans on social media is a huge mistake.


Dec 28, 2014 08:08 PM #4
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Great post, Robert, and I'm reblogging as three typically very safe neighborhoods in Charlotte just were burglarized.

Dec 28, 2014 09:31 PM #5
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Never thought of the kid's bicycle ruse. Good one. Should I see it through and rent a kid? ;)

Dec 28, 2014 09:45 PM #6
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Good reminders, Robert. I hope the kid's bicycle doesn't go missing.

Dec 28, 2014 10:06 PM #7
Fred Cope
Reliant Realty in Nashville, TN - Nashville, TN
Looking For Homes With A Smile

Robert, as a licensed security officer, I instinctively note security issues as I walk through peoples' homes.  I see security lights burned out, broken windows, overgrown shrubs and bushes under windows, near vehicles, and many keys hidden in obvious places near a door.  Combine an overgrown shrub and a hidden key near a secluded door, and all a thief could ask is that you gather your valuables and place them near that door.

Dec 28, 2014 10:15 PM #8
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

These are pretty air-tight, cant go wrong problem-solvers as well as preventative measures....Bad day for thieves and burglars here

Dec 28, 2014 10:24 PM #9
Rob Spinosa
Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA - San Anselmo, CA
SVP of Mortgage Lending, Marin County

Great list.  Thank you.

Dec 28, 2014 10:36 PM #10
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Robert Siciliano All good stuff here in your blog. More criminals are cruising social networks and they will strike. They even read the obituaries in newspapers to determine targets. Pretty low, but it does happen.

Dec 28, 2014 10:56 PM #11
Jon Quist
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

As usual, Robert has a great, fact filled post. Do I get a Gold Star? I batted 100% on your do's and don'ts. All good here. Burglars will have to go elsewhere.

Dec 28, 2014 11:14 PM #12
Randy Mitchelson,APR
Marketing Coach & Homeland Heroes Home Loans - Bonita Springs, FL
First Impressions are made at First Click

I am surprised how many homeowners pay big bucks each month to ADT and other monitoring services but regularly leave their house unarmed.

Dec 29, 2014 01:10 AM #13
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Good tips to be mindful of.  There are lots of ways for a thief to deduce that there is something worth taking from your home and that they can get away with it.  

Dec 29, 2014 02:47 AM #14
RVA HomePRO Michael Hottman
RVA HomePRO Realtor with Keller Williams serving Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfiled and Richmond, Virginia - Glen Allen, VA
Helping you achieve goals in life & real estate

Robert Siciliano an alternative to giving a key to a neighbor it to put it in a combination contractor box secured somewhere on the property. If someone comes across it then there still is some security to the key. Sometimes neighbors are not around when you need it.

Dec 29, 2014 03:35 AM #15
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

I find that gated communities are the biggest offenders. They seem to have a false sense of security. Easy targets for a thief.

Dec 29, 2014 03:40 AM #16
Tamara Liggins
Keller Williams Realty, Saint Louis Call Me today at 314.677.6104 - Florissant, MO
Bringing Buyers & Sellers to Homes!

It amazes how many people don't follow any of these rules including my own family. I have to lock doors all day and windows. I have a Vivint system so I have to turn on notifications for everything that way I can watch the house, lock doors, close the garage doors and now I need something for window locking.

Safety first is my motto, I lock the doors to my truck as soon as I get in and as I'm stepping out.

Dec 29, 2014 07:06 AM #17
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Robert Siciliano keeping house look occupied is what my wife always keeps on telling me when I shut of all exterior lights when we are away for couple of days! Now I know why.

Dec 30, 2014 09:24 AM #18
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