Installing a home alarm system should promote home safety for occupants and the protection of your property and valuables.
However, there are sometimes significant flaws in home security systems and the homes themselves that hinder the function of these precautions. Add in the occasionally careless behaviors exhibited by residents in their daily use of alarm systems and your property can be left vulnerable to invasion, theft, and personal harm, even after installing a home security system.
Luckily, remedying the following 21 hindrances to your home security system is quite easy and can be accomplished with a little planning and know-how.
- 1.Door frames are not reinforced
Many exterior doors have insufficient door frame support, making the door easy to simply kick in.
Long, heavy-duty strike plates with long screws that extend into the door frame offer additional reinforcement.
- 2.Exterior doors have cheap lock hardware
Replace cheap locks that can easily be jimmied with tough lock sets crafted by expert manufacturers.
Installing deadbolts in addition to traditional locks is also a wise investment, as a back-up in case your key lock malfunctions.
- 3.Doors that swing out have exposed hinges
A trespasser can effortlessly remove exposed hinges to gain access to a home.
Security studs should be installed over hinges to prevent door removal even when hinge pins are detached.
- 4.The alarm system is not engaged
There is no point in having an alarm system if it is not used. Always engage the alarm system at night and when the property is unoccupied.
- 5.The telephone lines associated with the alarm system are not functioning properly
Older alarm systems may not be connected to new phone lines, or the homeowner may have discontinued landline service withoutconsidering the landline that is connected to it.
Always ensure your landline connection remains up-to-date.
- 6.Exposed glass is in risky locations
Glass in doors or sidelights can be used to access door locks and concealed windows, and those below grade are easier for criminals to enter.
Adding security window film keeps pieces of broken glass together to increase the difficulty for unauthorized access.
- 7.Windows or doors are left unlocked
Always keeping doors and windows locked adds an extra measure of security.
- 8.A spare door key is hidden near the door
Thieves know where people hide their keys and take complete advantage of that knowledge.
Rather than simply choosing a convenient place near the door for your spare, leave it with a trusted neighbor or friend instead. Conversely, you can also consider updating locks to pin or thumbprint entry models.
- 9.Shrubs and trees block the home’s visibility
Trim trees and shrubbery, so all doors and windows are visible.10.The garage door is not secure
Garage doors with an emergency release mechanism in case of a power outage can be opened with a coat hanger or other wire device.
To hinder an intruder’s entry through your garage door, protect your emergency release lever with a commercial product or tie back the pull cord.
- 11.Your garage door uses an older radio-controlled opener that has limited code combinations
Aged openers have a DIP switch on the transmitter. Replace your garage door radio controls with a new rolling code system.
- 12. Sliding door and window hardware do not lock properly
Standard lock picks can be used to open windows and doors with second-rate locking mechanisms, and it is best to add supplementary locks for additional security.
- 13. Your valuables are stored in a cheap fire safe
These boxes offer fire protection, not theft prevention. Use a safety deposit box or a UL listed burglary safe in a hidden location in your home to protect your valuables.
- 14. There is no added defense within the home in case of intrusion
Concentric circles of protection, like deadbolts on bedroom doors and the closet inside, can provide additional safety for family members and valuables.
- 15. There is no asset inventory
Make a comprehensive list of all property within the home and update it periodically to ensure everything is accounted for. A visual inventory with pictures of items is also helpful but should be used in conjunction with a written list.
- 16. Your phone line is cut
Burglars sometimes cut phone lines to disengage the alarm system. Adding a cellular radio to your alarm system permits communication with the alarm company even if the phone line is severed.
- 17. False alarms are common
Never forget that your alarm can go off due to inclement weather, forgetting to disarm the system upon entering, or some other unexpected reason.
Neglecting to ensure your alarm system does not go off often can also reduce the speed with which your local law enforcement reacts to your alarm. Take the necessary precautions to ensure all the residents of your home are working to mitigate the occurrence of false alarms.
- 18. System maintenance is too costly
In addition to installation costs, the security company associated with the system charges fees for monitoring services and factoring this cost into your budget is important to ensure that your system is always up-to-date and working correctly.
- 19. It is evident that you are not at home
If it appears you are at home, burglars are less likely to attempt access.
When you go away for several days, strategically light your home with exterior and interior lights that are set to a timer and periodically illuminate your home throughout the day and night. Many smart TVs can also be set to switch on and off throughout the day.
Have your mail and newspaper picked up by a neighbor and have someone shovel your driveway or cut the grass if you are away for longer periods.
20. Your wi-fi password is weak
A weak password can give unauthorized admittance to your smart locks, door sensors, cameras, and more.
- 21. Most security systems depend on electricity
One advantage to traditional key locks is the lock’s operation doesn’t require electricity. If the key is lost or otherwise damaged, a locksmith can easily open it with a set up bump keys or using a lockpick set or gun.
However, alarm systems need power. If the electricity is out, a battery backup is a necessity. Periodically check battery life to ensure the system will work when needed, with or without power.
While installing an alarm system is one of the most important steps you can take to provide security and a measure of safety against unwanted intrusion, remember that the security system does not simply function on its own.
Utilize these additional steps to ensure your home security system is working to capacity in making sure your home is secure, and your family is safe.