The Home Security Mistakes You’re Making
As a dad, you’ve got a lot going on in your life. You have many responsibilities, like taking care of your family and being a standout employee. Family life moves fast. It seems you’re always getting a kid to school, to practice or to bed.
Securing your home probably isn’t in your top-ten list on the average day.
This is where you need to change your thinking. Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to live in a castle complete with a moat that has sharks with frickin’ lasers. You can secure your family in the home you live in now and you can start today. We’re going to look over some common home security mistakes and if you see yourself in any, don’t worry: I’ll show you how you can correct it.
“I’ll never be a victim…”
When I started The Secure Dad the very first article I wrote was about changing how you see yourself and the world around you. The truth is the unexpected is always lurking and, as fathers, we are protectors so it falls on us to change how we see the world so that your family can live peacefully. Going through life thinking that you and your family will never be the victim of a crime is a false security. Look at your local news station. Do you think any of those people thought they were going to be victims of crime today? No. By changing your mindset to acknowledge that you could be the target of a bad guy can lead you to making safer decisions. Once you realize how a thief can strike, you’ll begin to take away those opportunities and start living a more secure life.
Mind the garage door
An open garage door is the easiest way to let a burglar know you are not home. When you reveal that there are no cars inside, a bad guy knows he has an easy venue to hit. Also, an open garage is an easy target for a quick grab. Tools are hard to trace and easily pawned, so while you may think there are no valuables in the garage, think again. Also most garages have a door to the inside of your home. Don’t give a burglar access to your tools to break into your door while you’re gone.
The fiercest enemy to any thief is light. A well-lit home is not going to be at the top of a thief’s list of targets. Most likely they’ll move on to an easier target, a dark house. Make sure that house is not yours. The easiest thing to do is turn your porch light on all night. This keeps your main entrance lit, which can help deter a kick in attack on your door. If you don’t think you can remember to turn the light on every night, there is a solution. A dusk to dawn light bulb will automatically come on when it gets dark and turn off when the sun comes up. All you have to do is screw it in. Yep, adding security lighting has never been easier.
Wi-fi enabled products are awesome – except when it comes to a smart lock. You may be tempted by the coolness factor of using your smartphone to open your front door, but you must resist. A wi-fi enabled lock is not a good idea in my opinion. You want to control the access of your home as much as possible, so a lock that can be hacked by wi-fi and opened remotely is not a good idea. This is where a traditional deadbolt is a better option.
Oh boy, this one makes me shake my head. I feel the need for a hidden key is greatly outweighed by the potential to let a thief waltz into you home without breaking a sweat. Hidden-key lawn ornaments allow observant thieves to have instant access to your home. If your lawn has end to end grass with a few bushes around the porch then a plastic rock under a bush is going to stand out. Yes, it will. Especially when you can see the seam where the plastic was molded together.
If you need to allow access to your home I recommend a keyless lock. These locks use codes to lock and unlock the deadbolt. You can create as many codes as you need and delete them when you’re done. These are not smart locks like I mentioned before. A user must be physically in front of the lock to enter the code. Additionally, the lock still has to be turned by hand, there is no motor to move the deadbolt. While these may look intimidating to install, they are very straightforward and only need a 9-volt battery to function. A novice DIY-er can knock this out in 30 minutes.
So, these are some things you can do right away to start making your family safer. None of these are hard. Being secure doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does take diligence. If you can put some of these ideas into practice you’ll create a safer life for you and your family.
Andy Murphy’s blog, The Secure Dad, is dedicated to family safety, home security and, of course, fatherhood. Visit weekly for tips on keeping yourself, and your family, safe.
Fortunate child: having a good father
Q&A with Andy Murphy, The Secure Dad