By Lauren Ferrone
Published: Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Hiding house keys under the doormat might be up there with the biggest security mistakes people unknowingly commit, but there are others that are just as risky.
1. Your garden looks like a jungle
Overgrown bushes and lawn (like the one pictured at the top of this story) can be ideal hiding spots for would-be burglars, so trim shrubs to ensure they don’t block your view from any windows.
Also, thorny bushes placed underneath windows can make it challenging for intruders to enter the home.
2. “They’ll never find it here”
We all know leaving a spare key under the doormat is a no-no, but surely there’s a nearby pot plant that’ll make a better hiding place?
RAA research shows 35% of members still keep a spare key outside their house. Even if you think it’s in a genius spot though, there’s a chance someone else will think to look there too.
Investing in a wall-mounted key safe mitigates that risk, plus it’ll never get lost.
Not the best hiding spot
RAA members who still keep a spare key
outside their house
3. Smile, you’re not on camera…
The fake security camera you found for $20 on eBay might be the cheaper alternative, but it’s probably not the smartest.
RAA’s security expert Travis Murphy says burglars can usually spot a dummy camera from a mile away.
“They often have a blinking red light to make it appear as if it’s real, but that’s usually a tell-tale sign it’s fake as very few genuine CCTV cameras actually have visible lights,” he says.
There are also DIY CCTV kits that allow you to self-monitor your home through your phone, which aren’t the most effective. Most of these will send you a text message if your alarm is activated.
“Without a professionally monitored alarm, these devices are useless because you’re relying on a computer to warn you of trouble,” Mr Murphy says.
“How many missed calls and text messages do you get in a day?”
4. Your alarm’s not professionally monitored
According to RAA research, 33% of people say they’d do nothing if they heard a neighbour’s alarm going off, demonstrating the importance of having a system that’s monitored by a professional.
They’ll detect when the alarm’s activated, and a licensed and trained operator will then manage your issue in line with your emergency response plan.
“People have zoned out from alarm noises because we live a noisy life. That’s why it’s a good idea to have someone do the watching for you and act on your behalf,” Mr Murphy says.
Did you hear that?
RAA members who’d do nothing
if they heard a neighbour’s alarm
5. “My dog will scare away burglars”
While yapping pups might draw attention to suspicious lurking strangers, hanging a ‘Beware of dog’ sign won’t necessarily deter determined intruders from entering your premises.
Mr Murphy says while these signs may warn thieves that a dog’s on the property, they shouldn’t replace proper security measures.