Every 15 seconds, a burglar manages to break into a home, putting both valuables and occupants at risk. Having a sturdy, well-made deadbolt lock can help stall and even discourage some burglary attempts, but it can take more than just a lock to deter some thieves. Take a look at these 5 common mistakes people make when it comes to home protection, as well as some great solutions for each scenario.

#1: Leaving a Hidden Key Outside of the House

A lot of homeowners tend to leave a spare house key or two in spaces they think are well-hidden from plain view. This usually includes spaces underneath rocks, above door frames and even under a doormat. No matter which hiding spot you choose, chances are a burglar has already found it.

If you are worried about being locked out of your home accidentally, then it's time to think of a more high-tech solution than playing a dangerous shell game with thieves. Consider installing a door lock that requires a PIN code to open – unlike a set of door keys, you carry the pin in your head, wherever you go.

Biometric door locks that require a thumb scan for access offer an even greater level of security against accidental lockouts and thieves who want to crack the PIN code. The only drawback is that these locks tend to be on the expensive side for most residential applications.

#2: Not Changing the Locks after Moving In

Changing the door locks is a smart move to prevent casual break-ins. If you're moving into an older property, there's no telling how many people have made copies of your door key. Even if you're renting a home or apartment, it's a good idea to have those locks changed as soon as you've unpacked everything and settled down.

#3: Leaving Your Valuables on Display

Leaving your brand-new HDTV on display, or expensive jewelry out in the open, is an invitation to have it liberated by a happy thief. This is why it is so important to keep your valuables out of plain sight.

If your expensive electronics, jewelry or other precious devices can be easily seen from outside your home, then chances are burglars can see it too. The best thing to do is to draw the curtains and drapes shut to prevent others from seeing what you have.

This also applies to garages, too. The last thing you want to do is leave your garage door open. Keep it closed whenever possible, especially if you store expensive vehicles or equipment inside.

#4: Leaving Your Surroundings Shrouded in Darkness

Staying out of sight is a burglar's biggest concern, so it's no wonder that many thieves do much of their work under the cover of darkness. Automatic lights, both inside and out, can easily discourage skulking about late at night. When combined with high-quality surveillance cameras, this system becomes even more effective at preventing late-night break-ins.

#5: Forgetting to Cancel Those Deliveries While You're Out of Town

An empty house is a burglar's dream come true, especially when signs point to your being out of town for an extended period. There's no better sign of that than newspapers, flyers and other parcels stacked up in front of your door or in your mailbox.

Having your local post office hold on to those deliveries can do wonders for keeping your home safe. The post office will hold onto your mail for up to 30 days. When you return, you can simply pick it up and resume normal mail service. For other mail services, you can request that deliveries occur either before you leave or after you get back. 

For more information on increasing the security of your home, contact a local locksmith, or visit http://www.suburbanlock.com.