8 Burglar Deterrents to Consider (and 5 to Avoid)

by Erin Raub | Last Updated Nov. 19th, 2015 

It’s estimated that a home burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the United States. That means that during the 10 minutes it takes you to read this post, approximately 40 homes will have been burglarized.

That’s a startling statistic. You need to fortify your home security to make your home unappealing to potential thieves. Think of home security like an onion: there should be many layers, and peeling each one back should be difficult enough to make a burglar cry. And then flee to find more vulnerable prey.

Burglar Breaking In

Secure windowed doors with a floor lock to prevent easy entry to your home

It’s estimated that a home burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the United States. That means that during the 10 minutes it takes you to read this post, approximately 40 homes will have been burglarized.

That’s a startling statistic. You need to fortify your home security to make your home unappealing to potential thieves. Think of home security like an onion: there should be many layers, and peeling each one back should be difficult enough to make a burglar cry. And then flee to find more vulnerable prey.

8 Burglar Deterrents That Work:

1. Visible Window & Door Locks
Burglars get into your home via the door or window, so providing a first-line deterrent like visible (and sturdy) locks is a step toward security. Do not be frugal with your locks. You local locksmith can recommend the strongest, best locks for your home.

Relevant Products: Schlage Camelot Keypad Lever Door Lock

2. Lock Your Doors
This is so, so simple but many people fail to lock their doors. Lock up every time you go out, obviously, but also keep the doors locked when you’re home – and especially at night. If you like to leave screened doors and windows open on a nice day, no problem; there are good locks for sturdy screens, too. And speaking of locks, all doors should have deadbolts and patio/sliding doors need special anti-entry devices to prevent removal from their frames.

No Burglars

These 8 tips to deter burglars will make your house unappealing to thieves

3. Get a Home Security Check
Your local police department likely offers an underutilized but invaluable public service: home security checks. Call your local officers in blue, and ask for them to come out. They’ll walk the inside and outside of your home, and suggest areas for improvement.

4. Install an Alarm
A home alarm system is one of the top ways to deter burglars from targeting your home. Several different systems and extras are available, from a basic alarm siren to a fortress. Take the maximum protection you can afford. Make sure your alarm company has a fast response time, and consider whether you want the police automatically notified of an alarm event.

Relevant Products: GE Personal Security Alarm KitGE Choice Alert Wireless Alarm System Control Center Starter Kit 

5. Install Security Cameras
The best defense is a good offense. Put burglars on the defense by recording their every move. You’ll need indoor and/or outdoor security cameras with night vision and a decent hard drive to record a few days worth of video. If you can’t afford the real thing, fake cameras can also work as a good deterrent; just make sure they’re quality fakes and not cheap plastic that thieves will easily identify as dummies.

Relevant Products: VideoSecu CCTV Home Surveillance Outdoor Security CameraFoscam Pan & Tilt Day/Night Vision CameraSUNTON Outdoor Waterproof Fake / Dummer Security Camera

6. Motion Activated Lights
Illuminate shadowed part of your home and access points with motion-activated floodlights. That’s right, floodlights. If a light flips on, you want a wide viewing area.

Relevant Products: Fulcrum Motion-Sensor LED Porch LightAmerTac LED Motion-Activated Nite Lite

7. Strong Doors
Nearly 70% of burglars enter your home through a door. Install thick, solid wood doors that will be hard to kick in. If your doors have a window, install a secondary floor lock, so that after breaking the door window, a burglar cannot reach down to unlock your door and waltz into your home. Install hidden bracing in the doorframe.

8. Safe & Secure
In the event that a thief does breach your perimeter security, have your most precious valuables safely secured in a fireproof safe. Bolt the safe to the floor, otherwise a strong burglar could cart it out.

Bad Security Lock

Entertaining, but chain locks are not strong enough to be effective burglar deterrents

5 Burglar Deterrents That Don’t Work:

1. Posting Company Alarm Signs
Don’t give burglars any information about your alarm company, since it can be used to bypass your system. Instead, just post general alarm or monitoring signs.

2. Hiding Valuables in the Bedroom
Professional thieves (and even experienced amateurs) know that most people store their valuables in the bedroom. Don’t be that person. Get creative with your hiding spots and distribute your valuables over several hidey holes.

3. Leaving the Lights On
Leaving the lights on constantly is like a beacon to burglars – we’re not home! Instead, install timers that will flip your lights on and off throughout the course of the day, as if you were really home.

4. Suspending Mail Delivery
Career burglars stake out your home to learn habits. If your habits suddenly change – for example, if the mail carrier or newspaper delivery kid start bypassing your home – it’s a clear sign that you’re out of town.

5. Getting a Big Dog
Big dogs may look scary, but what you really want is a smaller dog that will make a huge stink (read: bark uncontrollably and be difficult to calm) the second someone is at the door (or window).

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