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Burglary Prevention 101: An Easy Guide To Home Safety

burglar breaking into home through window

There are 2.5 million burglaries annually in the United States, with over half of them being home invasions. Home is where we should feel most secure, but burglaries can shatter that sense of safety. A burglary doesn’t just mean the loss of valuables; it can also result in years of emotional distress and a lingering sense of insecurity.

Burglars look for easy opportunities and typically target homes they can enter quickly without drawing attention. They attempt to enter and exit your home swiftly to minimize the risk of being seen. The more challenging you make it for them to gain entry, the better. Alarmingly, many people make it overly simple for burglars by leaving doors or garages unlocked. Research indicates that around 30% of burglaries occur at unlocked entry points.

With the right precautions and safety measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of a break-in. So it is up to you to secure your home, create a time buffer, and deter burglars by attracting attention, which will make them more likely to bypass your home for an easier target.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to general home safety measures to protect your home from burglary.

1. Invest in a Home Security System

One of the most effective deterrents against burglaries is a home security system. Homes without a security system are three times more likely to be broken into than homes with one. A visible security system can make your home less appealing to potential intruders. A professionally monitored alarm system that alerts you and the authorities in case of a break-in is optimal. They deter criminals by bringing audible attention to their break-in attempts. The police are then automatically dispatched to your home, but it’s important to remember that in some areas, it can take up to 30 minutes or even an hour for them to show up.

2. Get A Dog

A dog can be an excellent addition to your home for safety. Their acute hearing and sense of smell make them highly alert to any unusual activity or intruders. The mere presence of a dog can act as a deterrent to burglars, as they are less likely to target a home with a barking or visibly alert dog due to the attention it attracts. Additionally, many dogs are fiercely loyal and protective of their families, and their instinct to protect can make them proactive in alerting their owners to potential threats. Training a dog in basic obedience and guard dog techniques can further enhance their effectiveness for home safety.

3. Secure Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are the most common entry points for burglars. Securing these entry points can significantly reduce the risk of a break-in. Install high-quality deadbolt locks on all exterior doors and use window locks to secure windows. Consider reinforcing doors and doorframes with strike plates or doorjamb reinforcement kits for added security. Install security bars or use dowels in the tracks of sliding doors and windows to prevent them from being forced open.

4. Securing the Garage

Keep your garage door closed. Bikes, tools, and toys inside open garages are an open invitation to thieves. Unless you’re outside working, keep your garage door shut. The door that goes from the garage into your home should be secured just as much as your front door.

If you park your car in the driveway, make sure to always remove your garage door opener. A common tactic used by burglars is to break into a parked car in the driveway, grab the garage door opener, and use it to enter the home or steal things in the garage.

5. Make Your Home Look Occupied

An empty home is an easy target for burglars. Making your home appear occupied can deter trouble. Start with a well-maintained yard by eliminating hiding spots and making it more difficult for anyone to approach your home unnoticed. An unmowed yard could be a signal that no one is home. You also want to keep shrubs and trees trimmed and pruned to eliminate any possible hiding places for potential bad guys.

Make sure your home is well lit. Turn your front door light on at sunset, as well as any other lights near entry points. Install motion-activated lights around the perimeter of your home to illuminate dark areas and deter potential intruders. Use timers to turn lights on and off at different times to give the impression that someone is home.

Lastly, pause mail and deliveries when you are away. A buildup of mail and newspapers can signal that no one is home. If you’re going away, ask a neighbor to collect your mail or pause deliveries.

6. Get To Know Your Neighbors

Building a strong community can be an effective way to prevent burglaries. Get to know your neighbors and their routines by establishing open communication lines. Ask them to keep an eye out for strangers or suspicious activity around your house when you're not home. Don't underestimate the potential of nosy neighbors to disrupt the plans of would-be burglars. Keeping an eye out for each other and maintaining a sense of vigilance can help deter burglars. Burglars are less likely to follow through if they know they’re being watched and the community is actively looking out for each other's safety and security. Encouraging a unified community not only enhances the safety of individual homes but also fosters a sense of camaraderie and collective responsibility among neighbors.

7. Security Cameras

Installing outdoor security cameras can significantly enhance your home's safety and act as a powerful deterrent to crime. Visible cameras can make your property less appealing to potential intruders, as the risk of being caught on camera and subsequently identified and apprehended by law enforcement increases. Moreover, the presence of security cameras can provide you with valuable footage in the event of a break-in, aiding in the identification and prosecution of the perpetrators.

Modern security cameras offer high-definition video quality, night vision capabilities, and remote access, allowing you to monitor your property in real-time from anywhere via smartphone or computer. Additionally, some advanced systems come with motion detection and alerts, notifying you immediately if any suspicious activity is detected on your property. By installing outdoor security cameras, you not only enhance your home's security but also gain peace of mind knowing that your property can be monitored at a moment's notice.

8. Safe Storage of Valuables

Invest in a home safe to store valuable items like firearms, jewelry, cash, and important documents. Properly storing and securing your valuables can reduce the incentive for burglars to target your home. Create an inventory of your valuables, including photographs and serial numbers. In the event of a burglary, this can help you identify, recover stolen items, or report to your insurance. Remember to periodically update your inventory and store it in a secure location, such as a safety deposit box or digital cloud storage, to ensure its accessibility and accuracy in case of emergencies.




Protecting your home from burglary requires a proactive approach and a combination of general home safety measures. By using the tips in this guide, you can significantly reduce the risk of a break-in and protect your home and loved ones.

Remember, burglars look for easy targets, so by implementing these safety measures, you can make your home a less appealing option and enjoy peace of mind knowing that you’ve taken steps to safeguard your haven.

Join our upcoming "Understanding Imminent Threat" class to learn how to identify, assess, and effectively respond to potential threats, ensuring the safety and security of yourself and your loved ones.


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