Installing a home alarm system quotes system isn’t the only way to help prevent a burglary. Just as signs of a security system can deter many opportunistic burglars, so can suggestions that people are home, says Joe Kuhns, a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at UNC Charlotte. “The most important criteria in deterring the burglars we surveyed were alarm systems, dogs, and indications of people inside. Lights were also an important indicator,” he says. “Burglars don’t want to have a conversation. Anything you can do to create a perception that the home is occupied and active is helpful.” This includes things like putting a hold on mail and newspapers and keeping a car in the driveway when you go on vacation.
Along the same lines, simple measures such as cutting back overgrown bushes that could provide hiding spots and keeping your property uncluttered can reduce the chance of your house being targeted. The U.S. Department of Justice found that burglaries were higher during the summer when people typically go on vacation. Additionally, while property crimes are more likely to occur during the day when homeowners are absent, outdoor lighting is still an important deterrent. Motion-activated floodlights are an easy way to scare off would-be burglars, and some home security systems incorporate exterior lighting into their systems. Dogs are also a great way to guard your home. They don’t need to be big – just loud enough to attract attention, Kuhns says.
Making it harder to break in is another way to prevent burglary, although this can be expensive. Examples include installing metal doors or solid-core wood doors on all exterior entrances, along with heavy-duty strike plates and more secure windows with stronger glass. “There are neighborhoods and parts of cities that are more prone to burglary, and even with lots of efforts at deterrence, you might have homes in those places that will get burglarized regardless,” Kuhns says. “[Reinforced windows and doors] can be a better option in environments like this