American homes are victims of burglary about every 15 seconds, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Burglars usually try to find the easiest home to break into, so with a few modifications you can make your home less attractive to unwanted guests.

One of the most effective forms of home theft prevention is installing a home security system. In Discovery Channel’s hit show It Takes a Thief, lifetime burglars admitted that the two biggest deterrents when finding a house to break into were home security systems and dogs.  Hearing an alarm go off usually sends a burglar running.

Advantages of home security systems

  • Automatically alerts the local police department if your home is being broken into
  • Receive a discount on your homeowners insurance based on your policy
  • Deters criminals and reminds you of unlocked doors or open windows


  • A smoke detector connected to your security system will automatically alert the fire department in case of a fire. 
  • A security system sticker on your front and back door could potentially scare off a burglar before a break-in is attempted.

Four-Legged Security System

Your four-legged furry companion is man’s best friend, unless that man is a stranger. Dogs bark to protect their home and their owners. A loud, barking dog can be a great way to deter burglars or alert you if your home is being broken into.  Even little dogs can be effective, as career criminal Walter Shaw confesses, "Little yappy dogs are a huge turnoff. I would never go into a house that has one. They're a huge deterrent because they just don't stop barking and can be heard by neighbors or their owners.”

Think Like A Burglar

Draw your blinds and examine your house from the outside. If you can see your 70 inch TV from the sidewalk, so can burglars. Leaving electronics, wallets, and purses in plain sight is an invitation to a burglar looking for a quick break in. Here’s one weird tip you may not have thought of: hide your jewelry and valuables in the kitchen in a fake cereal box or can. The first place a criminal checks is the master bedroom, but no criminal is going into the kitchen to grab a box of cereal or a can.

Light’em Up

Light up your entrances. Criminals don’t want to be seen and will avoid a well-lit door way. It also gives the impression that somebody is home. If possible, motion sensor lights are a great way to draw attention to unwanted visitors and helps keep you alert as a homeowner.

Locking Is Key

The most important tip is the simplest one; lock your doors and windows. Most criminals are just looking for an easy break-in. An unlocked door or window is the perfect storm for a criminal. Try to make it a nightly habit to check that your windows and doors are locked each night before you go to bed.