Burglaries happen every 30 seconds in the United States. Once inside, burglars spend less than 10 minutes in the home.
Most criminals enter through the least detectable entry point, since the aim of the burglar is to get in and out as fast as possible.
In this article, we’ll explain how burglars get in and how to prevent burglars from breaking into the most common entry points in the home.
Common Entry Points For Burglars
1. Front, back, and side doors
Doors are the most common entry points for burglars.
They might knock on the front door to see if anyone is home and try the lock to see if it’s unlocked. Or they might peer into the windows to see what valuables lie just inside the property; both of which are telltale signs of burglary that can be apprehended with a security camera.
Tips to prevent break-ins via doors:
- Lock or double lock doors at all times.
- Install home security cameras in porches, hallways, or around the exterior of a property.
- Keep keys away from the front door.
- Install anti-theft mailboxes.
- Move valuables out of sight of the front door.
2. Cat flaps
Cat flaps let pets in and out of the home more easily, but they make the house less secure.
Depending on the structure, burglars use cat flaps to pick the lock on the door and enter a property. They also use them to take keys off side tables nearby.
Many homeowners leave keys in back doors with cat flaps – which makes it easy for burglars to gain access to a home.
Tips to prevent break-ins via cat flaps:
- Never leave keys in the lock.
- Keep keys far away from the cat flap (burglars use tools to grab them and open doors).
- Lock cat or dog flaps at night or when not in use.
- Position home security cameras over cat flaps (with motion-detection notifications enabled).
3. Open, easily accessible, or vulnerable windows
While it’s assumed that few burglaries happen during the day and take place at night, this isn’t true.
In fact, most break-ins occur between 10am and 3pm. This is typically when no one is home – as adults are working and kids are at school. According to burglary statistics, someone is home for around 28% of burglaries.
Tips to prevent burglars from breaking in via windows:
- Lock all windows when not in use.
- Barricade accessible windows.
- Install window alarm sensors.
- Replace old or broken windows quickly (particularly in adjoining garages).
- Install home security cameras (to deter burglars from targeting a property with open windows).
Garages are a particularly vulnerable part of a property. 9% of burglars break in via a property garage. Garage doors can be opened from the outside in as little as 6 seconds – without the homeowner even knowing.
It’s possible to use a coat hanger to break into a manual garage door. Electric garages can also be broken into if a burglar picks the lock, hacks digital access codes, or gains access to a remote that controls the door.
Tips to prevent burglars from breaking into a garage door:
- Lock adjoining doors between the garage and house.
- Reinforce the garage door with extra security locks.
- Maintain garage doors (even routine cleaning and painting can deter burglars).
- Block windows or use frosted spray to prevent burglars from seeing in.
Best Home Security Measures to Prevent Break-Ins
To successfully prevent break-ins, there are security measures you can take. Below are the best ways to stop a break-in from happening.
1. Install home security cameras
Fitting home security cameras is the best way to deter burglars. Burglars want an easy, undetected break-in, and a camera prevents this from happening. Plus, no criminal wants to be caught on camera.
Make sure to install home security cameras properly to prevent break-ins. Glare from windows can disrupt views and impact motion detection sensors. Fitting cameras in the wrong places leaves a property vulnerable to blind spots.
Tips to install home security cameras properly:
- Make sure exterior cameras are visible.
- Keep porch cameras below lights to illuminate action (testing footage beforehand to ensure there’s no glare when the lights are on).
- Fit outdoor cameras between 2.5-3 meters above the ground.
Best places to install home security cameras:
- Over the front or back door.
- In the corner of a garage.
- On the main stairway/hallway.
- Above large windows.
- In corners of a room.
Expert criminals scope out properties before breaking in. They’ll peer through windows, knock on doors, or even attempt to gain entry to scope out the house. Hiding valuables far from the first-floor windows and front door helps prevent more seasoned criminals making your home a target.
Reinforce entry points
To reinforce common entry points:
- Add additional locks to garages.
- Upgrade old windows to triple-glazed.
- Lock cat flaps at night or when not in use.
- Position home security cameras over entry points.
Keep up with home maintenance
Vacant homes or properties in disrepair are a prime target for burglars and vandals. An unkempt home might be seen as a sign that someone elderly or unable to protect themselves inhabits the property – making a burglary easier to facilitate.
An overgrown lawn signals to criminals that a property is vacant. Overgrown shrubbery also creates more security camera blindspots, providing cover for burglars to hide.
Plus, a property in poor condition (with broken gutters, patched-up windows, side gates hanging off their hinges, holes in fences, or peeling paint on garage doors), creates better access for criminals and signals that security measures are lacking.
To prevent burglars from targeting a property:
- Trim shrubbery and mow the lawn regularly.
- Keep blinds drawn at night.
- Keep up with exterior home maintenance – particularly when it makes the property look vacant, uncared for, or occupied by a vulnerable person.
Burglars target properties that are easy to break into. Most break-ins occur via the front door, accessible windows, or unsecured garages.
The best way to prevent burglars from breaking into a property is to lock doors and install home security cameras.
Other measures, like adding additional locks to adjoining garages and maintaining front yards, also prevent burglaries.