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The Home Depot

How to Prevent a Break In

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Handyman > How to Prevent a Break In
How to Prevent a Break In

Criminals are opportunists, looking for and choosing the easiest houses as their targets. One of the best ways to ensure that they don’t choose yours is to make it unappealing and unattractive to burglars. This doesn’t necessarily involve the most expensive alarm system and fancy technology – but you do need some basic facts.


Prevent a break-in by thinking like a burglar. The Nassau County website has an informative home security checklist that can help you determine the weak points in your home’s security. Once you find the chinks in your armor, you’ll be ready to make you home safe and secure.


Take basic steps to prevent a break in by fixing any issues that make your house look like an easy target to a burglar.

  1. 1.Crime Statistics

    Approximately 60 percent of home crimes occur during the day when people are not home.

    Before you can take steps to prevent a break-in, it may help to understand when many burglaries happen. When weather permits people to leave windows and doors open, more burglaries occur. In areas where homes have special weather resistant windows, burglaries occur less often. Approximately 60 percent of home crimes occur during the day when people are not home.

  2. 2.At-Risk Homes

    Criminals assess homes to find the most vulnerable homes. Homes at greater risk for crimes often have one or more vulnerabilities that make them more appealing to criminals. If your home is on a busy thoroughfare, criminals may have more opportunity to notice your home and scope it out. Homes with little or no outdoor lighting make it easier for criminals to break in without being seen. Large shrubs and trees around entrances also provide ideal places for an intruder to hide. In addition, if you tempt a burglar with expensive electronic equipment within easy view through wide-open windows, you may encourage someone to break into your home.

  3. 3.The Lived-In Look

    Make your home look occupied – vacant and empty homes are a beacon for burglars. Park a car in the driveway, hang clothes on the clothesline and place a dog bowl and dog chain outside in plain view – a dog can be a huge factor in preventing a break-in. Take steps to make your house look carefully maintained by not leaving trashcans at the curb or packages on the front porch.

  4. 4.Side and Back Windows and Doors

    Pay special attention to the doors and windows on the side and back of your house – in the areas where a burglar might have more opportunity to break in without being seen. These are not the doors and windows to skimp on locks. Use high-quality deadbolts for all doors and place an effective lock on each window.

  5. 5.Home Security System

    Install a home security system that will monitor all doors and windows of your home against unauthorized access. Although these systems can be expensive, if you live in an area with high crime, this system may thwart crimes against your home. Even if you don’t opt for a home security system, you could still place stickers in the windows as a deterrent for intruders. When a burglar suspects that your home has a home security system, he will probably not risk tripping the alarm by breaking and entering.


    Once a home has had one break-in, statistics indicate that it is more likely to have subsequent break-ins. This may be because the homeowner doesn’t correct vulnerabilities after the first break-in occurs. Do what you can to prevent a break-in from happening in the first place by paying attention to how criminals view your home.

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