How to Stop Burglars From Targeting Your Home

In the United States, a burglary occurs every 26 seconds and knowing how to stop burglars from targeting your home is imperative. If your home is next on someone’s list, you could be looking at thousands of dollars or more in damages and/or stolen goods. The key to preventing home burglaries is to make your home look as undesirable to potential burglars as possible. That’s not to say you ought to leave your home in complete disarray by any means. Just the opposite in fact. You need to be mindful of how your home is presented to onlookers and there are many ways to subtly let burglars know that your home is not going to be an easy target.

Top 10 Ways to Prevent Home Burglaries

There are many ways to protect your home from potential burglars and most will cost you very little out of pocket. In fact, many items on this list are nothing more than plain common sense. Most burglars just want easy in and easy out when it comes to picking the site of their latest heist. So if breaking into your home seems like it’s going to be challenging in any way, chances are they’ll keep on moving and find an easier target. Here are some tips to keep your home safe.

Lock Your Doors and Windows

As obvious as this is, it’s worth noting. Most burglars don’t break in by smashing windows or kicking in doors. They’ll walk right in through the front door just as you do. You should invest in some quality locks and deadbolts to protect your home (smart locks are an option as well) but the most secure locks in the world won’t help protect your family and your home if they’re not used. Lock your doors and windows. Always.

Pick Up the Daily Newspaper

If you have a newspaper subscription, make sure you are retrieving your delivery every morning. A newspaper in your driveway at 7:00 at night may suggest to an intruder that no one has been home all day. Similarly, if you’re heading out of town for an extended period of time, you’ll want to have a friend or neighbor save your newspapers for you either at their own house or inside of yours (if you’re comfortable leaving them a key). Moving newspapers from the driveway to a pile on the front porch isn’t going to deter burglars who are paying close attention.

Have Someone Check Your Door for Flyers

If you don’t have a newspaper subscription, you may still want to have a friend or neighbor check your front door periodically for flyers and solicitations. A flyer stuck to your door for several days in a row could be a clear sign that no one is home to stop a would-be burglar. And in some cases, it is the burglars themselves distributing the flyers just to see which houses are paying attention.

Leave the TV On When You’re Gone

The sound and light produced by a television set can be an excellent way to turn a burglar away from your home. If a burglar hears or sees a television playing, it’s a good sign that someone is inside.

Invest in Landscape Lighting

Keeping your home well-lit throughout the night by way of timered lights and/or motion sensors can certainly keep a burglar from messing with your home. An intruder looking for an after-dark heist is far more likely to approach a home that draws little to no attention by way of excess lighting. By illuminating your home during the nighttime hours, you are making your home much less appealing to potential intruders.

Know Your Neighbors

Apart from being just kind and neighborly, getting to know your neighbors can be one of your best lines of defense when it comes to protecting your home from burglars. By getting accustomed to your daily routine and knowing when you’ll be away from the home for extended periods, neighbors will have a better feel for when something just isn’t right. More often than not, your neighbors will be the ones to clue you in regarding suspicious activity, or in more extreme and blatant situations, alert the proper authorities.

Close Your Blinds

Letting in the sunlight is fine during the day when you have a clear line of sight to the outside. But when the sun goes down, you’ll want to close up your blinds and mind your privacy from curious onlookers. By drawing the shades every night, you’re giving yourself and your family an extra layer of security from potential burglars.

Be Mindful of Social Media Posts

We know it can be exciting to tell your friends via a Facebook or Instagram post how much fun you’re having on your Hawaiian vacation. But that quick beach selfie is also a fine way to let potential intruders know that no one is at your house. It turns your home into an excellent target for burglars. Likewise, be careful about posting photos of your expensive jewelry, toys, electronics, etc. as these can make your home look awfully attractive for burglars.

Beware of Dog

To be clear, you don’t actually have to adopt a German Shepherd or Dobermann to protect your home. The mere notion that a ferocious dog guards the premises is enough to stop many burglars in their tracks. A simple “Beware of Dog” sign should do the trick. While intruders might suspect the sign is a decoy, they’ll have to decide for themselves if it’s really worth the risk.

Random Light Timers

Random light timers are an inexpensive and highly effective measure to protect your home. Generally, burglars target quiet houses with the lights out (implying that no one is home). Pre-programmed timers that go on and off at specific times throughout the day are a step up, but experienced burglars will catch onto the pattern quickly. By adding random timers to various lamps and built-in lights throughout your home, you are giving the more natural appearance that people are home (even when you’re not). 

Install a Home Security System

All of these tips can certainly help you deter burglars, but the single most important measure you can take when it comes to protecting your home is to invest in a home security system. Advanced home security systems can include alarms, home automation, video surveillance, and smart locks which can be engaged or disengaged through your mobile phone. While this tactic will surely set you back a bit more than the more subtle items on this list, you simply cannot put a price on your safety. The home security experts at Barcom Security would be more than happy to set you up with a custom security solution that is right for your home.


You don’t need a moat and a fire breathing dragon to keep your home secure. In fact, many of these items will cost you very little if anything in terms of out of pocket costs. The key to turning away potential intruders is to convey that your home is carefully guarded and will not be a simple walk in the park for even the most accomplished burglar. Of course tricks and misdirections aside, the most effective way to turn away a burglar and keep your home secure is to invest in an advanced home security system. Now that you know how to stop burglars from targeting your home, if you’d like to know more about home security systems, or want to know the option(s) that might be right for your home, contact the Barcom Security team.

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