The Top 5 Ways to Keep Criminals Out of Your Homes

The Top 5 Ways to Keep Criminals Out of Your Homes

A lot of people have asked me over my 22 years of Law Enforcement experience about how is the best way to secure their homes.  Many have been the victims of a break in and have had their personal spaces violated by criminals that have a total disregard for anyone but themselves.  As the years went by I started to see patterns in criminal behaviors as well as the way citizens went about securing their homes. 

These few glaring points kept shining through and were that in most cases the criminal was smarter than we gave him credit for, the home owner was not prepared to keep an intruder out of their homes, and had absolutely no plan if they were in their home when an intruder decided to make their house his next target.

 In order to get a better idea of why criminals break into homes you need to look at the different types of break ins and why they occur. 


There are of course the most feared and violent type of crime in the home which is the “Home Invasion”.  This type of crime is not as common in our area especially amongst law abiding citizens but can still happen.  This type of breaking is usually motivated by settling a “Gang” score or related to drug purchase and sales gone bad. 

I won’t bore you with the statistics as the numbers are not as accurate as one would like to believe due to the fact many of theses types of crimes go unreported because in many cases both victim and perpetrator are engaged in criminal acts.  What I can tell you is that all though rare you need to be prepared for such a crime as it may evolve from a simple break in too a full blown home invasion if you happen to be home when the criminal decides to enter your home.


The most common type of break in is the “Breaking and Entering”.  This is usually done during the daytime hours when the criminal thinks you not home, but can still occur during the night depending on the motivation of the criminal.  This type of crime is meant to get a quick “score” in the form of jewelry, small electronics, cash, prescription drugs or if accessible firearms and even credit cards and automobiles if the opportunity shows itself.  The statistics on actual break ins for property crimes are more accurate and are estimated to be around 2,000,000 homes broken into a year in the United States. 

About 30% of theses are through an open or unlocked window or door.  Almost 70% of all break ins are residential in nature happening most often to single family homes.  Those homeowners without some type of alarm system or plan of action including a security audit to determine the soft spots of the home are more than 300% more likely to victimized.  The alarm systems for a large home can be very expensive to install, maintain and can take some time to install as well as complicated to operate.  The Security audit of the home is an affordable way to shore up your homes defenses immediately with minimal cost. Click the image below to find out how to schedule an in-home security audit with our staff.


Most security fixes are easy to install, inexpensive and have no cost after the initial install.  These quick fixes a very good alternative to an actual alarm system which by itself can’t physically stop a criminal from entering your home.  I have over the years made my home physically hard to enter without permission as opposed to an alarm system that does not physically make your home hard to break into.  Obviously the Security audit and alarm system would be the best of both worlds giving you and your family peace of mind.  With that being said it is quite obvious a lot of homes are being broken into every year and you need to prepare yourself to defend the Castle. 

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The questions you are probably asking yourself is how do I make my home a less attractive target for a criminal? as well as what do I do to protect myself and the ones I love if a criminal breaks into my home?


  1. Lights, Lights and more lights!  In the “Biz” we say lights keep the bad guys away and it is true.  The more lights and the proper location of them can greatly influence whether your home is chosen as a target to be broken in to.  choosing between motion and all on lighting in certain parts of your property also effects how criminals view your home as a target.
  2. Shrubbery, You must bring me the largest shrubbery in the forrest!  That might work for Roger the Shrubber (Monty Python Holy Grail reference) but it is not a good Idea for you.  Large or overgrown shrubs and plants act as a shield for criminals while breaking into your home.  Shrubbery can even be a deterrent when chosen and placed properly around your home.  Who said prickly plants are all bad?
  3.  Know your neighbors,  having a neighbor who will keep a watchful eye out on your home when you are away is a very good way to further keep criminals out of your home.  So grab a cold beverage and get to know the neighbors on either side of you and enlist them as another layer of home defense.  Remember that goes both ways so be alert for each other.
  4.  Plan for extended time away from your home.  Many homes are broken into when the owners are away on vacation.  There are many ways to mask the fact you are away.  There are also several things to avoid like broadcasting to the world via social media that you are away.  Wait until you return to post those awesome vacation pictures.
  5.  Lock your windows and doors will ya?!  Nothing guarantees that your home won’t get broken into but lets not roll out the red carpet.  Thats exactly what a criminal sees when they view a home with an open garage or front door.  Criminals are basically lazy and want to do as little as possible so locking doors and windows can act as a deterrent as well.  There are also several small tricks than can be used to enhance and make most doors and windows more robust.

Sorry for all the gloom and doom but the above mentioned points aren’t meant to frighten you but instead enlighten you.  The cold hard facts are you need someone who knows from experience how to properly secure your home as well as plan your defense and make you capable of protecting your family in case of intrusion…

It would be the biggest tragedy of all if you knew how to prepare yourself but did not.

If you’re interesting in taking a class on this very topic, click the image below to check out our Use of Force, Home Defense, & Concealed Carry Class!

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Denis Donovan


Denis Donovan
  • Rick
    Posted at 09:19h, 30 October Reply

    Nice column. Good suggestions. Extra points for the MPATHG reference!

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