How to Help Prevent Home Burglary with a Security System

You’ve seen ADT yard signs just about everywhere, and you probably have friends and neighbors with video doorbells and more. Perhaps you’ve even been the victim of a break-in. 

With over 3,000 burglaries in the United States each day, it’s reasonable to wonder how vulnerable you are, and ultimately how to prevent home burglary.

Maybe you’ve asked yourself some simple questions like do home security systems prevent burglaries? What attracts burglars to homes? Which houses do burglars avoid? And what do burglars fear most?

How Can You Prevent Home Burglary?

We’ve analyzed a series of reports and studies from the FBI, independent news sources, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to help you better understand how burglars respond when seeing a home has a security system.

We’ve used that information to present three ways a security system can help prevent home burglary.

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1. Deterrence

In a UNC Charlotte study, 422 inmates convicted of burglary were surveyed and 60% said they would choose another target if they knew a home security system was present.

You can help ensure potential burglars are aware of your home security system by placing your ADT yard sign where it is prominently visible, by placing outdoor security cameras where they can be easily seen, and with ADT door & window sensors that can be seen through the glass.

2. Prevention

Professionally-installed smart locks can help eliminate the need to stash a key outside, removing many burglars’ favorite way of gaining access. If you need to let someone in, you can give them the code to the smart lock or unlock it yourself with the ADT Control app.

You can also use the ADT Control app to lock your smart lock-equipped doors from anywhere you have an internet connection, putting your mind at ease when you’re away from home or turning in for the night.

3. Notification

When your home security system is armed, the alarm in the ADT Command panel will sound if there is a fault, for example, if a window with a door & window sensor is forced open. You will also receive alerts on your smartphone via the ADT Control app.

These notifications can help prevent home burglary by encouraging the burglar to abandon the break-in. In fact, most burglars surveyed in the KTVB survey reported they would leave immediately if a security alarm went off.

Also, as soon as your security system is triggered, one of ADT’s nine monitoring centers will be notified, allowing them to take immediate steps to determine if they should notify law enforcement in your area.


Additional Points to Consider to Help Prevent Home Burglary

What attracts burglars to homes?

A combination of potential gain and opportunity. They look for homes with signs of affluence—indicators that money and valuables might be inside—and proceed when there are insufficient deterrents and an available point of entry.


How do most burglars break in? Are most break-ins through windows or doors? 

According to a study by KTVB News of Boise, most break-ins occur through an unlocked door or window. If they are all secured, some burglars will resort to kicking in a door or breaking a window. 

Here are the numbers for various points of entry:

  • Front door: 34%
  • First-floor window: 23%
  • Back door: 22%
  • Garage door: 9%
  • Basement: 4%
  • Unlocked areas, shed, and storage: 6%
  • Second-floor window: 2%


What times do most burglars break in? 

Most burglaries occur in the early afternoon between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM — that’s when occupants are expected to be at work, while children are still in school. Early morning is the second most common time for break-ins.


Will burglars hurt you?

The short answer is, possibly. According to the FBI, a household member experienced some form of violent victimization in 7% of household burglaries. These acts included robbery, simple and aggravated assault, and sexual assault/rape.


Does leaving a light on at night deter burglars?

According to the the KTVB study, the answer is mixed. Some, but not all, convicted burglars said it was a deterrent. 


Does leaving a TV on deter burglars?

Most convicted burglars who responded to the KTVB study reported they would not break in if they heard a TV on, fearing someone would be home. A radio was similarly effective. 


Do floodlights deter burglars?

In a nutshell, a little. In the UNC Charlotte study, just 24% of convicted burglars rated outside lights as somewhat of a deterrent, placing them far below security systems on the deterrence list.

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