At Ring our central mission is to help families, neighborhoods and homes become more safe and secure. But we also know how to have a little fun too.
That’s why when we were putting together this ultimate list of burglary deterrents (because nothing like this exists out there) we saw an opportunity to celebrate some March Madness.
So below you will find the most complete list of burglary deterrents we know of. We poured over dozens of articles, forum comments and even talked to a former security expert. This resulted in the longest list of deterrents we know of.
While we of course believe the best method is a Ring Doorbell … we thought it would be fun for you to vote on the winner of a final four showdown of four popular methods. These final four methods were just chosen for fun (not based upon evidence)..
So please vote below, and we’ll reveal the results on April 4th 🙂
The Ultimate List Of Burglar Deterrents
Best Deterrent Methods
These are the favored methods commonly referenced by security experts and homeowners.
Use Deadbolt Locks
Grade one and two deadbolt locks can prevent someone from entering and also force burglars to spend more time on the property, increasing the likelihood they’ll get caught.
Use Motion Lights
Motion lights turn on as intruders enter your property bringing extra attention to them and may cause many to get frightened and flee. They may also fear someone is actually in the home. As a reminder, Ring’s integrations with IFTTT can do this.
Get A Loud Dog
Some people debate that a dog will actually deter a burglar.
But Tim Dees, a retired office and criminal justice professor has a good take on it. He says:
“A nasty dog that threatens to attack people is just a liability and a lawsuit waiting to happen. Instead, get a friendly dog that goes nuts when he sees someone in your yard or someone comes to the door. My dog wouldn’t hurt a soul, but you can’t tell that when you hear him on the other side of the door.”
Leave The TV On
Leaving on the TV or radio can fool burglars into thinking you’re at home. Our IFTTT integration can turn on your TV automatically when someone approaches.
Have Neighbors Check On Home
A neighbor you really trust can help watch your home while you’re away. They can handle the trash, mail and keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
Put Break Proof Laminate On Your Windows
As a former burglar revealed, laminated windows were actually his/her greatest obstacle. They greatly slow down the burglar.
Use Keyed Window Locks
This locks can also slow down a burglar and make it much harder for them to enter.
Put Your Indoor Lights On Timers
Having your inside lights turning on and off can make burglars watching the neighborhood thing you’re home. Especially if you vary the timing so they are random.
Vary Your Schedule
This may throw off burglars who are patrolling your neighborhood looking for a definite time to break in.
Install Front Gates
Front gates can make it difficult to scope the property and gain entry. It can cost the burglar time, which is their greatest asset. However, if your fence blocks visibility inside your yard, it might have the opposite effect. Once they get in your yard, no one can see them.
Keep Your Property Well Lit
Keeping your property well-lit lessens the likelihood your home will be a target because burglars fear being more visible.
Don’t Talk Openly About Your Purchases
Don’t mention you’ve made large purchases online, on social media, or even in person to people you think you can trust. If a burglar notes the purchase of an expensive items they will be more likely to target your home.
Use Pebbled Landscaping And Walkways
Putting pebbles on the ground can create noise when walking over them. Burglars will be trying to avoid making sound if possible.
Install A Smartlock
Smartlocks are today’s modern-day lock, allowing users to manage the lock remotely through their computer or smartphone. They can send text alerts when someone enters with your code.
Use Anti-Climb Paint On Your Fences & Gates
A former burglar confessed, that anti-climb paint remains slippery, making it difficult to impossible to gain a foothold on gates and elements on the property.
Hide Your Small Valuables
Many burglars are on foot or need to make a fast and easy getaway. They are going to look for the smallest yet most expensive items they can steal quickly. One of the most common items? Jewelry and small electronics. Make sure these can’t be easily seen.
Use A Housesitter
Housesitters not only help keep your dog fed, plants watered and food from going moldy – they are a constant presence in your home while you’re away.
Although you may not be able to influence how often police patrol your neighborhood, many neighborhoods feel safer when there is a consistent police presence.
Put Bars On Your Windows
Despite a poor aesthetic appeal, bars make it impossible for burglars to enter through windows.
Use Heavy Doors
Heavy doors are difficult to break open, and as this former burglar advised on Reddit – they especially slowed him down for non front-facing doors.
A Video Doorbell System
We may definitely be biased, but the data and hundreds of video footage also shows that a Smart Doorbell is a huge modern burglar deterrent. A former experienced burglar even admitted motion sensor cameras are a top defense. His comment was before the Video Doorbell revolution, but we’re sure he would mention this technology had he commented today.
Unreliable Burglar Deterrents
When researching, we found that some common methods are actually not reliable. Most homeowners, security experts and commentators online do not trust these methods. They are either just unreliable, or so outdated that burglars know how to get around them.
Keeping A Car Visible
A visible car is a weak signal that someone is home. A burglar will look for many other common signals to determine if someone is home.
Holding Your Mail
This is a commonly debunked myth now. The thought was that you don’t want mail to be seen piling up. But it’s much better to have a neighbor or house sitter grab your mail for you. Burglars patrolling the neighborhood will notice no one is delivering mail to your house for a week – and then know for sure no one is home.
Putting Up A ‘Beware Of Dog’ Sign
This was commonly used in the past to try to trick burglars into thinking you have a big dog. While it’s true a real large dog will deter a burglar in the moment, many of them know a sign may be a decoy.
Using Chain Lock Doors
These chains are actually pretty easy to break.
Using A Traditional Alarm System
These systems are quickly becoming outdated and ineffective. Burglars can easily get around them, they throw many false alarms, and don’t protect your privacy. They are also very expensive, and security companies are a hassle to deal with.
Having Tall Shrubs Near Windows
The thought was you’d make it troublesome for burglars to see inside and assess a method of entry or items of value. But many burglars have actually said this helps hide them from view, giving them more time to break in.
Keeping A Spare Key Outside
Most burglars will actually just use this to easily get in your house. However, some people have found leaving a fake spare key could cost the burglar time.
Having A Fenced In Backyard (Blocking Visibility)
Burglars have said that this will just protect them from view.
You may have noticed we kept a lot of technology out of the above list, and focused on DIY methods. But of course if you are going to use technology (which we recommend) – a Ring Doorbell or Stick Up Cam is always a good option 🙂
Place Your Vote! What Deterrent should win the Final Four?
It’s April 1st. March Madness is in full effect. While you’re rooting for your favorite Basketball Team, we’ve made a fun little poll you.
In no particular order for fun we’ve randomly narrowed the deterrents down to the Final Four!
What’s method makes you feel the most safe?
Voting window in now closed.