How to Burglar Proof Your Home

For most people, keeping their home and family safe are a top priority. Spending some time studying the best ways to burglarproof your home will give you insight into exactly what needs to be done.

Type of Home

The type of home you have will determine the type of burglar-proofing you need to do. It will also show you the burglar-proofing techniques that might be specific to your type of home.

House

When burglar-proofing a house, you can pretty much do what you want, if you own that home. Therefore, getting the best home security system you can afford is the best way to protect your home inside and out. Concentrate on your home's perimeter, windows, doors, and study the best home security systems with quality motion detectors, HD cameras, and those that can be customized to fit your particular needs.

Apartment

If you live in an apartment, you will have to get a little more creative when it comes to burglar-proofing because there are going to be restrictions for what you can and can't do. So always check with management before you burglar-proof an apartment and get their detailed permission in writing. Doing so will help make sure you aren't charged for damages when you move out and/or aren't required to leave your system there when you move.

When it comes to burglar-proofing an apartment, you might not be able to install exterior cameras; however, there are things you can do to protect yourself such as installing an indoor wireless security system. Additionally, you can add a chain lock or other similar type of flip lock to your doors. This will make it harder for a criminal to kick your doors in, which is the most common method of entry in a burglary. You can also secure the striker plate with long 3-inch screws, add window and door alarms, a doorstop, motion detectors, keep the lights on when you're not home, and use a Charley bar or pinlock on any sliding glass doors.

Mobile Home

A mobile home is by far the easiest type of residence to break into; therefore, you are going to need to be a little more diligent when it comes to mobile home security. You should use all the same techniques to burglar-proof a mobile home as you do for an apartment (see above). Additionally, keep in mind that with a mobile home, a burglar can pull back the skirting, cut a hole in your floor, and enter that way without ever being seen by anyone. Therefore, investing in an indoor and outdoor home security system is by far the best way to protect yourself.

There are other things you can do to add extra security features to your mobile home, consider investing in solid exterior doors and reinforcing the frames and striker plates. Also, make sure your door hinges are properly pinned and secured as well. Another thing you can do to secure your doors is to add an additional deadbolt a few feet above the existing one. This will make it harder for a criminal to kick your doors in, but only if you've reinforced the door frames, striker plates, and hinge pins. And lastly, you can add motion detectors to the inside, outside, and underneath your mobile home that will alert you if activity is detected.

Burglar Proof Windows

Depending on your home, there are different areas to think about and secure when it comes to security.

Window Screens

The more layers you can add to your windows, the harder it will be and the more time it will take for a criminal to actually get into your home. And, adding window screens will do just that. You can also add window screen lock pins, clips, latches and other types of window screen attachment hardware. These won't prevent someone from breaking in, but it will make it harder for them to do so.

Window Locks

The next layer of security when it comes to protecting your home is your window locks. You can beef up your window security by making sure all your windows remain locked. You can also reinforce them by installing window locks, window and glass break sensors, window bars, key-operated levers, and planting thorny bushes under all first-floor windows.

Window AC Unit

Having an AC unit in your window presents a unique challenge when it comes to home security. Therefore, you need to find specific ways to secure that AC unit to prevent a burglar from breaking in through that opening.

Secure your window AC unit by installing an air conditioner bracket to the outside of the unit. This bracket attaches not only to your AC unit, but it also attaches to your house which will make it harder to move. You can also add a window lock that's bolted or screwed in. This will keep a criminal from moving the window up or down to get in. Additionally, you can attach a metal corner brace to each side of your window unit. These are bolted to the wall which makes it hard for the AC to be pushed in or pulled out of the wall. Lastly, you could install a window sensor alarm. These have magnetic controls that will sound off if your AC unit is moved or if the burglar tries to open the window.

Glass Windows

There are a variety of ways to burglar-proof glass windows. You can install double-hung windows for an added layer of security. You can use burglar/security bars and add security window film to make your windows more impact resistant. You could also consider installing special glass such as tempered, laminated, acrylic, polycarbonate, or bulletproof glass.

The most common way to burglarproof your windows aside from incurring the expense of windows with specialty glass is to install a quality home security system. A home security system will have window and glass break sensors, motion detection, and other important features you can use to help protect your home's windows from being breached.

Skylights

The last thing most people think about when burglar-proofing their home is their skylights and criminals know this. Criminals always look for the easiest way into your home and depending on the type of home you have, that could be a skylight.

If you want to secure your home's skylights, you can install a laminated glazing to help keep it from being shattered, install internal window locks to it, and install a home security system, motion detectors, and home surveillance cameras to the inside and outside of your home.

There are other things you can do as well, such as installing additional lighting to your home, cutting back trees and other items that make it easy to access your roof, don't store ladders outside of your home, and keep your blinds closed and valuables out of sight.

Burglar Proof Doors

Doors are the most common place of entry for criminals. Therefore, when attempting to burglarproof your home, start with securing your doors.

Front Door

There are many different ways to burglar-proof your front door. You can begin by replacing the standard striker plate with a strike box and a three-sided metal striker plate using long 3-inch screws to secure it. You will have to enlarge the deadbolt hole and the cover plate recess to do this though, and you might have to deepen the hinge mortises as well.

You should also consider adding a chain-lock or flip lock and installing an additional high-quality deadbolt a few feet above the current one. And, if you have a window on your door or sidelights', adding security bars or some other type of decorative, protective covering to them will help prevent entry there as well. Also, if you have a flimsy door, you might want to replace it with a strong metal or solid wooden door.

The next step in burglar-proofing your front door is to have a home security system installed. Buy one that has a doorbell camera, motion sensors, window and glass break sensors, and high-quality HD surveillance cameras for full coverage protection.

Doggie Door & Cat Flap

For burglars, a doggie door is like a free ticket into your home. So before you go out and install a doggie door or cat flap on your home, you need to consider the security issues first. Then you can take the proper security measures for how to secure a doggie door or cat flap after it has been installed.

If you can, install the doggie door in a wall and not a door. This will keep a burglar from getting his/her arm through the flap enough to reach up and unlock the door. Buy as small of a doggie door as you can get away with. Also, consider buying a pet door that comes with an electronic lock that requires an RFID chip to unlock it. This chip can be installed on your pet's collar. You can also get a pet door security alarm with sensors that sense the weight of your pet. Anything that is significantly over that weight limit will trigger the alarm.

Additionally, you can install motion sensing lights to the door as a deterrent and a security camera directly over the area (another deterrent). And, of course, installing a home security system complete with motion sensors, video cameras, and activity alerts will do more to help you protect your home than anything else.

Sliding Glass Door

Sliding glass doors are the easiest type of doors to break into. Therefore, you should consider reinforcing them using as many protection methods as possible. The most common ways burglars break into sliding glass doors are by bypassing the locks, lifting the doors out of their frames, and breaking the glass. There are a variety of methods you can use to secure your sliding glass doors. For example, install a sliding door loop lock, door alarm, wireless glass break and vibration detector, and glass window film. Then, of course, there are the old standbys such as using a wooden dowel, pinlock, and installing a Charley bar or security bar.

Additionally, if you install a home security system, most provide you with motion detectors, alarms, high-tech video surveillance cameras, as well as live streaming video you can monitor in real-time using a companion mobile app. that will send you alerts if activity is detected. This will enable you to react quickly and accordingly when you receive an alert.

French Door

French doors are another easy target when it comes to breaking into any given home. This is because they are comprised of two doors with glass panels creating a weak point at the divide of the door. There are several ways you can go about securing a French door. You can install a mortise lock which is attached at the top and bottom of the door. This method adds strength to the doors because once installed, you have a lock in three places—at the top, bottom, and the middle of the door. You can also install double-cylinder deadbolts. These are vertical locks, so they lock both doors together, creating a stronger bond that's harder to break.

A French door's glass panels are easy to break, allowing the burglar to reach in and unlock the door. Therefore, you might consider having some impact resistant glass installed which will make the panes almost impossible to break. Another option is to install a steel frame to the door rather than using wood to help further reinforce it.

The best way to protect your home is to install an entire home security system. This will make sure you have the coverage you need to protect your home, family, and property rather than just securing the doors. And, depending on which route you choose, a complete home security system might be less expensive than opting for specialty glass and specific reinforcements for all your windows and doors individually.

Mail Slot

A mail slot makes it extremely easy for a burglar to get into your home. Through a mail slot, a burglar can put his/her hand or a specialty device through it and reach up and unlock your door. Therefore, if you want to burglarproof your mail slot, the only 100% foolproof thing you can do is to replace your door with a solid one and not a door that's made with a mail slot, fillers or veneers.

Other, less expensive options for burglar-proofing your mail slot include buying a metal mail slot cover, installing a locking drop box to the opening which would prevent anyone from being able to reach in, or adding a diverter above the slot which prevents anyone from reaching in and unlocking the door. Additionally, you could add a second deadbolt a few feet above the existing deadbolt. This will further reinforce your door and be too high for someone to reach in and unlock it.

And of course, the best way to protect your home is to install a complete home security system. Most security systems come with motion detectors, doorbell cameras, and other types of security features that will help protect your home and immediately alert you and/or the authorities if motion is detected. Additionally, most doorbell cameras also have a two-way talk feature so you can communicate with whoever is at your door. Generally, once a burglar realizes someone is watching, they will move on to an easier target.

Door Hinges

Door hinges are a major security issue, especially if the door in question opens outward which leaves the hinges exposed. This is because the hinges are outside of your home and a burglar can simply remove the hinges, then the door, to get into your home. If you want to burglar-proof your door hinges, you can do the following.

Use setscrew hinges which have a setscrew that locks the hinge pin to one side of the hinge and can't be removed when the door is closed. You could also install stud hinges. With these, the hinge pins can be removed; however, if the door is closed, the studs prevent the door from being separated from the frame. Then there are non-removable hinge pins. These are manufactured in a way that flattens both the top and bottom of the hinge pin so the pins can't be removed.

However, if you want to proactively protect your home from intruders, consider installing a doorbell camera or an entire home security system that will send you activity alerts should a burglar attempt to break into your home through the door or other vulnerable areas.

Patio Doors

If you want to burglar-proof your patio doors, the method of protection will depend on the type of patio door you have. Sliding glass doors and French doors are the most common types of patio doors. If you have either of these types of patio doors and you want to properly secure them, please refer to the sections above that address all the different ways to secure your exterior doors. Alternatively, you might consider installing an entire home security system to not only protect your patio doors but to also protect your entire home as well.

Garage Door

A garage door isn't the easiest way for a burglar to break into your home unless you've left it unlocked. And, unfortunately, it's very common for people to get in a hurry and forget to close and/or lock their garage door.

There are several ways to burglarproof your garage door with the first being to never keep your garage remote in your vehicle. But who are we kidding? Isn't that where everyone keeps their garage door opener? The best way to overcome this dilemma is to get rid of the garage door opener and use your smart home features to control it instead.

You should also avoid using an exterior keypad and leave a radio on inside your garage to give the illusion that someone is working in there. Also, consider installing a timer that's set to automatically close your garage door after a set amount of time. Additionally, installing motion-detecting lights outside your garage that will automatically come on when motion is detected is another way to protect your home. This is a great deterrent because burglars don't like to be seen.

However, the best way to protect your home from being broken into through the garage door is to install a home security system with home automation features. The home security motion detectors will sense motion and alert you if someone tries to break in. And, a home automation system that offers remote smart garage door features, will alert you if you accidentally leave the door open, at which time you can close and lock it remotely using the mobile app.

Burglar Proof Backyard

Backyards are a prime target for burglars. This is because most people have many things of value in their backyard sheds, etc. Additionally, a backyard is generally hidden and oftentimes secluded giving a burglar enough cover to take anything he/she wants without being seen. And, many people are less diligent when it comes to securing their things because many yards are surrounded by a fence and locked gates. However, that isn't always enough to keep a burglar out.

Burglar Proof Shed

Do you burglar proof your shed? You should. Many people don't and criminals know this which makes your shed and easy target for theft. Before you begin to burglar proof your shed, look for obvious signs of wear such as old locks, broken or loose wall or roof panels, rusted hinges, etc. and fix or replace them. Don't make it easy for a burglar to get into your shed. You should also use a window frosting to keep people from seeing what's inside. Then make sure you keep the area around your shed cut and free of tall weeds and shrubs that provide hiding places for a burglar.

Next, you can start burglar proofing your shed by doing the following. Add an alarm system with motion detectors, upgrade the lighting with a photocell light that automatically comes on when it gets dark. Or a light that has both a photocell and motion sensor for extra coverage. Other measures that can be taken to secure your shed is to anchor the shed to its foundation and use a shed security bar to help secure the door. And if you have a window AC on your shed, make sure you secure that too. See above for how to secure a window AC unit. Also, if you have a home security system, you can opt for additional protection features to include covering your shed and yard as well. Motion-activated security cameras and other features are perfect for this type of security coverage.

Burglar Proof Gates

Aside from the obvious way to burglar proof your gates, which is to install a top-quality gate padlock that's hard to cut, there are other ways you can secure your fence gates as well. For example, install your gate as close to the ground as possible to prevent intruders from crawling underneath. You should also build your fence and gate with the horizontal studs facing inwards so a burglar can't use them to climb over your fence. You can also use decorative fence/gate trellis toppers that would make it hard for someone to gain a hand or foothold and even harder to climb over. Additionally, you should always install the hinges on the inside of the gate when possible. Another way to make it hard for a burglar to breach your gate is to install the lock on the inside of the gate. Doing so will prevent a burglar from drilling out the lock's hasp screws and removing the locking mechanism altogether.

If you want to proactively protect your property, consider installing a home security system that offers indoor and outdoor camera features along with a companion mobile app that will immediately alert you if motion is detected.

Burglar Proof Roof

The last thing people think about when securing their home is burglar-proofing their roof. Believe it or not, your roof is one of the most vulnerable places on your home. Breaking in through the roof is a rather new type of crime and one that's used by more sophisticated burglars that generally target upscale neighborhoods. These burglars know most people don't install motion detectors and other types of security on the second floor of their homes; therefore, they will cut a hole in the roof and enter your home through it, take your valuables, then exit the same way.

There are several ways to protect your home from a roof break-in. The best way to protect yourself from a roof break-in is to install a home security system that includes second-floor coverage using extra motion detectors, etc. And, if you want to catch a burglar before they actually get into your home, you should install exterior surveillance cameras and motion detectors, as well as motion detectors and an alarm in your attic. Another area of concern on your roof is your skylights (see above).

Other ways to burglar-proof your roof include adding exterior lighting to include your roof, don't leave ladders and trash cans out in the open (always keep them in a locked area), and remove any design elements and/or trees that provide easy access to your roof.