It can be easy to feel like security systems provide a false sense of security. It can take less than 10 minutes for a burglar to get in and out of your home1. So, do security systems prevent burglaries?
The facts show that, yes, they do. Many studies have found that intruders are less likely to break into homes that have proof of a security system. According to the study “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize From the Offender’s Perspective” conducted by the UNC Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology2, the following was found true:
- Among other factors, such as proximity to neighbors, traffic and visibility, indicators of increased security, including security company signs, dogs, outdoor cameras and other surveillance equipment affects most burglars’ decisions when choosing a target.
- The same study found that about 60% of burglars would choose a different target if there was evidence of a security system, especially if the burglary was deliberated ahead of time.
- Most burglars would try to determine if a security system was present before attempting a break-in, and about half of them would discontinue the attempt after discovering one.
That’s over half of burglars who would have entered your home but didn’t due to the presence of a security system. But what about the other half? The study says that one in five burglars cut security and telephone lines before entering a home, and that over 40% of offenses are impulsive, meaning that the intruder does not attempt to find out whether there is a security system before entering a home.
Therefore, while a security system won’t prevent all burglaries, it’s proven that they will prevent most, especially those that are pre-meditated. And, while a burglar may be able to enter your home and take your belongings in less than 10 minutes, the likelihood of the intrusion happening in the first place lowers by half when you have a security system.
Given these facts, it behooves homeowners and renters to invest in a security system, as well as to take any necessary precautions to deter burglaries. This includes choosing a home in a well-lit, heavily trafficked area, getting to know and trust your neighbors, and placing visible signs announcing your security system around your home. Also, due to the quick timeline of a typical burglary, a high quality deadbolt and door brace can make it more difficult to breach your entryway. Glass protection film in windows will ensure that they can’t easily be broken.
In addition, even if a security system cannot prevent 100% of burglaries, a security system can provide a way to track down the intruder after the crime. Security cameras can provide recorded footage of the incident that can be turned in to the police, allowing them to know the time that the incident occurred due to when the security system was triggered or the lines were cut. This data can be used to catch the intruder, assuring you and your family that the same burglar will not be entering your home again.
Though home security systems won’t prevent 100% of attempted burglaries, consider how you would feel if you didn’t have a security system. If your home was broken into, you would have no record of the incident except missing belongings and a damaged home – no specifics about when it happened, how the perpetrator entered your home if there was no broken windows or doors left open, and whether or not the incident could have been prevented. Given that security systems deter up to 60% of burglaries, the benefits of a home security system greatly outweigh the risk of not having one.
When asking yourself “do security systems prevent burglaries?” take into account that nothing is a 100% guarantee that your home will be safe from intruders. However, a home security system is an essential part of your larger home security plan. A security system deters over half of potential burglars, can help you catch the thief after a break in occurs, and provides the added peace of mind that your home and your belongings are being watched even when you are away. Get a free quote from one of the top home security providers to take preventative steps to protecting your home and family today.