10 Simple Ways to Discourage Break-ins


Lock it Up

Locking windows and doors is the most important thing you can do to stop a break-in.
Locking windows and doors is the most important thing you can do to stop a break-in.
Jack Star/Photlink/Getty Images

As mentioned earlier, more than 40 percent of break-ins happen without the use of force. That means a lot of people are leaving their houses without locking the doors and windows. If you have a thumb latch lock and a deadbolt on your doors, always lock the dead bolt. Double-check weaker doors such as patio and sliding ones to make sure their locks are strong enough to withstand kicks. When you leave your home, don't forget to lock up the door leading from the garage to inside. Even if your garage door is down, someone can easily open it. ­

You may need to change your locks to stronger ones to keep out would-be burglars. For more detailed information about choosing a lock, read What's the best way to prevent a thief from entering your home?. To learn more about residential crime prevention, visit the links below.

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More Great Links


  • Bureau of Justice Statistics. "Percent of victimizations reported to the police, by type of crime and form of tenure." 1998 - 2004. (June 4, 2008)http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/cvus/previous/cvus98.pdf
  • Kraeutler, Tom. "Protect Your Home From Break-Ins During the Holidays." AOL Real Estate. (May 29, 2008)http://realestate.aol.com/article/improve/_a/protect-your-home-from-break-ins-during/20061117115309990001
  • National Crime Prevention Council. "Burglary Prevention -- Facts and Statistics." Oct. 3, 2006. (May 29, 2008)http://www.ncpc.org/about/crime-prevention-month/2006-cpm-newspaper-supplement.pdf
  • Olsen, Martha Stevenson. "Keeping Home Safe and Sound." The New York Times. Aug. 4, 2002. (May 29, 2008)http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A06E6DE1038F937A3575BC0A9649C8B63
  • Sampson, Rana. "False Burglar Alarms." Office of Community Oriented Policing Services." 2001. (May 30, 2008)http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/e05021556.pdf
  • Sullivan, Lara. "Burglaries on the Decline in the United States. NPR. March 11, 2008. (May 29, 2008)http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88074698
  • The Washington Post. "Playing It Safe At Home." June 6, 2002.
  • US Fed News Service. "Keep Doors, Windows Secure to Prevent Summer Home Burglaries." June 20, 2006.


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