Burglary Entry Points

Comparing The Most Common Entry Points Of Break-Ins

The front door, first-floor windows, and the back door are the most common entry point for burglars. Surprised? Surprised not. It is a fact commonly mentioned in the home security industry. However, those three points of entry are not the only places burglars use to gain easy access to your house. Using the data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, our friends over at the Home Security Store have created an infographic that shows us the seven most common entry points for break-ins.

the-most-common-entry-points-for-a-break-in

Entry Point No. 1: Front Door

Why The Front Door?

The front door is a favorite among burglars because it’s vulnerable. One can easily kick a door open, especially if the hinge or door frame isn’t sturdy enough. Sometimes, burglars don’t even need much effort to enter thanks to forgetful homeowners who leave their front doors unlocked.

How Can I Secure It?

As the front door is the most common entry point, we’ll have to put multiple security measures in place. First of all, make sure you toughen up your door’s weak points: locks, hinges, and the jamb. If you haven’t already, install a secondary deadbolt to reinforce your door’s security. Also, adding door armor from a reputable company can make it much harder for someone to kick-in your door as it reinforces all of the weak points. I suggest checking out Armor Concepts or visiting your local hardware store to find the best door armor for your front door.

Here’s another nifty device you can use—a video doorbell. Burglars dressed up as door-to-door salespeople are becoming more common. They knock on doors or ring on bells to look for empty houses they can attack. With a video doorbell, you can see and talk to whoever’s at your door even if you’re miles away, all you need is an internet connection on your smartphone. Responding to their knock makes it look like you’re home and crosses your house off of their target list. If you’re interested, we have compared 5 of the best video doorbells currently available.

Another thing you should do to reinforce your front door is to make sure you are notified when an unauthorized person enters. You can achieve this with a door sensor/contact sensor and a working security system. Having a camera point at your front door is also a good idea as it can help in identifying an intruder. Of course, there’s no point having security equipment if you don’t use it, so make sure you arm the system whenever you leave or go to bed.

Finally, always make sure you lock your door when you leave and when you go to bed. But if you’re like me, someone who forgets to lock the front door, a smart door lock is what you need. Smart door locks give you access to your deadbolt lock from anywhere, given that your phone is connected to Wi-Fi or 3G/4G. They allow you to check on your lock’s status, lock/unlock your door, or give access to trusted people. August, Kevo, and Lockitron are all popular options.

Entry Point No. 2: First Floor Windows

Why First Floor Windows?

A lot of people remember to lock their doors but forget to shut their windows, especially during warmer months. Also, windows are usually less sturdy than doors, making them an easy access point.

How Can I Secure It?

Glass is the weakest point of most windows, but you can reinforce the glass using a glass film. Aside from shielding you from harmful UV rays, the film adds a layer of protection to the glass, making it tough for someone to shatter your window. Another option is replacing existing glass with laminated glass, wire mesh glass, or even bullet-proof glass. There’s a third option—install a window grill. Even if a burglar breaks the window, he won’t be able to fit between the bars, making it a good burglar deterrent.

As with the front door, it is recommended to have your windows monitored by contact sensors. That way, you will be notified if someone tries to pry your window open. However, you’ll also need glass break sensors to detect a smashed window.

Finally, always close your windows even if you’ll only be gone for a few minutes. And here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: Never leave valuables near windows.

Entry Point No. 3: Back Door

Why The Back Door?

The back door has the same vulnerabilities as the front door, plus, it keeps burglars hidden from nosy neighbors and passers-by.

How Can I Secure It?

The back door is easy to secure. You do it the same way you make your front door more secure. Start by reinforcing the door with door armor. That is if your back door isn’t a sliding door. If you have a sliding door, using a metal bar will help prevent someone opping your door off of its track. A door brace to hold the door shut is also effective.

Like the front door, the back door needs a contact sensor/door sensor. In addition, it is also a good idea to have motion sensitive lights near your back door. They are proven to scare away burglars effectively. And last, install a security camera.

Entry Point No. 4: Garage

Why The Garage?

Next to the big three entry points is the garage door. It is a common entry point as it leads burglars directly to a room full of expensive tools. Plus, some people don’t pay attention to their garage doors. That shouldn’t be the case, because as seen in this viral YouTube video, it takes a burglar seconds and access to a clothing hanger to make his way into your garage.

How Can I Secure It?

Most break-ins through the garage door are because of homeowner negligence. Many homeowners leave the door open or leave the door connecting their garage to their home unlocked. Never leave the garage door, or any door, open.

Other burglars try their luck controlling automatic garage door openers. Older automatic openers featured the same code, which obviously poses a serious security risk. If you own an older garage door opener, it’s time to upgrade. Second generation openers feature dip switches that you can set to a unique code. The problem with this is that many owners left the default code unchanged. Fast forward a few years; automatic openers now feature a rolling code, which gives you a different code every time you open it with the remote. Just a reminder, if you’re using a keychain remote, never leave it in your car as someone might take it.

And last, put a deadbolt on the door that separates your house from the garage. That way, you can stop the burglar from entering your home and taking more valuables.

Entry Point No. 5: Storage Areas And Unlocked Entrances

Why Storage Areas And Unlocked Entrances?

We often pay attention to the most common entry points and forget there are other places burglars can attack, like storage areas.

How Can I Secure It?

Think like a burglar and look at all possible entry points; don’t leave a stone unturned. While doing so, create a list of areas you need to upgrade. Look for ways to reinforce the weak points of your storage shed, like adding lights, cameras, or sensors. Check for entry points that need repair. Finally, tidy up unkept areas.

Entry Point No. 6: Basement

Why The Basement?

Basement windows provide an excellent entry point of entry for burglars as they can slide right in.

How Can I Secure It?

If you have shrubs or plants in your lawn, keep them trimmed below the level of your basement window. That way, burglars won’t be able to hide from passers-by. You should also reinforce the basement window by putting glass film or installing security grills. It’s also recommended that you do not place furniture near basement windows. Doing so might make it easier for a burglar to climb down and climb back up.

Entry Point No. 7: Second Floor

Why Second Floor Windows And Balconies?

Some might think that second-floor windows are safe from break-ins—wrong. Burglars might target a second-floor window or balcony if they see that there is an easy way to enter.

How Can I Secure It?

Again, be sure to close windows and entrances when leaving, even those that are on the second floor. Also, be sure not to leave anything burglars can use to climb on, especially ladders.

That said, a little common sense goes a long way. With a little elbow grease and brain power, you can reduce the chances of falling victim to a burglary.