Burglar Deterrents That Aren’t as Effective as You May Think

watching home alarm cameras

If you are going to spend money on a burglar deterrent, you want to make sure it works, right? To that point, even if your burglar deterrent didn’t cost you a dime, you’d still want the peace of mind that comes with it, resting assured burglars wouldn’t be able to steal thousands of dollars worth of valuables from you.

Unfortunately, there are some techniques people believe scare criminals away that don’t actually do much. Here are burglar deterrents that aren’t as effective as you may think.

5 Ineffective Burglar Deterrents 

Inactive Security Systems

This one is a no-brainer, but it must be stated; what good is a security system if you don’t arm it when you leave the house? What good are lights that you can schedule to turn on and off at specific times if you don’t schedule them? The answer is no good at all.

Anything that Stops a Door

This includes a chain, doorstoppers, or seven locks on your front door. Burglars typically don’t enter through your front door, but favor windows, back and side doors. Focus less on fortifying your doors and more on using your alarm system, so that you’re notified the moment someone attempts to enter your home, whether through a door, window, or even the chimney.

Large Dogs

Having a dog in the home can certainly be a deterrent, because dogs bark and alert both you and your neighbors to a burglar’s presence. But the size of the dog does not really matter. Plenty of burglars know you have a dog ahead of time and may come prepared with a large bone or treat with which to distract your pet. Unfortunately, some criminals are not above using a stun gun on your pet to disable him while they do their work. Burglars can simply locate the dog, enter from another part of the house, and close some doors to separate themselves from the animal. Dogs make great backup alarm systems, but they won’t necessarily play the rough and tough security personnel you think they will.

Making Your Home Look Occupied

You might do this by leaving a television or light on, but burglars are keen to this trick. If the same lights have been on for four hours and not a single other one has gone on, a burglar may determine nobody is home. That’s why home automated systems that let you remotely control your appliances are very effective. From your smart phone, you can turn lights and appliances on and off throughout the day. An unpredictable pattern of lights and appliances actually makes it look as if somebody is home.

Asking a Neighbor to Empty Your Mailbox

Your mailman will appreciate this because it will actually create space in your box for him to put more mail, but burglars aren’t put off by it. The real issue is your porch and all of the junk mail, newspapers, local advertisements, and packages left there. A porch littered with delivery menus is a sign of a vacant home. If you are going to ask your neighbor to clear out your mailbox for you, make sure he checks your porch, too.


If you’re willing to put in the work it takes to secure your home, then you deserve to know which tactics are simply a waste of time.


Posted on Tuesday, March 7th, 2017