What are the most common entry points for burglars?

Photo by J. Remus on Unsplash

Given the slightest opportunity, burglars will find a way to break into your home. They will be lurking around looking to exploit home security weaknesses. Unless you have burglar-proof windows and doors, your home is an easy target. 

Not all burglaries are well-planned like an Ocean’s Eleven heist; more often than not, all it takes is a small opening on your door or window to extend an invitation to burglars. They make no elaborate plans; they just target access points that are easy to break into. 

Burglars size up their targets to determine how easy or difficult it is to break in. So be aware of strangers staking out the neighborhood or taking photos of your house. Some of them may even pose as a door-to-door salesperson or utility company worker.

To outsmart burglars, you have to know what they are likely to do at what time they would do them and with what tools they would use to perform their criminal actions. It’s not easy, but you can start by knowing which access points they are most likely to breach.

Front door

Burglars have the audacity to walk right up to your front door, twist the doorknob and just enter your home. They are banking on the possibility of an unlocked door in broad daylight when most people are at work or at school. 

But not even a locked door is going to stop a seasoned burglar from trying. They are very capable of bypassing locks with the tools and implements they have. Although about 34% of the completed front-door break-ins are through unlocked doors, burglars will not think twice about kicking the door down or smashing the glass panel.

Since the front door is the most common entry point of burglars, you must take extra precautions by keeping the door locked even if you’re at home. You can also install a deadbolt as a second line of defense. A security camera with motion sensor lights and alarm would be an effective option.

First-floor windows

No one will think that first-floor windows would be the second most common access point for burglars because it takes a little more effort to go climb up from the ground floor. This is the kind of assumption that burglars are hoping that you’d make. 

Windows don’t always have the reinforcement needed to keep them secure. Oftentimes, they are unlatched and it just takes seconds for burglars to get through. Even glass windows will not deter burglars. The sound of breaking glass is hardly audible and people tend to just ignore them if they only hear it once. The best option is to install adjustable window stops or security grille. Even if you crack the window open slightly, burglars wouldn’t be able to push all the way through. They are not only easy to open, but they can be dislodged from their tracks.

Back Door

Back doors are prime targets because they are typically away from prying eyes because of their location. There’s also the tendency for owners to leave them unlocked when they are at home. Some back doors are glass sliding doors with very simple lock mechanisms. Even if they are locked, burglars can easily lift the door off the track. 

Garage Door

Garage break-ins happen not only because thieves have been eyeing your car, bike, or power tools but also because they know that the garage is their entry way into your home. When you leave the doors connecting the garage to the house unlocked, you’re giving burglars easy access to your entire home. You must take precautionary measures by locking all internal doors. 

Basement window

No entrance is too small for burglars. They are breaking into homes through basement windows. They target window wells that are not covered or do not have locks. The easiest targets are glass windows without sturdy grates reinforcing the glass. Having motion sensor lights around your basement windows will be less appealing to burglars. More so if you beef up your security system with window sensors and glass break detectors. 

Unlocked Entrances

Gates, sheds, storage areas, and other unlocked entrances are easy targets for burglars. If they can find something valuable outside your house, they’d prefer the faster and easier way to steal them. So always keep doors, windows, and entrances closed and locked. Having an alarm system or a motion detection camera will provided added deterrent for crooks lurking around your house.    

Second-floor window 

Not even height would deter a burglar if he sees that your second-floor window is open. Oftentimes windows on top-floor windows are obscured by trees. The more shielded the entry point is, the more cover it provides the burglars. Keeping the windows locked may only slow down the burglar if he has keys or implements. To deter burglars, you can install grilles, grates, or heavy-duty wire screening as added fortification.

Tips on how to make your home burglar-resistant

  • Install quality deadbolt locks to add extra protection. 
  • Door chains or chain locks don’t provide adequate protection because a forceful push on the door can easily separate the chain from the track.    
  • If you’re at home, lock the door and use a door stopper to act as a barricade.
  • Install motion sensor lights to illuminate specific areas of the house when intruders are detected.
  • Install security cameras near the most commonly targeted access points: front door, first-door window, garage door, back door, basement window, and second-floor windows.
  • Trim shrubs and trees so burglars don’t have hiding places around the house.
  • Always lock internal doors that connect to your garage.
  • Provide cover to your window well (for basement window).
  • For sliding doors, install a door security bar or put a slide-locking bar or a wooden dowel to prevent the door from sliding.
  • Install lighting around the windows.
  • Reinforce glass windows with grates or grilles.
  • Regularly mow the lawn. Uncut grass is an indication that no one is home.
  • If you’re away, have a neighbor collect your mail and newspaper. If burglars see them piling up, they’ll know you’re not home.