Deterrence is both the first and best step you can take in securing your home. Effective deterrence may prevent a breach of your home. As a would be intruder encounters more and more resistance, they’re more likely to move on to a less secure option.

All security devices play a role in deterring burglars. But signs bright lighting, landscaping, security cameras, and functional security devices send the message that you’re taking your security seriously.

Despite the importance of deterrents for effective home security, you shouldn’t solely rely on a passive device like a sign to keep intruders at a distance. Instead, it’s better to take a multi-layered approach by incorporating as many d’s of home security as possible to up your deterrence game.

Here are some tips for making your home look uninviting to a burglar:

  • Install security signs or stickers (preferably backed by a real security system).
  • Turn on outdoor security lights at night.
  • Install wireless security cameras that are easy to spot from multiple locations.
  • Plant thorny bushes in strategic places near windows and unlit portions of your yard to make potential hiding spots and shortcuts uncomfortable.
  • Add an obnoxious siren to your security system—similar to your morning alarm, more annoying = more effective.


Why do delays matter in home security?

Each second matters in a burglary, so the more you can delay an intruder, the more likely they’ll give up or lose the opportunity for a clean getaway. A typical smash-and-grab burglary takes only a few minutes. On a short time scale like that, delays add up.

How to delay

  • Use strong locks on doors (and actually lock them).
  • Install a reinforced security door that’s near impossible to kick in.
  • Install fences, walls, and gates that are difficult to climb over.
  • Close your garage door and lock your shed when you’re not around.
  • Put a window security film on your windows to make them harder to smash.


Why does documentation matter in home security?

While detection doesn’t tell you when past events occurred, documentation collects helpful information about intruders through timestamps and descriptions.

By connecting sensors to a security system, they can add a timestamp to everything they detect. This is the primary way that all non-camera security devices work within a system—aside from triggering alarms.

Timestamps are excellent for tracking events’ timing, making them useful for filing police reports and insurance claims. But they likely won’t provide enough information to identify burglars.

There’s no better way to gather information in home security than description—it’s the realm of security cameras and shared smart home devices.

Security cameras best represent description because they give you visual evidence of an intruder. Smart home products, like smart locks can also provide information by tracking when specific users access them through unique pin codes.

How to document

Any security camera, smart home device, or security sensor that connects to a security system is capable of generating a simple play-by-play rundown, so you know what happened and where to focus your recovery efforts:

  • Entry sensors, glass break sensors, and motion sensors can track when, where, and how someone enters your home.
  • Installing security cameras inside and outside your home can capture useful information to help the police find burglars.
  • Install a video doorbell to talk with visitors on your porch and scare off porch pirates.
  • Use a smart lock or security keypad to track when someone enters the home using their personalized pin code.


Each of the principles above can contribute to your overall home security. By layering your security with devices and strategies that can deter, delay, and document you’ll have the right mindset for protecting your home.

If you’re looking for ideas on how to improve your home security be sure to check out our home security self-audit and learn more about topics mentioned in this article by visiting and