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Where do burglars look first?

Burglary is a crime that unfortunately still occurs far too often. As a homeowner, it’s important to understand where burglars are likely to look first when breaking into a home. This allows you to take preventative measures by securing these vulnerable areas.

The Front Door

The front door is the most obvious entry point for burglars. An unlocked front door makes it extremely easy for them to walk right in. Even a locked front door may not offer much resistance if it has a weak frame or can be kicked in.

Burglars prefer easy access through the front rather than making too much noise breaking in through a window or back door. They don’t want to draw unwanted attention from neighbors. That’s why it’s critical to have a solid wood or metal front door with a strong deadbolt lock. Make sure the lock strikes securely into the door frame.

First Floor Windows

After the front door, windows on the first floor provide the next most convenient point of entry. Often burglars will sneak into backyards and pry open a window to climb into homes. Windows that are hidden from street view are especially vulnerable.

Some ways to better secure first floor windows include installing strong locks, reinforcing the frames, and using smash-proof glass panes. Keeping curtains or blinds closed helps block visibility of valuables inside. Motion-activated exterior lighting is also a good deterrent.

The Master Bedroom

One of the first rooms burglars target once inside a home is the master bedroom. That’s because the bedroom is where homeowners typically keep prized possessions such as jewelry, cash, credit cards, and small valuables. These items are easy for burglars to quickly grab and take.

Use a lockbox bolted down in the bedroom closet or a wall safe to secure valuables. Avoid leaving car keys, wallets, or purses out in the open in the bedroom. Also be sure to lock windows and consider a security system motion detector in the master bedroom.

Home Office

Another popular spot for burglars to loot is the home office. This room often contains computers, tablets, other electronics, and personal information that thieves find valuable. Identity theft is a growing risk if burglars steal paperwork with social security numbers, birth dates, and bank account details.

Lock up any sensitive paperwork in a fireproof safe or shred unneeded documents. Password protect and encrypt devices. Install an anti-theft system for electronics. Keep the home office locked when not in use to limit accessibility.


Kitchens are filled with desirable appliances and electronics that burglars target like laptops, TVs, and speakers. The kitchen is often an opportunistic area to grab these smaller items on the way out after raiding bedrooms and home offices.

Don’t leave pricier appliances and gadgets out on countertops. Install security alarms on electronics. Lock down appliances like TVs. Consider hiding a safe in an obscure kitchen location to store valuables.

Entryways and Hallways

Entryways and hallways often contain tempting items for burglars to snatch, including car and house keys hung on hooks or walls. Mail, packages, umbrellas, and coats are also commonly within easy reach. Burglars check for keys that make stealing cars and accessing safes quicker.

Keep these entry areas clean of valuables. Install a locked key safe out of sight to store keys rather than leaving them in the open. Avoid leaving visible packages and coats that signal no one is home. Always lock front and back doors even just stepping outside briefly.


Garages packed with tools, bicycles, sporting goods, and other equipment attract burglars looking to snag smaller loot. They may break into the garage first then access the interior house door. Garage door openers left in cars make it easy to enter too.

Use motion-activated lights and an alarm in the garage. Lock both the exterior garage door and interior door leading to the home. Close the garage door even if stepping away for a few minutes. Never leave the garage door opener in a car parked outside.

Laundry Room

Laundry rooms tend to be tucked away in secluded areas and often contain doors or windows separate from the rest of the house. This makes them popular access points. The utility room also holds cleaning supplies like detergents a burglar could use to mix drugs.

Secure laundry room doors and windows with quality locks. Avoid leaving an overflowing laundry basket that signals no one is home. Consider an alarm sensor in this vulnerable room off on its own.

Visible Locations

When burglars break in, they look for valuables that are visible from the street or through windows. This might include a large TV, stereo system, bicycle, or other assets. Burglars use visible items to judge if the home contains other worth stealing.

Rearrange furniture and valuables so they aren’t visible from outside. Close curtains/blinds at night. Install interior motion-activated lighting. Have packages delivered to your workplace instead of sitting outside the home.

Steps to Prevent Burglaries

Follow these tips to better protect your home:

  • Install solid wood or metal doors with deadbolts on exterior doors
  • Reinforce door frames to prevent kicking in doors
  • Add strong locks and smash-proof glass to windows
  • Keep curtains closed to block visibility of valuables
  • Install exterior motion-activated lighting
  • Secure master bedroom windows and use a safe for valuables
  • Lock sensitive home office paperwork in a safe
  • Password protect and encrypt devices
  • Hide small valuables in a kitchen safe
  • Use key safes and lock exterior doors when leaving
  • Lock interior garage door and close exterior garage door
  • Install alarm system sensors in vulnerable areas
  • Arrange furniture so valuables aren’t visible from outside

How Burglars Break In

Understanding the methods burglars use to break in can help guide home security:

Entry Method Description
Through unlocked doors or windows Walking through an open entry point without force
Breaking glass windows Shattering glass to reach inside and unlock windows
Prying open windows Forcing windows open with tools by separating locks from frames
Kicking in doors Applying repeated force to crack door frames or break locks
Lock picking Using specialized tools to manipulate the lock’s pin tumblers into unlocking

Times When Burglaries Occur

Being aware of the most likely times for break-ins to happen allows homeowners to be extra vigilant:

Time Frame Explanation
Daytime Hours When residents are occupied at work and school
Early Evening Right after homeowners return from work with lowered alertness
Overnight When everyone is asleep and burglars operate under the cover of darkness
Vacations When burglars monitor empty homes with piled up mail and newspapers
Weekends Providing more time alone in the home away from school or workplace schedules
Holidays Increased likelihood of gifts and valuables; more travel away from home

Items Most Often Stolen by Burglars

Knowing the common items targeted by burglars allows homeowners to take protective measures:

Valuables Targeted Preventative Steps
Cash Hide cash in multiple clever locations around the home rather than one obvious spot
Jewelry Store jewelry in a securely bolted down safe or safety deposit box
Small electronics – laptops, tablets, gaming devices Record serial numbers & encrypt devices; use anti-theft system
Bicycles Lock bicycles indoors or with high-quality locks; register bicycles
Credit cards Avoid leaving cards lying out; limit cards carried in wallet; check statements
Prescription drugs Keep medications locked up; only carry limited doses when leaving home
Personal documents – IDs, passports, birth certificates Lock away documents; photocopy important docs; check credit reports
Firearms Use gun locks and gun safes bolted down; take ammunition out of storage
Car keys Hide keys away from the door; never leave keys visible in an unlocked car outside


Burglary prevention ultimately comes down to vigilance in securing your home’s vulnerable entry points, locking away tempting valuables, and keeping aware of suspicious activity in your neighborhood. Taking proactive measures dramatically reduces your risks. But no home is absolutely impenetrable to a determined burglar with enough time and resources.

Deterrence and delaying tactics are a homeowner’s best lines of defense. Create layers of security consisting of high-quality locks, alarm systems, secured windows/doors, and safe storage of prized possessions. Make your home a harder, less appealing target and the odds shift significantly in your favor of avoiding a break-in.

Stay alert to the areas of your home most susceptible to burglars – the front door, first floor windows, master bedroom, home office, and kitchen. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed around entry points. Know the high-risk items that are stolen. Take sensible precautions and periodically review your home security system to identify where upgrades may be needed as risks evolve.

No one should live in fear over the threat of burglary. But a sensible dose of awareness and proactive home security provides peace of mind. Protect your home without having to sacrifice comfort or convenience. Security measures blend in seamlessly when properly designed. Contact a qualified home security professional to evaluate your current system and make expert recommendations tailored to your home layout and neighborhood.

With smart techniques to harden the exterior, secure valuables inside, and increase vigilance during high-risk times, you can send the message that your house is an inconvenient and high-hassle target. The path of least resistance is the neighbor’s house. Making burglars move on in search of an easier score achieves the ultimate goal of safeguarding your home and family against the violation of a break-in.

Burglary has fallen over the decades due to better home construction, security systems, community vigilance, and law enforcement. But it still happens far too often, more than a million times a year in the U.S. alone according to FBI statistics. Take sensible precautions, but also remember to keep the risk in perspective. Use security to enable your household to live comfortably and without excessive fear, rather than being driven by anxiety.

Securing weak spots and maintaining common-sense awareness provides peace of mind. Follow these fundamentals to protect your home and make it an unattractive target for burglars prowling for an easy score. Security measures require an initial investment of time and money. But they return priceless benefits of safeguarding your family and home from the financial loss and psychological trauma of a break-in.