5 Steps to Reduce the Risk of Home Invasion

In an increasingly uncertain world, ensuring the safety of our homes has never been more crucial. Home invasions are a traumatic and potentially dangerous experience, but there are effective measures you can take to reduce the risk of home invasion. This guide outlines five essential steps to help protect your home and loved ones.

Step 1: Enhance Your Home’s Physical Security

Secure Doors and Windows

The first line of defense against home invasions is ensuring that your doors and windows are secure. Here are some effective measures:

  • Install Deadbolt Locks: A sturdy deadbolt lock adds an extra layer of security compared to standard door locks. Choose high-quality deadbolts to prevent easy break-ins.
  • Use Reinforced Door Frames: Strengthening your door frames with reinforced materials can prevent them from being kicked in. Steel or solid wood frames offer the best protection.
  • Secure Sliding Doors with a Rod or a Lock: Sliding doors can be vulnerable points of entry. Place a metal rod in the track to prevent the door from being forced open, or install a secondary lock for added security.
  • Apply Security Film to Windows: Security film can make your windows more resistant to shattering. This added strength can deter intruders who might otherwise try to break a window to gain entry.

Install a Home Security System

Investing in a home security system is a highly effective way to deter potential intruders and alert you to any suspicious activity.

  • Benefits of Monitored Security Systems: Monitored systems provide real-time alerts to you and emergency services, ensuring a swift response if a break-in occurs. They offer peace of mind with 24/7 surveillance.
  • Key Features to Look For in a Security System: When choosing a security system, look for features like motion sensors, door and window sensors, cameras, and smart home integration. These features enhance your overall security.
  • Choosing Between Professional and DIY Installation: Professional installation ensures that your system is set up correctly and provides ongoing support, while DIY options can be more cost-effective and customisable to your needs.

Use Motion Sensor Lights

Proper lighting can be a powerful deterrent for would-be intruders. Motion sensor lights are especially effective in keeping your home secure.

  • Positioning Lights Around Entry Points: Place motion sensor lights around all potential entry points, such as doors, windows, and pathways. This ensures that any movement near these areas triggers the lights, scaring off potential intruders.
  • Adjusting Sensitivity Settings to Avoid False Alarms: Fine-tune the sensitivity of your motion sensor lights to avoid constant triggering by pets or small animals. Properly adjusted sensors will only activate when necessary, maintaining security without frequent false alarms.

Step 2: Improve Outdoor Visibility

Trim Hedges and Shrubs

One of the simplest yet most effective steps you can take to improve your home’s security is maintaining clear visibility around entry points.

  • Keeping Entry Points Visible: Overgrown hedges and shrubs can provide cover for intruders, making it easier for them to approach your home unnoticed. Regularly trimming these plants ensures that doors and windows remain visible from the street and neighbouring properties.
  • Benefits of Maintaining a Tidy Yard: A well-kept yard not only enhances your home’s curb appeal but also signals to potential intruders that the home is well-maintained and likely secured. It also eliminates hiding spots that could be exploited by burglars.

Install Fencing and Gates

Fencing and gates are effective physical barriers that can deter unauthorised access to your property.

  • Types of Fencing that Deter Intruders: Choose fencing that is difficult to climb, such as tall, vertical slat fences or those with pointed tops. Solid fences made of wood, metal, or composite materials provide both privacy and security.
  • Benefits of Locking Gates: Secure gates with robust locks to prevent easy access. A locked gate adds an additional hurdle for potential intruders, making your home a less attractive target.

Use Landscaping as a Deterrent

Strategically designed landscaping can further enhance your home’s security by creating natural barriers and alert systems.

  • Planting Thorny Bushes Under Windows: Thorny bushes, such as roses or holly, can be planted under windows to discourage intruders from attempting to gain access through these points. The physical discomfort and risk of injury serve as effective deterrents.
  • Using Gravel Paths to Detect Footsteps: Installing gravel paths around your home can help you detect the presence of intruders. The noise generated by walking on gravel can alert you or your neighbours to someone’s approach, providing an early warning system.

Step 3: Make Your Home Look Occupied

Use Timers for Lights and Electronics

One of the most effective ways to deter burglars is to make your home appear occupied, even when you’re not there.

  • Setting Up Timers to Mimic Daily Routines: Use timers to turn lights and electronics on and off at various times throughout the day. This creates the illusion that someone is home, which can deter potential intruders who are scouting for unoccupied houses.
  • Smart Home Devices That Simulate Occupancy: Invest in smart home devices that can be controlled remotely. These devices can turn lights on and off, play music, or even open and close curtains, adding another layer of realism to the simulation of occupancy.

Keep Your Home Well-Maintained

A well-maintained home suggests that it is occupied and cared for, reducing the likelihood of it being targeted by burglars.

  • Regularly Collecting Mail and Newspapers: Accumulated mail and newspapers are clear signs that a home is unoccupied. Arrange for a neighbour or a friend to collect these items daily if you are away.
  • Maintaining a Tidy Yard and Driveway: Regular lawn care and removal of fallen leaves or snow from the driveway can help maintain the appearance of occupancy. An untidy yard can signal to intruders that the homeowners are away.

Ask Neighbours for Help

Building a sense of community and relying on neighbours can significantly enhance the security of your home.

  • Benefits of a Neighbourhood Watch Program: Participating in or initiating a neighbourhood watch program can help create a network of vigilance. Neighbours looking out for each other can quickly spot and report suspicious activity.
  • Asking a Neighbour to Keep an Eye on Your Property: When you’re away, ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your home. They can check for unusual activity, ensure mail is collected, and even park their car in your driveway to give the appearance of occupancy.

Step 4: Protect Valuables Inside Your Home

Use a Safe for Valuables

Securing your valuables in a safe adds a crucial layer of protection within your home.

  • Types of Safes to Consider: There are various types of safes available, including fireproof, waterproof, and burglary-resistant safes. Choose one that meets your needs based on the type and value of the items you want to protect.
  • Ideal Locations for Placing a Safe: Install your safe in a discreet location that is not easily accessible. Avoid common places like the master bedroom. Instead, consider hidden areas such as a basement or a closet, which are less obvious to intruders.

Conceal Expensive Items

Keeping high-value items out of sight can prevent them from being a target in the first place.

  • Keeping Electronics Out of Sight: Store laptops, tablets, and other electronics in drawers or cabinets when not in use. Avoid leaving them in plain view, especially near windows or entryways.
  • Using Privacy Film on Windows: Apply privacy film to windows to obscure the view into your home from the outside. This simple addition can deter burglars who might otherwise be tempted by visible valuables.

Secure Important Documents

Protecting vital documents from theft and damage is essential for safeguarding your identity and assets.

  • Keeping Documents in a Lockbox: Store important documents, such as passports, birth certificates, and financial records, in a lockbox. Choose one that is both fireproof and waterproof to ensure their safety in any situation.
  • Digital Copies and Backups: Create digital copies of important documents and store them securely online or on an external hard drive. This ensures you have access to your information even if the physical copies are lost or damaged.

Step 5: Be Prepared for an Emergency

Develop an Emergency Plan

Preparation is key to ensuring your family’s safety in case of a home invasion. Having a clear and practiced plan can make all the difference.

  • Creating a Family Emergency Plan: Outline a detailed emergency plan that includes escape routes, meeting points, and important contact numbers. Ensure every family member knows their role and the steps to take during a home invasion.
  • Practicing Home Invasion Drills: Regularly conduct home invasion drills to practice your emergency plan. This helps family members stay calm and remember their roles during a real emergency, ensuring a quick and orderly response.

Install Panic Buttons

Panic buttons are a valuable addition to your home security system, providing immediate access to emergency assistance.

  • Benefits of Panic Buttons in Strategic Locations: Place panic buttons in easily accessible areas, such as bedrooms, the kitchen, and near main entry points. These buttons allow you to silently alert authorities without drawing attention.
  • Integrating Panic Buttons with Your Security System: Connect panic buttons to your home security system for instant alerts to your monitoring service and local authorities. This integration ensures a rapid response during an emergency.

Know What to Do During a Home Invasion

Understanding how to react during a home invasion can help you stay safe and protect your family.

  • Staying Calm and Assessing the Situation: If you suspect a home invasion, stay calm and quickly assess the situation. Determine the intruder’s location and intentions, if possible, without putting yourself in danger.
  • Safe Exits and Designated Safe Rooms: Identify safe exits and designated safe rooms in your home. Safe rooms should have a solid door with a lock, a phone to call for help, and any necessary supplies. If it’s safer to leave the house, use predetermined exits to avoid confrontation with the intruder.

With these five steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of a home invasion and ensure the safety of your loved ones. By enhancing physical security, improving outdoor visibility, making your home look occupied, protecting valuables, and being prepared for emergencies, you’ll create a more secure and resilient home environment. 

Key Takeaways

Summary of Essential Steps

Securing your home involves a combination of physical measures, smart habits, and preparedness. Here are the essential steps to reduce the risk of home invasion:

  • Reinforce Doors and Windows: Installing deadbolt locks, using reinforced door frames, securing sliding doors, and applying security film to windows create strong barriers against intruders.
  • Improve Outdoor Lighting and Visibility: Trim hedges and shrubs, install motion sensor lights, and use strategic landscaping to keep entry points visible and deter potential intruders.
  • Make Your Home Appear Occupied: Use timers for lights and electronics, keep your home well-maintained, and enlist the help of neighbours to give the impression that your home is always occupied.
  • Protect Valuables and Important Documents: Use safes and lockboxes to secure valuable items and important documents, and keep high-value items out of sight.
  • Be Prepared with an Emergency Plan: Develop and practice a family emergency plan, install panic buttons, and know the best actions to take during a home invasion to ensure your family’s safety.

By implementing these steps, you can create a safer and more secure home environment, reducing the likelihood of a home invasion and protecting your loved ones and belongings. 


1. What are the most effective ways to secure my home against invasions?

The most effective ways include installing deadbolt locks, using reinforced door frames, securing sliding doors, applying security film to windows, installing a home security system, and using motion sensor lights.

2. How can I make my home less attractive to burglars?

To make your home less attractive to burglars, maintain good outdoor visibility by trimming hedges and shrubs, use fencing and gates, install motion sensor lights, and make your home look occupied even when you’re not there using timers for lights and electronics.

3. What should I look for in a home security system?

When choosing a home security system, look for features such as 24/7 monitoring, motion sensors, door and window sensors, cameras, smart home integration, and professional installation options.

4. How can landscaping improve home security?

Landscaping can improve home security by eliminating hiding spots for intruders, using thorny bushes under windows to deter access, and installing gravel paths that make noise when walked on, alerting you or your neighbors to someone’s presence.

5. What are some tips for protecting valuables inside my home?

To protect valuables, use a safe for important items, conceal expensive electronics, use privacy film on windows, and secure important documents in a lockbox or with digital copies.

6. How can I make my home look occupied when I’m away?

Make your home look occupied by using timers for lights and electronics, maintaining a tidy yard and driveway, regularly collecting mail and newspapers, and asking a neighbor to keep an eye on your property.

7. What should I include in a family emergency plan for home invasions?

A family emergency plan should include escape routes, meeting points, important contact numbers, roles for each family member, and regular practice drills. Also, consider installing panic buttons in strategic locations.

8. How do motion sensor lights help in preventing home invasions?

Motion sensor lights deter intruders by illuminating entry points when movement is detected, making it harder for them to approach unnoticed and increasing the chance they will be seen and reported.

9. What types of fencing are best for security?

The best types of fencing for security are tall, vertical slat fences, or those with pointed tops, made of wood, metal, or composite materials. Ensure gates are also secured with robust locks.

10. How do I choose the right safe for my valuables?

Choose a safe based on your needs—consider fireproof, waterproof, and burglary-resistant safes. Place the safe in a discreet location that is not easily accessible, such as a basement or a hidden closet.


Securing your home against invasions involves a combination of physical security measures, smart habits, and preparedness. By following these five steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of a home invasion and ensure peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

Implementing robust physical security measures like reinforcing doors and windows, improving outdoor visibility, and using motion sensor lights creates a strong deterrent against intruders. Making your home appear occupied, protecting valuables and important documents, and being prepared with an emergency plan further enhances your security. 

By taking these proactive steps, you can create a safer environment, giving you the confidence and peace of mind that your home and family are well-protected.

Kylie Butchard of Pacific Security Group.

Kylie Butchard is a highly respected and experienced leader in Australia’s electronic security industry, having successfully steered Pacific Security Group for over 17 years. With a career embedded in customer service, she has consistently focused on putting people first – clients and staff. Known for her strong, resilient, positive, values-driven, consistent, and compassionate approach, Kylie ensures that her team delivers top-notch security solutions tailored to clients’ unique needs.

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