5 Steps to Reduce the Risk of Home Invasion

Whether a result of hardships caused by the pandemic, rapidly rising living costs, or a combustible mix of the two, overall crime offences in Queensland in 2022 increased across the board. More alarmingly still, they’re the highest they’ve been since 2001. [1].

Examining the figures for instances of theft, in particular, robbery offences were the highest since 2001 at 2,724 – up from 2,442 in 2021. There were also 47,612 instances of unlawful entry, the most since 2006, while there were 129,002 incidents involving other theft (excl. unlawful entry), the second highest total since 2001, after 2019 (137,365).

However, one of the crimes to be most wary of is home invasion. Combining unlawful entry and theft, a home invasion not only typically results in the theft of your possessions, some of which are irreplaceable, but they can damage your home in the process. Worse still, however, is the prospect of being confronted by the invader. The consequences are never feeling truly safe and comfortable in your home ever again. Because of this, an alarming 19% of people – a tad under 1 in 5 – were so affected by the experience they were forced to move home.

Fortunately, there are several excellent security measures you can take to better secure your home and significantly reduce the risk of your home being invaded.

With that firmly in mind, let’s look at five essential steps to reduce the risk of home invasion.

What Is A Home Invasion?

Let’s start by describing what a home invasion is and how it differs from a burglary

The Difference Between a Home Invasion and a Burglary

Although the terms “home invasion” and “burglary” are used interchangeably, there’s actually a difference between them. A burglary refers to a crime in which a person enters a property with the intent to commit a crime, which is typically theft.
A home invasion, meanwhile, is when a person enters an occupied residence. Though the motive for a home invasion is typically theft, the perpetrators could have other criminal intent, such as vandalism or assault.
Also, by this definition, many break-ins start as, or are intended to be, burglaries but turn into home invasions.

Home Invasion Statistics That You Need To Know.

After sharing a few crime stats for Queensland in the intro, here are some more statistics covering the whole of Australia.

The Most Common Hours For a Home Invasion to Take Place

Although statistics on when home invasions occur are hard to come by, research has revealed that the most common time for a breaking and entering to occur is between 2am and 4am. Following on from that, however, studies have also shown that the victim had a confrontation with the criminal in 12% of cases [3]. This confirms that at least 12% of burglaries can be classified as home invasions, and a good proportion occur during the day.

What are the most Common Consequences of Home Invasions?

Of home invasions studied [2]:

  • Theft (66%)
  • Property damage (46%)
  • Confrontation (12%)

What are the Most Common Items Stolen During Home Invasions?

Valuables most commonly stolen during a home invasion include:

  • Vehicles, i.e., criminals break into home to find the residents’ keys
  • Clothing and jewellery
  • Bicycles and sporting equipment
  • Cash, purses, or wallets
  • Tools
Home Invasion Crime Stats.

5 Ways to Lower the Risk of Home Invasion.

Now, let’s move on to five specific, actionable steps you can take to reduce the risk of a home invasion.

1. Reinforce All Entry Points (i.e., Doors, Windows, etc.)

The most critical step in reducing the risk of home invasion is to reinforce all the main entry points to your home.

Reinforced Security Door.

How to Reinforce Doors

Starting with your front door, you should begin by assessing how robust it is and upgrade its components if necessary. Firstly, exposed hinges are a vulnerability because burglars can remove or manipulate the hinge pins to force entry into your home. Upgrading to reinforced security hinges, such as setscrew or stud hinges, will strengthen the door and better prevent access.

Another reinforcement measure for your front door is upgrading the lock to a deadbolt, if it doesn’t have one. With a built-in locking device that can’t be forced back into the door, deadbolts are highly effective at preventing unwanted entry. Deadbolts are even more secure when paired with a strike plate, as it helps to secure the door even tighter and, subsequently, reinforce the lock.

Additionally, installing a Crimsafe, or similar, security screen on your front door creates another obstacle for a criminal to get past. Similarly, a Crimsafe screen is an effective way to reinforce sliding, patio-style backdoors. For doors with a window close to the handle, there’s also the option of an active deterrent camera with sirens and lights to trigger awareness from the outside and furthermore a glass break, PIR or Panic button detector on the inside to account for an intruder attempting to force entry that way.

You can better secure your doors with sensors alarms, which are triggered if someone opens a door and separates the sensor’s two components. Similarly, a doorstop alarm that both acts a barrier to prevent forced entry and emits a siren to attract attention and disorientate the invader.

How to Reinforce Windows

A glass break alarm covers you if an intruder smashes a window, while a reed switch or PIR (Passive Infra Red Detector) will sound if they open a window in an attempt to enter your home. For an additional reinforcement method, you can also fit your windows with Crimsafe security screens, which work both as a deterrent and an extra barrier for an intruder to get past if they attempt to break into your home.

How to Reinforce Garage Entry

If you have a garage attached to your house, don’t forget to reinforce the door that connects the two. That way, if someone breaks into your garage, they won’t have unobstructed access to your home. The simplest way to achieve this is to always lock the door before you go to each night and, preferably, to lock it behind you whenever you enter the house through the garage.
Additionally, however, you can make the door more secure by testing how robust the door’s structure is and replacing the hinges and/or locks if necessary, as described above. You could also install a Crimsafe security screen door to add yet another layer of security between your garage and the main part of your home. Your alarm can be programmed to arm particular detectors whilst you sleep at night giving you added peace of mind a siren will activate should one of the door reeds break contact.

Home Security Systems.

2. Install A Reliable Home Security System

After reinforcing the main entrances to your home, the next way to significantly reduce the chance of home invasion is to install a high-quality home security system.

One of the essential things to look for in your choice of security system is security cameras. Not only will they act as a deterrent, letting potential intruders know they are being watched, but well-positioned cameras will record footage of the break-in that can be used to help catch the criminals later on.

One of the biggest current trends in home security is active deterrent cameras, which combine the functionality of security cameras and alarms. Active deterrent cameras use motion sensors to detect when someone is in their vicinity and make their presence known with flashing lights, spotlights, and a siren and/or recorded message. This makes the intruder aware that there’s a camera recording them, interrupts their train of thought, and attracts attention. Better still, in low light settings, the active deterrent camera’s spotlights increase visibility and enhance the quality of the resulting footage.

Position active deterrent security cameras at your front and back doors, lower floor windows, and inside your garage, over vehicles, at a minimum. Combined with the reinforment measures mentioned above, like Crimsafe mesh screens, this make it harder for the perpitrators to enter your home – causing them to give up sooner if its taking too long.

The second essential component of your home security setup is an alarm system. An alarm serves to both startle and confuse the home invader while alerting those at home, and the neighbouring properties, that someone has broken in. Best of all, modern alarm systems feature motion-activated sensors, which trigger a loud siren if they detect movement.

Another key aspect of a home security system is your ability to monitor it, i.e., receive real-time updates on what’s happening in and around your home. Professional back-to-base monitoring provides another protection against home invasion because it ensures that someone outside your house is always looking after your property. When protected by back-to-base monitoring, the procedure is for your security firm to call you if your alarm has been triggered, to double-check if you did so by accident. If, however, you don’t answer the confirmation call, the security firm will send a security patrol to your property to check if everything is OK.

Now, if your security system is triggered during a home invasion, it will alert the security firm looking after your property, who will attempt to contact you and send someone out if they can’t. This is an invaluable failsafe in the event you can’t contact the police, as a security patrol will be sent out with no action required on your part. Furthermore, the security camera may also be able to see what’s happening at your property from the security cameras.

Better still, you can combine your alarm system with a panic button that triggers an internal, silent alarm or forces the siren to sound to distract the perpetrator. On a silent alarm the invaders won’t be alerted to the you pressing the panic button. Whether the siren is on or siletn, the control room of the security company monitoring your property will be alerted. Subsequently, they’ll call your keyholder list in order and send a security patrolman to your home and call the police to attend to a verified home invasion taking place.

Signs and stickers saying “protected by” or “under surveillance”. On a similar note, it doesn’t hurt to get a beware of the dog sign, even if your dog is a sweetheart and a danger to no one – or you don’t have a dog at all!

3. Eliminate All Blind spots

Another way of reducing the chances of a home invasion is to eliminate all the places a criminal could potentially hide as they approach your property, i.e., your home’s blind spots. This means trimming or clipping all the hedges, shrubs, trees, etc., dotted around your front and back yard. Plus, if you don’t have one, you may consider erecting a fence in your front yard to make it even more apparent when someone is on your property.

To increase the effectiveness of this security measure, you should also install motion-activated floodlights that will turn when someone comes within range of them. This increases visibility around your home and alerts you, and possibly your neighbours, to someone’s presence on your property.

4. Make It Look Like There Is Always Someone At Home

Creating the appearance that someone is always home makes your home less of a target for criminals. Simple yet often overlooked ways of achieving this are to keep your yard tidy, empty your mailbox, and prevent papers and catalogues from piling up on your porch.

Another way to make it look like someone is in your home is to leave a light on. If you’re away for the evening or go on vacation, you can use a timer to ensure certain lights come on at particular times.

Store vehicles in garage.

5. Store Vehicles and Don’t Showcase Your Valuables

To reduce the risk of criminals invading your home in an attempt to steal your vehicles, keep them locked inside your garage, instead of leaving them exposed on your driveway. Additionally, positioning an active deterrent camera directly above your vehicles, as the siren will alert you to someone in your garage. Plus, the camera’s siren and flashing lights will help disorient the criminal and make it harder to concentrate on making off with your car.
Also, even with your vehicles safely stored away in your garage, avoid tempting criminals by allowing them to see into your garage windows. You can achieve by installing a set of curtain or blinds or, better yet, by applying one-way vision film to the garage windows.

On a similar note, not advertising your possessions applies to your home as well as your garage. This involves closing your curtains or blinds so passers by can’t see inside your living room and clearing your lawn of tools, bikes, kids’ toys, and other potential items of interest.

Tactical Tips in the Event of a Home Invasion

Lastly, here are some tactical things to do during a home invasion.
Remain Calm And Assess The Situation

As difficult as it may be in the midst of a home invasion, it’s crucial to remain calm. Firstly, you run less of a risk of alarming and potentially angering the intruder(s). Secondly, and more importantly, this will allow you to assess the situation and determine things like:

  • How many intruders there are
  • Where they are in the house
  • Potential exits

Subsequently, if you’re confronted by intruders, staying cool and composed will make it easier to tell:

  • If they’re armed
  • What they want

If You Can Safely Exit, Then Do. If Not, Designate A “Citadel”

In assessing the situation, you’ll determine if there’s a way you can safely leave your home, and if you can, then exit immediately. If escape isn’t possible, create a “citadel” by locking yourself in the safest room closest to your present location – preferably the room you’re in. If you can quietly barricade yourself by putting furniture against the door, do that too.

Call the Police

Call the police and speak in a clear whisper to explain the situation. If the intruder is too close and you can’t talk, text the police instead if your local police dispatcher receives texts. In fact – if you’re unsure if they do, go ahead and quickly check now while it’s fresh in your memory.

Take Notes For Evidence As Much And As Safely As Possible

Pay attention and take notes on your phone if you have it to hand. If you catch a glimpse of the intruder(s), note down what you can remember about their appearance, including their clothing and footwear. Anything you can jot down will give the authorities the best chance of catching those responsible later.

How secure is your home?

Find out how secure your house is through our home assessment quiz.


Important home invasion statistics

Most common hours for a home invasion to take place are between 2am and 4am.

Most common consequences of home invasions

  • Theft (66%)
  • Property damage (46%)
  • Confrontation (12%)

Most common items stolen during home invasions

  • Vehicles (i.e., breaking into home to find car keys)
  • Clothing and jewellery
  • Bicycles and sporting equipment
  • Cash, purses, or wallets
  • Tools

5 ways to lower the risk of home invasion.

Reinforce all entry points: doors, windows, etc

    • Fit Crimsafe security screens or equivalent
    • Install Active Deterrent Cameras over main entry points and inside garage, over vehicles

Install a reliable home security system

    • Optional back-to-base monitoring
    • Combine with a panic button that will silently trigger alarms and alert your security company to send a security patrol and call for police assistance and patrolman

Eliminate all blindspots

    • Trim or clip all the hedges, shrubs, trees, etc., or erect a fence
    • Install motion-activated floodlights

Make it look like there is always someone at home

    • Keep your yard tidy, empty your mailbox, and prevent papers and catalogues from piling up on your porch
    • Leave a light on, and use a timer to ensure certain lights come on at particular times

Store Vehicles and Don’t Showcase Your Valuables

    • Lock vehicles inside your garage and position an active deterrent camera directly above them
    • Install a set of curtains or blinds or apply a one-way vision film to your windows

Tactical tips in the event of a home invasion

    • Remain calm and assess the situation
    • If you can safely exit, then do. If not, designate a “citadel.”
    • Call the police
    • Take notes for evidence as much and as safely as possible

    Our free onsite security assessment will highlight your current security weaknesses and suggest ways to best reduce the risk of a home invasion. To book yours and start feeling safer today, contact us.

    [1] https://mypolice.qld.gov.au/queensland-crime-statistics/
    [2] https://www.budgetdirect.com.au/home-contents-insurance/home-safety/home-security/home-burglary-statistics.html
    [3] https://balancedsecurity.com.au/8-home-burglary-statistics-in-australia-you-need-to-know/

    Home Security.

    5 Steps to Reduce the Risk of Home Invasion

    Jun 16, 2023

    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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