Why Burglars Check to See If Doors Are Locked – It Is No Accident

It is pretty common for home security experts to discuss the idea of burglars walking through neighborhoods checking to see if doors are locked. Such discussions are not merely veiled attempts at selling home security systems. They are based on fact. Burglars really do check doors. Furthermore, it is no accident. There is a particularly good reason for doing so.

What is that reason? The desire to get in quickly without drawing any attention to oneself. But here is the scary part: burglars find doors unlocked more frequently than most of us would imagine. An unlocked door represents easy entry and a quick burglary with minimal chances of detection – provided a house is unoccupied.

Not Everyone Locks Up

If you assume that all your neighbors keep their doors locked, think again. Not everyone locks up. A significant number of people only lock their doors when they leave home. A smaller number don’t even do that much.

A 2023 survey by SafeHome revealed that homeowners in the southeast do the best job of locking up. The survey found that 81% keep their doors always locked. Alaska and the northwest U.S. had the worst track record at just 54%. Fortunately, only those two regions reported such low numbers. The rest of the country was at 70% or better.

Even so, the fact that just 81% of southeastern homeowners kept their doors locked also means that 19% do not. That 19% is just asking for trouble. They are inviting burglars willing to check doors to walk right in unimpeded.

Keeping Doors Locked at All Times

Security experts recommend keeping first-floor windows and doors always locked. We get why we should lock up when we leave, but why do so when we are home? To prevent being surprised by a burglar.

A burglar does not want to see a homeowner when he breaks in. He might find an unlocked door and then hope the home isn’t occupied. But if a homeowner and burglar encounter one another, bad things can happen. It is just a risk that is not worth taking. Homeowners should never assume that being home means leaving doors unlocked is safe.

The best kinds of locks for residential doors are heavy-duty deadbolts. They offer maximum protection when combined with an appropriate strike plate and a beefed-up sash. Deadbolts also do not have exterior handles burglars can check on their way through the neighborhood.

Taking Other Measures

Keeping windows and doors locked at all times would go a long way toward reducing the number of burglaries committed every year. But why stop there? Homeowners can take other measures as well. For starters, a home security system with video cameras, window, and door sensors, and 24-hour monitoring can be effective at deterring burglary.

Vivint Smart Home is just one company that provides security systems and professional monitoring throughout the United States. Vivint also recommends taking advantage of doorbell cameras and smart locks for added security. Both can be combined with a whole-home security system for added redundancy.

Above and beyond security equipment and keeping doors locked, homeowners can deter burglars by making their homes less attractive. They can clear shrubbery and foliage to improve the view from the street. They can make a point of keeping the garage door closed and not projecting any signs of not being home.

Irrespective of any other steps a homeowner might take, it is important to remember that burglars really do walk through neighborhoods checking doors. They do so because not everyone keeps their doors locked at all times.

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