Do Home Security Systems Deter Crime?

Written by | Updated May 21, 2019

If you are considering purchasing a home security system, one of the first questions that might come to mind is whether home security systems actually deter crime. According to the research, the answer is a resounding “Yes.”

Studies have been conducted on the effect of the presence of a home security system. The results are in: as much as 60% of burglars casing a potential target would indeed be deterred by an alarm system.1

Burglary by the Numbers

Though the occurrence of home burglaries has decreased over the past decade, burglary remains a real concern for many Americans. According to the FBI, nearly 1.6 million burglaries took place in 2015, and the average dollar loss per burglary was $2,316.2

Beyond the monetary cost, the loss in terms of feeling less safe in one’s own home is impossible to measure. Those costs combined could explain why more and more people are investing in home security systems.

Alarms Help Deter Burglars

It’s hard to measure a negative—that is, count occurrences that didn’t happen, like robberies that might have taken place but didn’t because of the presence of an alarm system. So how can we assess whether home security systems deter crime? We can go straight to the burglars themselves.

In a comprehensive study conducted by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, researchers interviewed more than 400 incarcerated men and women who were convicted for burglary. The majority (60%) of the burglars in the study said they would look for an alarm before robbing a house, and if an alarm system were present, most would move along to another target.3

Making Your Home Safe from Crime

There are many steps you can take to keep your home and family safe: installing sturdy locks on your windows and doors, lighting paths to home entryways, and following common-sense precautions such as never letting a stranger into your home. A home security system adds an additional layer of protection and peace of mind.

Alarm systems have become increasingly sophisticated through integration with smart home technology. Beyond a simple blaring alarm, many of today’s home security systems include real-time notifications to your cellphone if an unauthorized person enters your home.

An Investment in Your Safety

Whether you’re thinking of a simple camera near the front door or a fully integrated and monitored system, anything you can do to protect your home from being broken into is a smart investment. The peace of mind that comes from knowing you have done everything you can to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your valuables as safe and secure as possible is indeed priceless.

The right combination of motion sensors, video monitoring, alarms, and 24/7 support can give you a greater sense of security at home. If you’re ready to start exploring greater home security, we’ve put together a resource guide to help you choose the system that’s best for your needs.

  1. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology, “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective
  2. FBI Unified Crime Reporting, “2015 Crime in the United States
  3. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology, “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective

SafeWise’s Best Home Security Systems

The SafeWise team has researched and reviewed security companies from around the nation. Each year we release our annual rankings. Check out our picks below! To read more, including reviews and packages, you can visit our Top Home Security Systems.

Lowest Price
Best Overall
Best Monitoring
Best Service
Best Budget Option
Best No Contract
logo of vivint home security ADT logo logo of frontpoint home security ProtectAmerica logo logo of simplisafe home security
$29.99 $27.99 $34.99 $19.99 $14.99
DIY Professional DIY DIY/Professional DIY
High-end smart home tech
Customizable plans
Month-to-month contracts
Fast response times
Outstanding guarantees
140+ years of experience
Risk-free trial
DIY installation
Great customer service
Lifetime warranty
Locked-in rates
Many package options
Cheap monthly monitoring
Money-back guarantee
No fancy extras
855-374-4999 855-374-4999 855-374-4999 855-374-4999 N/A
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