It’s an unfortunate truth that burglary is of great concern (or should be) to every homeowner. According to the FBI, an average of more than 2 million burglaries occur each year in the United States. And victims of burglaries suffer close to $5 billion in lost property each year.
In fact, the FBI classifies burglary as the most significant threat facing homeowners, with a burglary occurring on average once every 14.6 seconds. Small wonder, then, that the threat of burglary is high on the list of concerns for the average homeowner.
That’s why a recent study will be of great interest to most homeowners. The study was published by Loughborough University in the UK. The goal of the study was to determine the effectiveness of commonly used anti-burglary security devices. A team of researchers spent 18 months analyzing 20 years of crime data.
The Most Effective Burglary Deterrent
Expensive and sophisticated home alarm systems have grown in popularity in recent years. More homeowners than ever before have installed some form of alarm system in their homes. But while these systems might be the most costly form of deterrent against burglary, they’re not the most effective.
According to the study, the single most effective deterrent to home burglary is a system of external lights fitted to sensors. An external lighting system offers more protection against burglary than any other single device, including the most expensive and sophisticated alarm systems.
So if your home is equipped with a landscape lighting system that can be triggered with motion detection sensors, you’ve protected your family with the single best form of burglary protection available.
Other Interesting Findings…
- Combine Lights with Other Devices: While the study found that lights are a more effective deterrent than any other individual security device, combining the lights with other anti-burglary devices increases effectiveness. The most recommended combos based on study findings is outdoor lighting combined with door and window locks along with security chains. (The study noted, however, that security chains can pose a fire hazard by impeding the evacuation of a burning house.)
- Burglar Alarms Somewhat Ineffective: While the study did not recommend that burglary alarm systems be entirely avoided, it did produce an unexpected finding: The installation of a burglar alarm system statistically either provided no reduction in risk, or corresponded with an increased risk of burglary, depending upon which other security measures were used in combo with the alarm system. (It’s speculated that the presence of an alarm system may serve as an indicator that the home contains more valuables than the average home, making it more inviting to burglars.)
- More Isn’t Necessarily Better: Adding layer upon layer of security devices does not proportionately increase the effectiveness of protection provided. Using just two or three devices in combo – particularly when one of the devices is outdoor lighting – seems to provide the greatest protection.
An Enlightening Report
More than ever before, homeowners are concerned about the safety of their families and their property. And crime statistics show that the concern is well founded.
So it’s important that homeowners know about the effectiveness of various anti-burglary devices. And as noted above, the single most effective deterrent to home burglary is an outdoor lighting system. To quote the study directly: “From a strictly practical perspective, the research reported here suggests if only one security device is installed then fitting external lights on a sensor seems to provide the greatest protection against any burglary.”
At TLC Inc., we’ve long held that security is among the most important of benefits that homeowners gain from the landscape lighting systems we install. And now this study proves it so. The findings of this study should be of great comfort to all of our landscape lighting customers.