Home Security Advice Hasn’t Changed Much – Here’s Why



I have been writing about the home security industry for some 15 years. It is one subject I don’t have to devote a ton of research time to for the simple fact that home security advice hasn’t changed much over the years. Have you ever wondered why? The answer is pretty obvious if you stop and think about it.

Home security advice has remained consistent through the years because the things home security devices are designed to protect against have not changed much, either. Burglary is generally the same crime in 2023 that it was in 1923. Structure fires still generate smoke in the 21st century the same way they did in the 20th.

The Same Old Advice Works

The nature of modern culture encourages us to constantly look for something new. We want fresh content. We want information we have never heard before. We want to be wowed by sounds, images, and special effects. Simply put, we are easily bored.

The truth about home security is that it is a boring topic. The same old advice keeps getting recycled for two reasons: it remains relevant, and it works. That second reason cannot be emphasized enough. If something works, keep doing it. Or as my father would say, don’t try to fix what’s not broken.

Burglary Is the Perfect Example

Preventing burglary is the perfect example to illustrate what is being discussed here. It has been a pretty consistent crime for as long as I can remember. Likewise, home security companies like Vivint Smart Home have been offering the same tips since I was a kid.

The most common tips include:

  • Keeping windows and doors locked.
  • Installing heavy-duty locks on first floor doors.
  • Keeping trees and shrubs trimmed.
  • Making your home look occupied.
  • Utilizing home security equipment.

The first tip on the list seems kind of obvious. It is so obvious that some people think it’s an overly simplistic solution to a complex problem. I would disagree. Crime data consistently shows that burglars prefer first-floor doors and windows as entry points. Keeping them locked makes a burglar’s life harder.

Burglary Rates Have Declined

You might be willing to argue that most of the old burglary prevention tips are no longer relevant. But again, I would disagree. Burglary rates have steadily declined over the years. Although the constantly recycled safety tips are not entirely responsible for the declines, they are contributing factors.

When people make an effort to burglar-proof their homes, they make burglary a harder crime to commit. Burglars don’t want their jobs to be any more difficult than they already are. So if things get too tough, they will move on to something else. Perhaps that’s why porch piracy has skyrocketed. It is a lot easier to pull off than a home burglary.

A lot of those older burglary prevention tips are really just a matter of common sense. Why would you not put a heavy-duty deadbolt on your door in place of a flimsy factory lock? Why would you not make every effort to make your home look occupied when you areaway on vacation?

The Advice Remains the Same

I sometimes have difficulty writing about home security because the old advice remains the same. There is little point to coming up with new advice when the things experts have recommended over the last several decades are still relevant.

It is true that home security advice has changed very little for the better part of five decades. But that’s because property crimes haven’t changed, either. Until they do, the old advice is still the best advice anyone can offer.

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