Few things are as emotionally devastating as walking into your home and discovering that you have been robbed. In addition to losing personal items, burglars often cause extensive damage in a quest to find valuables or prescription drugs.
Protecting yourself against being a victim is usually fairly simple. Burglars are inherently lazy. They seek easy targets. In a neighborhood of homes, they gravitate toward those that do the least to protect themselves. That usually means that the houses they go after first are the ones that leave their doors unlocked, that don't have adequate outside lighting, and certainly those that don't have alarm systems.
Multiple layers of security in and around your home are more effective in deterring thieves. Many experts recommend owning a dog as an effective deterrent against criminals. Given a choice between breaking into a home with a dog or one without, virtually all burglars will opt for the house without canine protection.
A study by Temple University found that having an alarm reduces the chance of burglary by 66% when the homeowner takes other precautions such as locking doors and using security lights. The study also found that expensive homes without alarms were 5.5 times more likely to be robbed.
Of course, alarms systems are only effective if people use them properly. The top reason that alarms fail is that people neglect to set them. Which brings up perhaps the most important factor in protecting your home: vigilance. Being vigilant about home security lessens the chance that you will become a victim.