Every 13 seconds, a burglary occurs somewhere in the U.S., adding up to approximately 2.5 million burglaries each year, according to Alarms.org. Two-thirds of those crimes are home break-ins, and if it were not for home security systems, that figure could be significantly higher — a study from UNC Charlotte found that 83% of convicted burglars said they checked for an alarm system before attempting a break-in, and 60% said they would change their mind if a system was found.

In recent years, the home security industry has experienced a renaissance with self-install options and internet-connected alarm systems sparking consumer interest with their ease of use and modern features. While alarm systems serve as an effective deterrent against potential burglars, only 17% of homes have one installed, says Alarms.org. Nevertheless, there are other precautions homeowners can take to prevent their homes and families from being victimized.

October is Crime Prevention Month, making it the perfect time for homeowners to evaluate their homes' security and amp up measures. The slideshow above offers six helpful tips from Alarm Detection Systems Inc. on how to keep homes safe and prevent a break-in.

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Heather A. Turner

Heather A. Turner is the managing editor of ALM's NU Property & Casualty Group. She can be reached at [email protected].