Does Putting Up Security Signs Stop Potential Thieves?

Paige Bennett
Written by Paige Bennett
Updated September 30, 2021
exterior view of front porch
David Papazian/The Image Bank via Getty Images

Security signs can help deter burglars, but fake signs are a legal risk

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With the cost of installation and monthly fees, security systems can be expensive. Although their accompanying alarms and cameras can deter thieves, you may wonder if simply adding security system signs to your yard could do the trick. As it turns out, security system signs can deter burglars, but fake signs can put you in some legal hot water.

Do Security System Signs Deter Burglars?

One study that surveyed over 400 incarcerated burglars found that security system signage was one of the top 10 deterrents when selecting a home to break into.

But this method comes in at number nine on the list, preceded by more actionable security measures like alarms, cameras, and full security systems. Security signs are a good way to reinforce existing security measures, such as more effective security alarms.

So, on their own, signs might deter more amateur thieves, but if you have security signs and systems, cameras, or motion-sensor lighting, you decrease your chances of a burglary.

Security Sign Placement

Close up of security sign on a window
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You’ll want to make sure your security signs and stickers are clear and visible to potential thieves.

  • Place signs near all entry points, particularly the front door, back door, basement door, and windows.

  • Add security stickers to windows around the home, especially off-street windows that may be partially hidden by trees or shrubs, which provide a hiding spot for thieves.

  • Place signs on fences and gates to further deter potential thieves.

Can You Purchase Security Signs Without a Security System?

When you purchase a home security system, the company will provide you with signs to place around your property to show that your home is protected.

But these days, you can buy security signs online for about $10 to $20 each. This may help keep thieves at bay, but it could also lead to legal trouble if you use unauthorized signs for real security companies.

Real Security Signs vs. Fake Security Signs

Many burglars will be able to spot if you have fake security signs. But aside from the risk of a break-in and property theft, you could get into legal trouble for using fake security signs.

There are sign dupes for major security companies available online, but they can sue you for copyright infringement if you purchase fake security signs.

Putting fake signs around your property is better than nothing. Still, there are far more effective measures to prevent break-ins, like installing cameras or even floodlights, which can cost $20 to $30 for inexpensive motion-sensor options.

Other Ways to Safeguard Your Home

If a security system isn’t in your budget at this time, you can still skip the risks of using fake signs and instead use other ways to help deter potential burglars.

Install Security Cameras

Cameras are one of the top reasons potential burglars may skip a residential property. Because one-third of all intruders come in through the front door, you’ll want to add a camera above it, but there are many other tips to keep in mind when installing security cameras.

  • Mount cameras at least nine feet above the ground to help prevent thieves from vandalizing the cameras and rendering them useless.

  • Install a camera above or near the back door, as nearly one-fourth of thieves use this entry point to break in.

  • Place cameras near windows, particularly off-street windows that may be partially shaded by trees.

  • Install cameras on the outside of your home to point toward your garage and any basement access points.

  • Consider indoor cameras as well. You can place them near windows facing outdoors to capture any suspicious activity.

Put Motion-Sensor Floodlights on the Property

Thieves want to work undetected, but floodlights will literally spotlight them in action. Place motion-sensor floodlights around your property, particularly near entrance points like doors and windows.

Add Fencing

Tall fencing can help keep thieves at bay because only the most determined will be willing to make the noise that accompanies climbing and hopping a fence.

  • Install a tall fence, around eight feet or higher, around your yard.

  • Ensure the gate has a self-locking mechanism that isn’t easy for a thieve to access from the outside.

  • If possible, avoid keeping any climbable objects, like a dumpster, just outside the fence. 

Prune Shrubs

Nice, manicured shrubs aren’t just great for curb appeal. Unkempt shrubs or bushes offer excellent hiding spots for thieves, so keep these plants trimmed back.

Utilize Home Automation

There are many ways to automate your home, and this technology can make it seem like people are home, awake, and moving about, even if you’re on vacation. The presence of people inside the home (or even if people just seem to be home) will often keep thieves from coming in.

  • Purchase smart outlets and light bulbs so you can control everything from lamps to radios and TVs from your app.

  • While you are away, use an app to turn on lights or other devices periodically to make it seem as though you are home.

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