58% of Americans answer the door without knowing who’s on the other side.
56% admit to forgetting to lock their doors often.
44% of Americans leave their garage door open when they are not home.
Oklahoma residents have the best home security.
Scoring your home security
There are many ways to increase the security of your home. How you secure it may depend on your home type, your neighborhood, and the crime rates in your area. How can you know if your home is safe enough?
We asked 1,847 respondents across all 50 states about their home security: outdoor lighting, fencing, security systems, cameras, door locks, and household security habits. We then compared the survey data with FBI crime rate statistics to determine which states have the safest citizens and which need to beef up their security.
Before this guide, you can take a home security quiz to see how you compare to our national survey results. We’ll analyze your answers based on where you live and give your home a security scorecard. We’ll then share expert tips on how to increase your home’s security, so you can feel confident that you and your loved ones are as safe as possible.
On lockdown, or not?
The most basic tools in home security are door locks. While there are plenty of lock options, they all have one common rule for them to work — you actually need to lock the door. Unfortunately, locking up can be easy to forget amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Which states are home to the most forgetful home dwellers, and whose residents keep things locked up tight?
Forgetting to lock the door was common across the country; 56% of those surveyed admitted to forgetting often. However, the percentages of unlocked doors varied widely between all 50 states.
In West Virginia and Vermont, 76% of people often forgot to lock the door, but only 28% of Ohioans, 29% of Pennsylvanians, and 30% of Utahns forgot often. Alaskans were the most likely to leave both doors and windows unlocked when they left the house. As easy as it is to forget to lock your doors and windows, it’s important to remember to do it: unlocked doors and windows are the number one way burglars enter a home.
Respondents were also less careful when opening the door; 58% often answered the door without knowing who was on the other side. While answering the door at all times may seem polite, it can be dangerous. Many criminals will knock on the door in hopes you’ll answer so they can attempt a scam, case the layout of your home, or even force their way in once the door is ajar. If someone knocks on your door when you aren’t expecting anyone, peek through the window to see who is there and only answer if you know them. Better yet, use a doorbell camera to see who it is and record any suspicious activity.
Security tools and habits
Locking doors and windows is a good first step in home security, but it’s best to have a layered approach. What types of home security measures are most common across the nation?
Most Americans rely on lighting their property and enclosing it with a fence for security. Of all respondents, 87% kept their house well-lit at night, and another 80% had a fence around their property. Technological security measures were less common, with only 68% of people having a home security system or security cameras. However, Wyoming residents put more stock in outdoor security and were the most likely to have outdoor cameras and other deterrents to stop lurkers.
As for security habits, the top safety strategy for most people (80%) was to lock all doors and windows. Unfortunately, considering how often people forget to lock their doors, this security measure is insufficient for most. To compound entry security issues, 44% of respondents left their garage door open when they weren’t home.
People who rely solely on locks and lights may want to consider investing in security cameras or a home security system. Security systems offer multiple layers of protection and are proven deterrents against criminal activity.
The state of home security
Do the security habits of Americans relate to area crime rates? Which states have the best home security, and which ones need to increase their home protection?
With all data combined, Oklahoma had the best home security. Rounding out the top five were Idaho, Wyoming, Vermont, and Indiana. Surprisingly, three of the top five most secure states were also on the top five list for residents who most often forgot to lock their doors. The layered defenses of homes in these states likely offset the forgetfulness of owners. The top five states ranked among the highest percentage of homes with property fences, outdoor security cameras, indoor security cameras, and home security systems.
Conversely, Oregon had the worst home security, with South Dakota, Alabama, Kansas, and Ohio rounding out the bottom five. These states were among the lowest percentages of homes with features like outdoor security cameras and home security systems. In Ohio, the fifth worst home security state, citizens were least likely to forget to lock their doors. However, without layered security, homes in Ohio were still vulnerable to crime. No matter how much security you have, always remember to lock your doors!
Layers of protection
We all want to feel safe and secure in our homes. While doors and windows offer one level of protection, they only help keep people out when properly locked. But even the most solid locks can’t keep your home secure on their own. As proven in Oklahoma, the most effective home security employs a multi-layered approach. Outdoor lighting, motion sensor lights, security cameras, and home security systems all work together to prevent break-ins and deter criminals from targeting your house in the first place. The more layers of home protection you have, the more safe and secure you and your home will be.
Let’s be neighbors.
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We conducted a survey targeting 1,847 respondents across all 50 states regarding their home security habits. The metaranking for the states with the best home security was based upon survey responses from 20 questions regarding home security. States were then scored based on the respondents’ security habits, combining percentages from the 20 variables to create an overall score. Property crime data was collected from the FBI to see which states had the highest rate.
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