The Chances of Someone Breaking Into Your House at Night Versus the Day

You’re drifting to sleep when, suddenly, you hear a noise. You jolt upright with one thought on your mind: what was that? Or, better yet, who was that?


Everyone has had this experience, which leads to the common question, what are the chances of a burglar breaking into your house during nighttime? To learn more about thieves’ preferred timing and general behaviors, keep reading!


Thieves Tend to Break In Between 10 AM and 3 PM

Surprised that intruders choose to break-in during the daytime versus night? Movie after movie depicts thieves sneaking into houses under the cover of darkness. But, as noted in When Do Most Burglaries Occur? Everything You Should Know, Hollywood simply has it wrong. 


There will always be exceptions. Some burglars do choose to break in at night, so it’s a good idea to have security measures no matter the time. 


Reasons Why Some Burglars Prefer Daytime Rather Than Night

  • You’re less likely to be home during the day. Nighttime, it’s likely that all family members will be home and tucked in bed. The opposite is true during the day. This means that burglars could take their time scouring the house without interruption (unless you have a security system). 


  • You probably follow predictable routines between 10 AM and 3 PM. Some burglars hurriedly choose their targets, but others take their time to case the family. Chances are, you follow set schedules Mondays through Fridays from late morning to early afternoon. It’s easy for a thief to note when you routinely leave the house and when you return so they know when it is “safest” to enter the property. 

Even if they don’t case your home before breaking in, thieves can safely gamble that you won’t be home during these particular times.


  • They can approach the house without being suspicious. Someone approaching your porch or backyard during the night is immediately fishy. But, during daylight, burglars can easily whip together an explanation. They’re looking for a runaway dog! They have a petition they want you to sign! They’re a hired plumber who has the wrong house! In general, their casual presence is less likely to raise the suspicions of neighbors. 


  • Your guard may be down. If you guessed your house had higher chances of being broken into at night, you weren’t alone. People may be less cautious during the day and overlook small but important details in their home’s security. It’s tempting to leave a window open to let in a welcoming breeze or forget to lock the backdoor. 


Bonus: Packages are Easy to Steal During the Day if Left Unsupervised. While a porch pirate snatching your mail doesn’t qualify as a “break-in,” it certainly counts as theft! This growing trend commonly occurs between the time the delivery driver drops off packages and the homeowner returns from work. To take action against porch pirates, read How to Prevent Theft of Packages and Mail.


The Time of Day Isn’t a Thief’s Only Deciding Factor of When to Break In

Many thieves will seek out properties with obvious signs that family members are away on extended trips. These include a build-up of mail or newspapers, an unkempt lawn, or interior lights that are off for above-normal stretches of time. 


Throw burglars off your scent by asking a trusted neighbor to lend a hand during your next vacation. They can occasionally park in your driveway, walk on your front path to leave footprints in the snow, and help with general maintenance. 


For additional ways to make your home less of a target, read Tips to Help Secure Your Home and Keep Your Family Safe.


How You Can Protect Your Home From Thieves Regardless of the Time

Because burglars prefer to break in during times you’re least likely to be present, install eyes-and-ears to monitor your home when you’re gone. Doorbell cameras paired with other outdoor cameras let you record any exterior activity and even talk with visitors. Window, door, and motion sensors will notify you (and, if you choose, the police) of interior activity.


Choose a security system that enables you to easily change the settings based on the time of day and the family’s activities. For example, Blue by ADT has three modes: Stay, Away, and Night. 


With a flick of your finger, you can arm your whole security system for times no one is home. If an intruder triggers a motion sensor, both you and the authorities will receive notifications. During evenings in which the kids race from one room to the next, the Stay setting temporarily disarms these same sensors. When nighttime comes, you can choose the setting in which exterior equipment activates but internal equipment remains silenced. 


This convenience matters. There will be cases in which you’re rushing out the door and may forget to change the settings from Stay to Away. Luckily, you can quickly update the security system mode from your mobile device, no matter whether you’re in the house or stuck in traffic. 


The easier it is for you to arm/disarm your system, the more likely you are to properly use it during the times you need it most. 


Sleep easy at night knowing you’re helping to protect your home from break-ins, with a DIY security system backed with the expertise of ADT. Browse our security packages to explore your options. 


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