[Survey] Over Half of Americans Have No Additional Home Security Besides Locks

It’s no secret that Americans have spent more time at home since the start of the pandemic. From remote work to online shopping, the pandemic has shifted Americans’ lifestyle habits toward staying at home. With more time spent indoors, Americans are becoming more concerned with keeping themselves (and their homes) safe and secure.

With a burglary every 13 seconds, it’s no surprise that people are thinking about ways to level up their home security. For renters, the topic of home security can be tricky — what do you do if your landlord doesn’t allow you to install additional security measures or if you don’t have space to discreetly store packages in front of your door?

We surveyed 2,000 renters to find out how they feel about front door security and whether they think smart home technology like doorbell cameras are effective tools to prevent crime.

55% of Americans only rely on front door locks for home security

When it comes to home security, most American renters rely on just a front door lock for home security. Despite more than 2.5 million break-ins occurring each year (with more than half occurring in homes), most Americans have no additional home security besides locks.

Most Americans rely on locks to keep themselves safe

The next most popular types of home security include:

  • Doorbell cameras: 31%
  • Gated home/community: 9%
  • Doorman/front desk: 5%

Although over half of Americans have no additional home security besides locks, those that do overwhelmingly favor doorbell cameras as their second form of home security. Other popular additional home security methods include gated communities (9%) and doormen or front desks (5%).

Doorbell cameras have become the most popular form of additional home security amongst Americans

With smart home technology on the rise, it’s no surprise that Americans are turning to tools like doorbell cameras to keep themselves — and their belongings — safe. Nearly one-third of Americans (31%) that use additional home security named doorbell cameras as their primary choice.

Bar graph showing the most popular forms of additional home security by generation

Of those with additional front door security, 20% live in gated homes or communities, and 11% have a doorman or front desk. Of those who use additional forms of home security, Baby Boomers were nearly three times more likely than Millennials to favor a doorman or front desk, while Millennials were 75% more likely to prefer living in gated apartments.

Boomers and Millennials may have differing opinions on whether to use a doorman or gated apartment, but both generations believe doorbell cameras can help prevent theft. While nearly three-quarters of Millennials (74%) believe doorbell cameras help prevent theft, that number jumps up to 83% for Baby Boomers.

82% of Americans would feel safer with a doorbell camera

Diagram showing how many people would feel safer with a doorbell camera based on gender

Despite more than half of Americans not having additional home security, more than four out of five say they would feel safer with a doorbell camera. Of these respondents, women preferred doorbell cameras the most with nine out of 10 women saying they would feel safer.

But personal safety isn’t the only concern when it comes to front door security — package security has come to the forefront of many people’s minds during the pandemic, seeing as over four in 10 people had a package stolen from their homes.

35% of Americans rely on doorbell cameras to help prevent package theft

When many companies started to rely on contactless delivery methods during the COVID-19 pandemic, it makes sense that over one-third of Americans are relying on doorbell cameras to prevent package theft. 

package theft is on the rise

According to C+R Research, 43% of people had a package stolen from their home in 2020 — up 19% from 2019. With the rise in package theft, it’s no surprise that 35% of people are now relying on doorbell cameras to keep their packages secure.

But if you don’t want to install a doorbell camera in your home, how can you keep yourself (and your packages) safe? Keep reading for tips on how Rent.com suggests protecting your deliveries to outsmart porch pirates.

How to prevent package theft

Porch piracy has become a rising concern in recent years. If you’re concerned about package theft, check out our tips for making sure your package is delivered safely.

tips to prevent porch piracy

Use a smart locker

Although offsite lockers can be less convenient, using a smart locker can significantly minimize theft potential. Smart lockers have the advantage of being accessible 24/7, whereas some PO boxes must be accessed within working hours of the post office.

Smart lockers are a relatively new invention in the package security world and work best for renters in urban areas that don’t have additional front door security to protect their packages.

Set up package tracking notifications

If you want to keep your packages secure but don’t want to pay for additional security, make sure to set up tracking notifications for your packages. You can plan to be home when the package arrives — like 39% of people already do.

Alternatively, you can schedule a delivery for a time that’s convenient for you. However, this may delay your package delivery by a few days, so you’ll need to decide if the extra security is worth the tradeoff of slower shipping.

Coordinate with neighbors

If you’re friendly with neighbors, you can coordinate with them to pick up packages for each other if someone isn’t home. You can pick up your packages from one another after getting home, knowing your parcels are safe and sound with a trusted neighbor until then.

Ask for package holds

If you can’t be at home for a package delivery, you can usually request a package hold at your local post office. Carriers like UPS and FedEx will typically hold the package for seven to 14 days, and you can specify the date after which you’d like your parcel to be delivered.

Set up a PO box

For people living in apartments, package security can be especially tough since there often isn’t a discreet place to store packages outside your front door. If you can’t be home to meet package couriers, consider setting up a PO box at your local post office for important packages instead.

A small PO box can cost as little as $10 a month — and can easily pay for itself when compared to the headache of a stolen package.

Install a doorbell camera

Doorbell cameras have become all the rage in the past few years. If you’re willing to shell out for the additional cost of a doorbell camera, you can look into renter-friendly options that hang over your peephole instead of being drilled into the wall.

While a doorbell camera isn’t physically able to stop porch pirates, it can help the police identify suspects and is a reasonably effective deterrent for package thieves.

Saved by the bell

Home security has always been an important topic for renters — even more so now that people spend so much time at home. If you feel like your home security isn’t up to par and want to find a new place to call home, check out our apartment finder to find the perfect place that fits your preferences.

Survey methodology

  • An online survey of 2,000 Americans was conducted for Rent.com using Google Surveys in April 2021.
  • Post-stratification weighting has been applied to ensure an accurate and reliable representation of the total population.

Fair use statement

This survey information and related graphics are available for fair use. Please properly credit and link to the survey information from this Rent.com page.

Alex HeinzAlex Heinz is a writer with experience in a variety of industries from tech to lifestyle. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, TechCo and PopSugar. She's lived in a handful of large cities including New York and San Diego, giving her first-hand knowledge of the ins and outs of renting. In her spare time, you can find her exploring new hikes with her dog.

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