what is not a physical security measure for your home

What Is Not A Physical Security Measure For Your Home?

Ensuring Your Home is Fully Protected

People often confuse physical and non-physical security measures - and with good reason. They’re very similar because they both help to protect your home from intruders, but there is a crucial difference. If you’d like to learn the difference between the two, this article is for you.

Read on to discover the difference and establish which home security options are and aren’t physical security measures. With this knowledge, you can decide what to implement in your home and neighborhood. Let’s dive in by first exploring physical security solutions.

What Are Physical Security Measures?

Physical home security measures create barriers to entry. They physically prevent a thief from getting access to your property. Any system that would make it physically more challenging for someone to get inside your home is a physical security measure.

Locks on doors and windows are the most common example of a physical security measure. Almost every home has basic locks on the main doors, though some people invest in more robust systems - using better locks on their front and back doors and adding locks to every window on all floors of the home. Those with front or back gardens may put fencing and gates around the property to create additional layers of prevention. While some gates and fences may be simple in design, others include additional preventative tools.

Choosing to put a barred door in front of your front and back doors is another example of a physical security measure, as are bars in front of windows. These provide a second layer that will delay or prevent burglars from getting inside your property.

There’s a lot of debate about whether security cameras and alarm systems are physical security measures because, while they act as an effective deterrent, they don’t provide physical blocks that would stop a person from getting inside your home.

What Are Non-Physical Security Measures?

Non-physical security measures are those that don’t erect physical barriers to entry but instead, try to prevent burglary more subtly. Neighborhoods that prioritize non-physical security measures are built on creating an environment of non-criminal behavior. It involves neighbors looking out for each other and creating systems where crime is less likely to flourish.

Neighborhood Watch Programs

A common example of a non–physical security measure is a neighborhood watch program. While these schemes ensure that neighbors are keeping an eye on each other’s homes, they aren’t a physical barrier to burglary. Often, if a neighbor in one of these areas spots a thief breaking into a home, they’ll call the police. While this is effective in catching criminals post-robbery (in some cases), it isn’t a physical prevention tactic, nor effective on its own.


Many people place stickers in their front windows that identify that they are part of a neighborhood watch program or that there are state-of-the-art security measures in place in and around the home. This is an example of a non-physical security measure. While it may occasionally work, a seasoned thief will quickly establish whether neighbors are genuinely on high alert or whether cameras or alarms are actually in place.

Leaving The Lights On

While leaving the lights on when you’re out of the home may prevent some would-be thieves, it’s not a physical security measure. It’s easy for someone to figure out if you’re at home or not, so while this may prevent some crime, it’s not as effective as physical measures like locks and fences.

Awareness Training

You can help to protect your family and neighbors by educating yourself about security risks. This involves exploring risks and identifying how thieves most commonly enter homes. You can educate yourself online or go to a local meeting about the topic. If there isn’t a meeting in your local area, why not create your own and invite your neighbors to discuss how to keep your streets safer and homes more secure?

Home Maintenance

While this isn’t a common thought when you think of home security measures, maintaining your home is important. This involves checking that all your doors close properly and - more importantly - lock correctly.

A Mix Of The Two Provides The Best Security For Your Home

Now that you understand the difference between physical and non-physical security measures, you’re probably wondering which is more important. While it could be argued that physical measures are more likely to prevent crime compared to non-physical measures, which merely provide deterrents - it’s a mix of the two types that is the best practice.

Once your home is secure with effective locks, gates and fences, it’s important to create strong communication networks with your neighbors to reduce crime. Leaving the lights on and running meetings with the community to establish better practices provides a great boost to physical security measures.