Should you really wrap foil around doorknobs when you're home alone?

Thousands of people search for this unusual home security technique every month, but does it really work?

Close up of half opened door knob look through inside the room.
(Image credit: ben-bryant via Getty Images)

When I lived alone, I made an effort to learn a few home security tips to keep me feeling safe and secure. And while my flat never rivaled Kevin McCallister's impressive setup in Home Alone, I learned plenty of tips for securing a home without a security system.  

Whether it's a 'beware of the dog' sign looming from a gate or a pair of oversized men's work boots tossed by the front door – there are plenty of ways to deter night-time intruders. But what about wrapping foil around your doorknob when you're home alone?

Thousands of people take to Google every month to search for this unusual method of deterring burglars, and after spotting a similar headline on my own social media feed, I decided to research what this technique entails. 

exterior of house with shutters

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

Do foil-wrapped doorknobs prevent intruders?

I'll do you a favor and keep this answer short and sweet: No, wrapping foil around a doorknob does not increase your home security. 

As soon as I started to delve deeper into this 'hack,' I realized that most internet searches were in response to a prolific online advertisement. This advertisement claims aluminum foil-wrapped doorknobs can keep you safe when home alone. In reality, this headline is extremely deceptive, as the advertisement links you to a page discussing the best way to paint doors without getting paint on your handles. While I might attempt to paint my doors on my lonesome, that's not exactly a home security tip!  

Of course, this hasn't stopped the internet from speculating on whether or not there are some security benefits to using aluminum foil to prevent burglaries. Some online users believe that the sound of crinkling foil will wake you up and alert you to a break-in, while others suggest that it's much harder to pick a lock when a doorknob is covered in foil. However, I can't see how a determined thief will let either of these things stop them.

How can you actually protect your home from intruders?

If you feel unsafe while home alone, set the kitchen foil aside. There are much better ways to deter intruders from your property. First, it's important to remember that burglaries often occur during daytime working hours (between 10am and 3pm) when most homes are believed to be vacant. So, the number one way to put off would-be intruders is to make them believe someone is home at all times. 

You can burglar-proof your front door with a smart doorbell that allows you to see and interact with anyone who arrives, even if you're away from home. Alternatively, to put your mind at ease on an evening, consider putting your lights on a timer to give the impression someone is awake in the house. Both of these simple techniques are much more likely to keep your home safe and sound. 

Follow our home security tips to feel safer in your home, no matter your budget. Whether you install a state-of-the-art home security camera or simply improve your outdoor lighting ideas, every small act can help you feel more secure.  

Gabriella Dyson
Head of Solved

Gabriella is Head of Solved at Homes & Gardens. She is a DIY enthusiast and a lover of all things interior design, often found antiquing or browsing the aisles of her local hardware store. 

She has a particular passion for historic buildings and is in the process of renovating a Victorian coachhouse in the British countryside. 

For much of the past decade, Gabriella has worked as a freelance writer, crafting copy for national publications and renowned homeware brands. Most recently, she worked on Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine, focusing on case studies for the magazine and website, as well as writing features about issues surrounding historic and listed building projects.