How to Prevent a Home Burglary
You should always feel safe in your home. According to the FBI, a burglary occurs somewhere in the United States every 15.4 seconds. Burglary is a non-confrontational property crime that occurs when the homeowner or resident is not at home. The majority of home break-ins occur during the daytime when most people are away at work or school. The summer months of July and August have the most burglaries with February having the fewest number of burglaries. Most often burglaries are committed by young males under the age of 25 looking for items that are small, expensive, and can easily be converted into cash. Popular items are cash, jewelry, guns, watches, laptop computers, and small electronic devices. Statistics tell us that 70% of the burglars use some amount force to enter a dwelling, but their preference is to gain easy access through an open door or window. Ordinary household tools like screwdrivers, channel-lock pliers, small pry bars, and small hammers are most often used by burglars.
Tips on Preventing Home Theft
- Keep all personal information (passports, financial statements, etc.) in a locked, fireproof safe or a safety deposit box in an inconspicuous section of the house.
- Close curtains or blinds to prevent thieves from taking inventory of your personal belongings and seeing the home’s layout.
- Store ladders, tools and any other outside objects that can be used to assist in a burglary in a locked shed or garage.
- Keep garage doors closed and locked.
- Replace worn keypad entry devices. After extensive use, the combination of numbers and letters could be visible, providing criminals with information that can be used to gain access to your home.
- Change the home’s entry device access code periodically to prevent wear.
- Make sure the home’s address is visible for police, firemen, and paramedics for easy identification of the home.
- Don’t post the family name on the mailbox or on the house.
- Limit conversations about vacation plans in public areas.
- Make sure your wireless network at home is secure. Computer access could allow cyber criminals easy access to confidential personal information.
- Before placing anything in the garbage, do the following:
- Shred all papers.
- Destroy old computer hard drives.
- Break down all boxes for high-value equipment. Brand names on boxes alert thieves to items inside the house.
5 Ways to Protect Your Home From a Break-In
- Invest in a home security system
- Make sure you have proper outside lighting
- Install strong exterior doors
- Block windows for the basement or locked window well covers – Use these to keep thieves from seeing or entering your basement.
- Secure your pet’s door – Make sure your pet door isn’t a point of entry for a thief!
Home Burglary Statistics and Costs
- A home burglary occurs approximately every 15 seconds in the United States.
- On average, a home burglary results in a dollar loss of about $1,600.
- About 30% of all burglaries are classified as “unlawful entry,” meaning the burglar was able to gain entry without using force – often through an unlocked door or window.
- Nearly 66% of all burglaries are residential, and of those, 62% occur during the daytime, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., when no one is likely to be at home.
- Only 13% of reported burglaries are solved by the police.
- About 30% of private homes have security systems. Homes without security systems are two to three times more likely to be broken into.
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