Nothing is more important that keeping your family and your home safe. If you think you’ve heard all there is to know on break-ins, think again. We’ve compiled a list of alarming burglary facts that shed light on how intruders target homes.
Educating yourself on the following burglary facts can help you figure out your home’s weaknesses, and how to help prevent yourself from being the next break-in victim.
After these tips, read on to find out five ways to deter burglaries from happening at your house.
Top 20 Alarming Burglary Facts
- The typical burglar is an inexperienced teenage male
- On average, burglars work just a mile or two from their home
- A burglary occurs every 13 seconds
- The average burglar can break into your home in less than 60 seconds
- They spend an average of 8-12 minutes going through your things
- 85% of break-ins are from non-professionals that are usually more desperate and dangerous
- There are over 5,400 burglaries, per day
- There are over 2.5+ million burglaries per year
- 90% of all burglaries happen in residential areas
- 95% of break-ins needed some amount of force to break-in
- 65% of home invasions occur between 10am-3pm, when residents are working
- About 34% of the time, thieves go in the front door, 23% of the time they go through the first-floor window, and 22% of the time they go in the back door. Often these points of entry are unlocked.
- Only 17% of the homes in U.S. have a security system
- Insurance agencies can offer discounts up to 20% for auto insurance when a home security system is installed
- The first stop for a thief is the master bedroom
- Trees or shrubs by a home give thieves additional places to hide
- Burglars prefer to rob an unoccupied home
- Burglars will take any item they can, and pawn or sell it at a yard sale or flea market
- Types of tools used to break in are usually simple; a screwdriver, pliers, pry bars, and small hammers are most common
- Police usually only clear 13% of all reported burglaries due to lack of witnesses or physical evidence
If all these burglary facts have you down, take heart. There are ways you can deter break-ins from happening at your house. Follow these suggestions to amp up your home security and safety.
- Install strong locks for doors and windows
Each door providing access to your house should have a deadbolt lock with a bolt that inserts into the doorframe at least one inch. Also replace any old window locks with newer, more secure models. You can also attach sensors to your windows, which will sound if a break-in is attempted.
Read more about how locking doors and windows, and other tactics, can prevent a home invasion.
- Have ample lighting, inside and out
Not having exterior lighting provides burglars with plenty of hiding places among the shadows and the shrubs outside your house. Motion-activated lighting will turn on when movement is detected, and is effective in driveways and near entrances. Also consider installing lights that stay on all night, bathing your home in a warm glow.
When you’re not home, don’t advertise that fact by turning out all the lights. Leave a light or two on—and vary which one you leave on—each time you leave home at night.
If you’re going away on vacation, set timers to turn on a variety of lights throughout your house. Have lights go on and off at different times, mimicking how someone may be in the living room earlier in the evening, then upstairs in a bedroom later at night. You can also program the TV to come on at different times.
- An alarm/security system
One of the best forms of protection against break-ins is an alarm/security system. Alarm monitoring offers the security of knowing your home is protected 24 hours a day, even when you’re not home.
With alarm monitoring features like home automation, you can even control thermostats, lights, and locks when you’re away. Or, consider a remote camera viewing service so you’ll always be able to see a live video stream. Got a smart phone? Use an app to arm and disarm your alarm system, and receive notifications, from the road.
- Make your home look lived in
Nothing attracts a burglar quite like a home that looks vacant, or rarely visited. If you’re going out of town for a lengthy vacation, hire someone to mow your lawn and keep up with the yard work.
Also, put a stop on your mail so an overflowing mailbox doesn’t signal an extended leave. Don’t leave garbage cans at the curb for days on end, and if it snows, see to it that your driveway gets shoveled.
- Don’t announce when you’ll be gone
Sure, it’s a good idea to tell a trusted neighbor or friend you’re going out of town so they can keep an eye on things. But don’t broadcast your vacation plans—especially on social media. You never know who will hear or see the information and use it as an opportunity to break in.
Use these burglary facts and determent tips to become a savvy homeowner and keep burglars from targeting your home.
Article Photo By: Martin Abegglen, July 7, 2015 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution.
In-Copy Photo By: Hailey Toft, July 7, 2015 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution.