Our apartment complex has been experiencing an increase in burglaries. One resident even reported getting home and finding the intruder, who then escaped out of the second floor balcony. Because it is happening right where I live, I thought it might be a good time to take a look at when most burglaries occur.
When Do Burglaries Occur?
Written by Matthew Wilson
According to the FBI, a burglary occurs every 18 seconds in the U.S., adding up to nearly 5,000 burglaries each and every day!
These shocking statistics highlight the need to be wary of burglaries; better yet, the need to prepare for them. Fortunately, the more you learn about how burglars think the more effective you can be at protecting your home and family.
When we picture a burglar, most of us envision someone dressed all in black and tiptoeing into our home during the dark of night. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, most burglars go right through the front door in the dead of day.
• Over 2.2. million burglaries occur in the U.S. each year.
• Burglaries occur every 18 seconds in the U.S.
• Nearly 60 percent of burglaries occur during the day.
• Over 75 percent of burglaries take place in residential locations.
• The average property loss per burglary is $2,251.
• Less than 15 percent of burglaries result in arrest.
• 90 percent of home burglaries can be prevented with basic defenses.
Most Burglaries Occur During Daylight Hours
Contrary to popular belief, the bulk of burglaries in the United States don’t occur after the sun sets. Rather, most burglaries take place between 10 am and 3 pm, when homes are more likely to be unoccupied.
Daytime burglars will often pose as salesmen or contractors and knock on the door to see if anyone is home. If you happen to be home, most will simply move on to the next house. If not, only a security system and good neighbors can scare them away.
Some neighbors may not think twice about a “cable installer” or other workmen coming in or out of your home in the daylight hours. If you’re friendly with your neighbors, however, you’ll have an extra set of eyes watching your house, which always helps.
Burglars Love the Summer Sun Too
Summer is supposed to be a fun, carefree time. The windows swing open, the shoes slip off, and the vacation days start getting used. However, we tend to let our guards down when we’re relaxed in the summer, and burglars know this all too well. Consequently, most break-ins occur in the steamy months of July and August.
A silver lining of daytime burglaries is the fact that most occur when no one is home. Sure, you may lose a few possessions, but at least you and your family will be safe. With summer here, however, a lot of households will be occupied with children home from school. Between video games and sleeping in, some may never leave at all.
If your kids will be staying home this summer, a home security system is a must. Many burglars do their homework and spend the time needed to pick out a target, perform reconnaissance, and determine when no one will be home.
This means a burglar will follow you and learn your routine. Where you work, shop, and so on; a burglar will collect all of this information to determine your value as a target, the best time to break into your home, and any resistance they may be faced with.
Burglars, especially in the summer months, often use deception by posing as salesmen, repairmen, or delivery men when approaching a home. Some even use accomplices. Needless to say, you should always be wary of who you open your door for and teach your children to be the same.
Defending Your Home and Family
Whether you’re away for a typical day at work or a two-week beach vacation, it’s important to make your home an undesirable burglary target.
A good home security system with security cameras, signs, and a loud audible alarm is the best deterrent, but there are a variety of things you can do to keep burglars at bay.
Five Smart Tips for Preventing a Burglary
1. Install a Home Security System
A monitored home security system will help reduce the odds of becoming a burglary victim. In addition to a system with an alarm and direct feed to emergency personnel in the event of a break-in, many security experts suggest beefing up your security with motion-activated home security cameras as well.
With a modern home security camera, you can check on your home from virtually anywhere. Some even provide alerts notifying you when motion is detected. Thanks to these recent advancements in home security technology, more and more burglars are being caught on camera.
Aside from being able to catch burglars on camera and provide police with video of the suspects, security cameras are also a wonderful burglary deterrent. After all, what burglar would break into a home with security cameras when easier targets are all around?
For added deterrence, you should also use the stickers and yard signs provided by your security monitoring company. Since signs and stickers are only good if they can be seen, keep your landscaping maintained and make sure they’re visible from several approaches, not just the front.
If money is a concern, rest assured there are home security solutions for every budget. In fact, many basic home security plans start at only $20 a month. Although more advanced plans may cost more, a monitored security system may earn you a discount on your homeowners insurance to compensate for some of the costs.
2. Invest In Quality Door Locks
A burglar will only enter your home one of two ways: through a window or through a door. This isn’t the movies, so they aren’t going to rappel through a skylight or break through a wall. They want to enter your home through the front door the same way you do.
Needless to say, you need to keep your front door locked with a quality deadbolt at all times. While pros may have the skill to pick a standard lock, most burglars prefer to force their way in. So, if your door lock is builder-grade, you should replace it with a quality lock and heavy-duty deadbolt.
To help fortify your home even further, you should replace any hollow exterior doors with a solid wood or metal option as they’re much more difficult to penetrate. Of course, you could mount a motion sensor light or security camera above the door as well. A smart doorbell may also help.
3. Be a Good Neighbor
Your neighbors can be a savior when it comes to protecting your home from suspicious individuals throughout the day. However, unless you’re friendly and get to know your neighbors, and vice versa, they might not give a second thought to a burglar in the right garb entering your home.
Having a relationship with them will help ensure they keep an eye on your home when you’re away. For instance, a friendly neighbor will know whether or not you’re moving and will call the police if they see strange people taking random things from your home.
Don’t be shy. Get out and strike up conversations with neighbors whenever possible. You can’t go wrong with an extra set of eyes.
4. Close the Blinds
When your blinds are open, especially when you’re away, thieves can spy inside of your home, see its layout, and take inventory of all of your belongings. The solution to this is simple: close the blinds. By doing so, would-be burglars won’t know whether you have a 72-inch HDTV or a 32-inch tube television worth $40 at best. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.
5. Store Your Valuables In a Safe
Watches, jewelry, and other valuables laying around the house are easy pickings for burglars. Therefore, you should keep all of your valuables and personal information in a fireproof safe hidden in your basement or somewhere else secure in your home.
From your jewelry and heirlooms to your financial statements and passports, all of your valuables can be protected in a quality safe. Just make sure it’s bolted to the floor.
Protect Your Home Today
What are the chances your home will become the target of a burglar this year? Data released from the FBI shows one out of every 36 homes will be burglarized in the U.S. this year alone. While the odds are in your favor, there are certain things you can do to lower them and make your home a safer place to be. By following these tips, you’ll be able to go to work in peace and sleep soundly at night knowing your home won’t become just another statistic.
Matthew Wilson is an enthusiast who has a deep interest in all things related to home security.What started out as a superficial interest in home security systems soon led to Matthew becoming an expert in the field and someone that others would turn to when they had questions about the quality or effectiveness of a home security system or device. Read more of his works on – Property Guard Master!