The Basics Of Home Security 101

Why Is Burglary So Common?

Home burglary continues to be the most popular crime for petty criminals. According to statistics that we have read, 90% of all home burglars are either first or second time offenders, with only 5% to 10% of these criminals being called professionals. Most of these first or second time offenders see burglary of a home as an easy way to make some quick cash. And actually they’re not far off the mark. Here’s why!

  1. Homeowners make it easy! FBI statistics show that 33.2% of all burglaries are called unlawful entries which means that there is no forcible entry noticeable. This translates to homeowners don’t lock their doors and windows. It is suggested that you install and use locks on your doors, windows, gates and any other entryway into your home including your garage.
  2. The second reason burglary is so common and so popular among criminals is that they know that the chance of getting caught is slim indeed. The clearance rate of this high value crime-the number of cases solved-is only 14%. In some communities law enforcement is so strapped financially that they don’t even have the resources to pursue these crimes. Add to that liability the fact that there are usually no witnesses and you have an unsolvable crime. Unless some valuable item is marked and shows up in a pawn shop somewhere, there is really very little evidence available. Guns are a favorite target of home burglars but they can be sold on the black market, with no evidence of the transfer available to law enforcement.
  3. And the third reason why burglary is so common and so popular among criminals is that if they do get caught, they know the penalties are very low. You have to be a third or fourth time offender before you get any jail time.

Of course criminals know all these things going in. It represents a high value reward and a low risk enterprise. What’s not to like?

In case you missed our post recently called The Ultimate Home Security Guide we showed you some basic facts about home security.

They include:

  • “The FBI tells us that a home burglary happens every 13 seconds in the United States and is the most common threat to your home.
  • Over 60% of all burglaries happen during daylight hours when the burglar thinks no one is at home.
  • 77% of all crime is property related.
  • Police tell us that 90% of all burglaries can be prevented.
  • Burglars almost always work by themselves and are unarmed.
  • 17% of all domiciles are violated by a burglar.
  • Victims of burglary offenses suffered an estimated $4.6 billion in lost property in 2010.
  • Burglars steal $2,119 worth of goods and do another $2,000 worth of damage, on average, to every victimized home.”

Some more recent 2012 FBI Statistics show that property crime increased by .1% in the U.S. with the Western part of the United States seeing the largest rise in property crime at 4.7%.

Here’s a great example of what not to do. A wealthy homeowner in Wimbledon, England got his face bashed in when three masked burglars did a good old-fashioned home invasion.The homeowner’s daughter managed to escape to her bedroom upstairs and locked herself in and called police. According to the story, the police raced to the home in time to catch two of the home invaders.

Prevention Is The Key

That old expression of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is so true when it comes to home burglary. Homeowners need to do whatever they can to prevent a burglar from getting in the front door.

According to the executive director of the International Window Film Association “glass window panes that surround your home’s entryway and exterior create an inviting target for thieves.”

He provided these additional tips.

  • Use tempered or safety glass around doorways rather than regular glass.
  • Windows and doors that are unobstructed are a deterrent to burglars because they eliminate potential hiding places.
  • Always keep your garage doors locked, and that includes interior doors that lead into the house.
  • Use metal plated or hardwood doors that can resist forcible entry.
  • Place protective window film on the glass on lower-level windows. This will eliminate the smash and grab burglary.
  • Use your peephole to always know who’s at your front door. A 180° wide-angle viewer is best.

Some Additional Tips:

  1. Install some fake security cameras around your home. They are inexpensive and look just like the real thing. They are great deterrents to burglars.
  2. Make sure you install window and door alarms on all your entryways. They are cheap and provide as much as a 130 dB sound if a burglar tries to get in.
  3. Start or join a local neighborhood watch program. It is the premier anti-burglary program in the country.
  4. Whatever you do, do not go outside looking for burglars. Leave that to the trained officers of the Police Department.
  5. One of the best alarms that you may have and not even be aware of is sitting in your garage. Take advantage of the panic button on your car and hit it if you suspect anything strange going on. That will scare off any burglars.
  6. Lots of glass around your home and especially near entryways allows the bad guys to see what you have. Additionally so-called smash and grab burglaries are just as common with homes as they are with cars.

This YouTube video shows a product from one company Llumar Window Film that can help strengthen home and automobile windows to a point that it’s nearly impossible to get in. It may prevent the smash and grab burglaries.

How To Minimize Losses

If a burglar does get into your house how can you minimize losses? If you stop and think about it, the things burglars want are things that are easy to carry and easy to convert into cash at a local pawn store. Those are the types of things that you should take extra precautions in precautions in protecting.

Globe Diversion Safe
Globe Diversion Safe

For smaller items we recommend inexpensive diversion safes. They are hollowed out canisters of commercial products, most commonly food and cleaning supplies, that are weighted down to feel like they are full. Inside you can hide valuables such as jewelry, cash and credit cards. Some are even big enough to hold handguns.

If you have more than $500 worth of any of these valuables such as jewelry or handguns, for example, we strongly recommend that you get a home safe that can provide burglary and fire protection. They come in a wide variety of sizes with electronic, manual and digital locking devices.

What have you done to protect your home from being burglarized? Please share your experience. We want to hear your thoughts.