According to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there is a burglary every 13 seconds in the United States. If you do the math, you realize that comes out to between 2.3 and 2.6 million robberies annually. Based on interviews conducted with apprehended burglars, almost half of these events were an impulsive decision based on an opportunity that presented itself such as an unoccupied home or open windows/doors. Knowing this begs the question, is it time for your family to step up your home security this year?
These eye opening statistics are enough to make anyone review their insurance policy and set up a perimeter around their property with barbed wire and alarms that are sure to wake the neighbors in the case of an intrusion. Believe it or not, this level of action does not need to take place, but there are some simple steps that homeowners can take to safeguard their family, home, and possessions. Some of them may even get you a discount on your homeowner’s insurance!
Knowledge is Power
We know the trends and statistics can teach us quite a bit on how to keep our homes and families safe. Here are a couple of trends security experts have learned and what actions you can take.
Most Burglaries Occur During Daylight Hours
When we think about burglaries, we usually conjure up an image of a man dressed in black with a mask trying to crawl into our windows in the dead of night. This imagery is far from the reality of the crime. According to a 2016 Criminal Victimization Survey, the most common time burglaries occurred was between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Nighttime burglaries, occurring between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., accounted for only about 17% of all burglaries. Burglars know they’ll draw less attention walking around a neighborhood or apartment complex during the day versus at night, and they know most people are at work during the day, leaving them free to slip in and out of a home uninterrupted.
Knowing this means homeowners can be prepared by making a home look lived in while they are away at work. A smart home system can turn lights on and off at scheduled times of the day, and alert a central monitoring station if a window, door, or access point has been breached. Many home security systems also come with a discount on homeowners insurance.
More Burglaries Occur in Rural Areas than Metropolitan Areas
Too many homeowners falsely believe that their home is safe because they live in a suburban or rural area. It can be easy to think you’re safer if you don’t live near big cities, but you may actually be at higher risk for burglary according to some studies. An alarm system and sturdy locks can help deter burglars and reduce that risk. There are affordable security options on the market for any budget.
Installing burglary deterrents can be a great way to keep your home safe from intruders while also saving you money on your home insurance premiums. Talk to your agent about which steps can not only reduce your risk but your premium as well.
- Install a home security system with central monitoring so in the case of a burglary, fire, or other event, your home is under the watchful eye of an alarm company whether you are home or not.
- Avoid posting on social media your whereabouts. Do not “check in” while you are on vacation, or even just out for the night.
- If a home security system is not in your budget, cost effective steps such as a motion sensor in your driveway or walkways could help deter an intruder. In addition, window sensor, a doorbell camera, and smart locks can help as well.
- Enlist the neighborhood. Many neighbors find it helpful to work with homeowners living nearby to keep the neighborhood safe. Informal neighborhood watches can help keep an eye on things during the day and raise suspicions if unknown “repairmen” or deliveries occur while you are out of town.
- Trim bushes and trees away from your windows. Criminals find homes that are obscured by plantings easier to take cover should a car happen by. Keep those bushes trimmed so that all doors and windows are easily seen from the street.
- Never let mail or deliveries pile up on your front porch. Alert a neighbor to a delivery and request a mail stoppage if you head out of town for longer time periods.
- Stop leaving out a spare key if that is your family’s technique for allowing access for children and/or relatives. A locking system that requires a code rather than a key is a much safer system.
Talk to your insurance agent or call one of our residential agents here at Phil Richard Insurance to find out more about securing your home.