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Lock Blog

A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals

9 Alarming Stats You Need To Know About Home Break-Ins

by Hugo Reed February 8, 2016

People gravitate towards homes, it’s one of those undisputed facts of life. It is where we go to rest our heads and they are a good investment. If you maintain your home properly, the benefits you reap will be amazing. When most homeowners hear the word maintenance, their heads fill with images of paint jobs and upgrading to a new cozy porcelain. These are all part of the journey to having a wonderful home, however, many forget that home security maintenance should be at the very top of their list. The maintenance of your home security entails a great many things, from regular upgrades to keeping up to date with the new ways burglars are cooking up to take your stuff.

It helps to be aware of some of the trends and statistics that are common across the board when it comes to home break-ins and burglaries. Many burglars share their methods, and even though you can never be 100% ready for them (when they do decide to try and break in), you can prepare yourself to help best them by knowing some statistics about home break-ins. This information has a very broad spectrum, so we’re going to break it down for you to give you an idea of some of the burglary statistics that all homeowners need to know and thus help them be better prepared for criminals.

1. Burglaries have declined by 19.7%


This first statistic is more comforting than it is alarming, but this is precisely why it’s so important. According to data collated by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, the percentage of burglaries committed each year has declined by 19.7% over the past ten years. This could be attributed to the increasing forensic knowledge and methods law enforcement employs as well as the increased security most homeowners have become accustomed to. However, complacency is a burglar’s best friend. Think about the number of burglars who have had an easy break-in simply because homeowners neglected to lock their doors. Complacency lulls homeowners into a false sense of security and makes them think that everything is alright in the world so therefore the chances of their homes being broken into are slim to none. This is exactly what a burglar would want you to think, and nothing disarms them more than when you are armed with this knowledge and primed for a break in, even in the safest of neighborhoods.

2. 58.3% of break-ins are forcible entry


The FBI’s UCR program states that there are three subdivisions of burglary. These subdivisions are forcible entry, unlawful entry (where no force was used), and attempted forcible entry.

 The total number of break-ins:

  • 58.3% forcible entry
  • 35.2% unlawful entry
  • 6.5% attempted forcible entry

These statistics are indicative of a few things. It shows us that burglars are really determined to get into your home, and, as such, homeowners have to be equally determined to keep them out. It is important to be constantly aware of the state of things in your home, whether you are in it or not. If you are leaving make sure your doors and windows are locked, and that your security alarm (if you don’t have one, get one) is primed.

3. 53% of home break-ins are committed during the day


Most residential break-ins are reported to occur during the day, which most homeowners find surprising because in every single cop show the crimes are committed at night (unless it’s the good guys breaking in…like Mission Impossible). However, there is a logic behind it. In Television, the writers need people to be home for plot twists, that’s why those crimes are committed at night under the shroud of darkness when EVERYONE is most likely home. In real life, approximately 53% of crimes are committed during the day when most residents are likely to be out of their homes at either school or work, as was shown in data collected by the FBI’s UCR program. It is imperative that homeowners know this statistic so that they can prep their homes to be safe in their absence. In the past, it was nearly impossible to know what was going on in your home if you were not present.

However, thanks to modern advancements in security, homeowners can indeed be in more than one place at a time. Well, not really, I’m just saying it would be smart to invest in a home security system that allows you to monitor your home when you’re not in it. It is estimated that 27.7% of burglaries are done at night and the odds are these ones end up being more dangerous. The reasoning behind this is that burglars are half expecting someone to be home at night, and they are most likely prepared to deal with any hindrances to their theft. This statistic helps homeowners know what to expect and when to expect it, with some margin of error. It will help when coming up with home safety plans or adding security upgrades to your home.

4. $2,251 is lost per burglary in the United States


According to the FBI, in 2014, there was an average of $2,251 lost per burglary, and a net total of about 3.9 billion dollars lost to burglary during the year. This reasserts a common truth about burglars: they like pretty expensive things. Chances are, they already know what you have in your home (or an idea) because they might have already scoped out the property and studied your patterns. In addition, to upgrading your home security and possibly installing an alarm system, it helps to make sure the items in your home are not visible to outsiders. Make sure that nothing valuable is in plain view through windows. It would also be a good investment to purchase window tints, and some of these even come with glass modifications that prevent the glass from being shattered. These are perfect for homes with lots of windows and sliding glass doors. Another thing to be mindful of are the people that you let into your home. This could either be strangers or friends, try not to let too many people be privy to the high-value items you have in your homes. If you have young children, make sure to let them know just how important this is.

5. 34% of burglars use the front door


It is estimated that upwards of 34% of burglars will use the front door to gain access into your home while another 22% use the back door to gain entry. Ensure that when you are upgrading your security you improve the quality of your doors and the locks. The reason why so many burglars can get in through front doors and back doors is because they are not as secure as they should be. Some doors are made with materials that are not robust. It is best to have doors that have solid cores. These add extra resistance if a burglar attempts to break the door down. Some homeowners use simple locks that are easily bypassed by even the most amateur locksmiths. It is best to improve your locks if you think that there is room to do so. This can be done with the addition of pins, using different springs within the lock or other DIY options for your door. Also, make sure to keep your windows and other points of entry secure. Nothing spurs a burglar on like a house that is not well protected because to them it will seem like an easy job.

6. Burglars spend 8 to 12 minutes in your home


According to convicted burglars and statistical data, the average burglar spends between 8 to 12 minutes in your home. This is simply because the longer they wait around in your home the probability of them getting caught continues to increase. This knowledge is vital to homeowners. It helps you plan the layout of your home in a way that conceals all your valuables and makes it harder for burglars to find anything worth stealing in under 12 minutes. This information also comes in handy if you happen to be at home during a break in. If the odds are not in your favor, the first thing you should do is hide and then notify the police of the situation. In the meantime try and find an inconspicuous hiding place that can conceal you for more than 12 minutes.

7. Most burglars flee at the sound of alarms


A majority of burglars have been known to flee as soon as they hear an alarm sound or when they realize one is present, as shown in a study by Joseph Kuhns. It helps when homeowners have a basic home security system installed to alert them to when unwanted individuals are attempting to gain access. This is one of the major deterrents to many burglaries and that is simply because burglars don’t want the added attention that comes with blaring sounds. However, there are many burglars that have adapted their ways to bypass this security measure. Burglars have an easy time getting past alarm systems that are wired in because disabling them is as simple as cutting a few wires. In cases like these, it is best to upgrade your alarm system to one of the many new wireless security systems that are revolutionizing home safety. But if you don’t want to get an alarm, you can look into getting a dog. However, only the wireless systems give you remote access to your home and negate the possibility of someone bypassing your alarm system by cutting some wires.

8. Master bedrooms are a burglar’s first target


Most Burglars target your master bedroom first. For many, it is the only room in the house they need to go to. The master bedroom is, more likely than not, the room in which homeowners feel the most comfortable and at peace so, chances are, a majority of their most prized possessions and valuables can be located in the master bedroom. This statistic gives homeowners insight into the way burglars think. It is safer to keep your valuables in varying locations throughout your home. This will eventually throw burglars off if they cannot find many high valued items in your master bedroom. The probability of them leaving increases after they have searched the master bedroom and come up empty.

9. A burglary occurs every 15 seconds


A burglary is estimated to occur once every 15 seconds according to the Electronic Security Association. Even though the national rate of burglary has gone down a bit, this does not mean that it is no longer a cause for alarm. However, this statistic is merely a way for homeowners to know that they have to be constantly on the guard when it comes to the safety of their homes. It transcends much more than just keeping your valuables safe, it also extends to the lives and well-being of your family members. The bottom line is, you can never know when a burglary is going to occur in your home, but it pays to be prepared for it. You are better safe than sorry because burglars ask for forgiveness, not permission.

Category: Crime, Residential, Safety & Security

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