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Lock Blog

A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals

How To Assess The Burglary Risk Of Your New Home

by Taylor December 26, 2022

Buying a new home is exciting. You get a fresh start in a new environment – new neighbors, new local spots, and maybe even a new job. Not to mention a new home to get comfortable inside.

It can also be a little scary. After all, you knew all the dangers and threats at your last place. Now, there’s no telling what kind of problems can come up. Maybe things aren’t what they seem. What’s the likelihood that disaster will strike? How common are home invasions?

Hopefully, you’ve already gotten your locks rekeyed, as you should always do when moving to a new place. But how is the security overall? What are the odds that someone’s going to break into your house? And how common are home invasions if you’re protected?

All kinds of factors go into assessing burglary risk. Here’s how to know how likely your new home is to fall victim to burglary:

  1. Location
  2. Company
  3. Demographic
  4. Time
  5. Security

1. Location

Burglary rates vary state by state and neighborhood by neighborhood. Your home’s location tells you a lot about its burglary risk.

So, how common are home invasions in your state? According to the Statista research department, 7 out of the top 10 states with the highest burglary rates are in the south. The exceptions being Washington, North Dakota, and Colorado.

The state with the highest burglary rate is New Mexico. The next highest are Oklahoma, Arkansas, Washington, and Louisiana. When it comes to the actual number of burglaries, according to the FBI, California has the highest. In general, high populations mean more burglaries.

So, how common are home invasions in your city? According to the FBI, the cities with the most burglaries are Houston, TX; Seattle, WA; Las Vegas, NV; San Antonio, TX; and Dallas, TX. According to Erin Duffin on Statista, the cities with the highest rates are in Hot Springs, AR; Lake Charles, LA; Alexandria, LA; Jonesboro, AR; and Danville, IL.

9 out of 10 of the states with the lowest burglary rate are around the East Coast. The exception is Idaho. Topping the list of lowest burglary rates is New Hampshire. The next lowest are Virginia, New Jersey, Maine, and Massachusetts. The lowest number of burglaries occur in Wyoming.

2. Company

The kind of people you keep around says a lot about your chance of burglary. So, how common are home invasions if you know a home invader? According to the Bureau of Justice, over half of burglars know their victims. Think about the people you know – do they fit the profile of burglars?

A survey showed that over 80% of burglars were motivated by a drug habit. Another study found that most are males between 18-24 with a previous arrest record. This study also indicated that it’s not a very well-thought-out crime – premeditated burglaries usually happen within 24 hours of planning. And a whopping 41% are spur-of-the-moment.

But how common are home invasions if you have a good neighborhood watch? Well, according to the same survey, having a neighborhood watch doesn’t help. Only 22% took notice of those signs.

3. Demographic

A study by the Bureau of Justice says a lot about which demographics are more likely to be burglary victims. The data is divided into two categories – burglaries when the house is occupied, and burglaries when it isn’t.

So, how common are home invasions when you’re currently at home? Generally speaking, single mothers are the most common victim of this crime.

And how common are home invasions when the house is empty? In general, any household with one parent is the most common victim. Native and biracial people are also more often victims of this crime.

Households with teenagers as heads are the most likely to experience a burglary, while those over 65 experience it the least.

But how common are home invasions for each type of home? In terms of rental property security, it needs to be taken more seriously because they tend to be robbed more. Single-unit and 10+ unit homes are the least likely to be robbed when someone’s home, while mobile homes and hotels are the most when no one’s home.

Locked apartments are only slightly less likely than mobile homes to get robbed while people are home. Overall, married couples with children are the least likely to experience a burglary, as are those with higher incomes.

4. Time

Both the time of day and time of the year can affect your burglary risk. Of course, these stats are home-neutral and don’t just apply to your new home, but they’re worth considering while assessing risk.

So, how common are home invasions at night? According to the FBI, most burglaries happen during the day. The Bureau of Justice reports that burglaries peak during the summer months specifically.

How common are home invasions when you’re away from home? Well, as you can imagine, that’s an easy time to take advantage of a house. In the Bureau of Justice survey above, only one-quarter of burglaries where no one’s home happens while the victim is at work. It is even worse when you are trying to protect your home while on vacation.

5. Security

Finally, you should look at your security to determine if it’s vulnerable to burglars. Burglars are skilled and are great at assessing a house’s security and figuring out whether or not it’s feasible for them to break in.

A surprising number of burglaries happen with little to no resistance. FBI crime statistics show that 35.2% involve no force, 6.5% attempt force, and only 58.3% successfully break in with force.

So, how common are home invasions if you don’t have a security system? According to some crime statistics, you’re three times more likely to experience a break-in if you don’t have a home security system like motion sensors and security cameras installed.

The survey above notes that dogs deter burglars only 34% of the time. And only 48% are discouraged by any noise.

How common are home invasions by each entry point? The Zebra conducted a survey and compiled data on this. As you can imagine, 81% of burglars entered through the first floor, while 2% climbed up to the second floor. 9% found entry points through the basement. 34% use the front door as entry, 22% take the back door, and 9% find weaknesses in the garage door security. 23% get in through a window.

How are your locks? According to the Bureau of Justice survey above, burglars tamper with locks if no one’s home.

In burglaries where someone was home, 30% of the time, the burglar has the front door opened for them, so good locks in these scenarios are pointless. But that’s only 30% – how common are home invasions in scenarios where locks don’t matter? After all, the remaining 70% of the time, the occupant is either asleep or in another room, so you still need good locks.

According to a survey of burglars, only 21% know how to disarm security systems. But only 37% are deterred by security cameras.

One element of assessing risk is looking out for signs of house casing. Are there people stopping and watching your house? Are strangers taking pictures? If the answer is yes, you might be getting cased.

FAQs

What are important home burglary statistics? 

There are many important burglary statistics to know. First, burglary is declining, particularly post-pandemic. About 1 million happen annually, and about 5.8% of people experience a burglary. Most burglaries occur in the south and during the day between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

What time do most home invasions occur?

Houses often get broken into from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

What are armed home invasion statistics?

According to the Bureau of Justice, only about 30% of home invaders are armed. Only 7% ever become violent, and there are only 100 burglary-based homicides a year, compared to the 1 million burglaries, so armed home invasion isn’t a significant risk.

What’s the likelihood of burglary at night versus day?

According to the FBI, about 27.7% of residential burglaries happen at night, while 53% happen during the day. The rest are unknown. For nonresident buildings, 40.9% occur at night, and 36.4% happen during the day.

How common are home invasions in the US?

Home invasions are different from burglaries. Home invasions are when a home is broken into with the intent to commit a crime, while burglaries are any illegal entering. Home invasions occur around a million times a year.

Conclusion

So, how common are home invasions? The answer is – it depends. There are many ways to assess how likely a burglar is to target your new home.

Assessing risk is a crucial part of moving into a new place and one that people often overlook. But now you know how to accurately look at your risk of burglary and understand the data available on how burglars operate.

If you’ve determined that your new home is likely to be targeted by a burglar, you can take some extra security measures to ensure they don’t break in. Upgrade your locks, install some cameras, and be on the lookout for other ways to deter burglars.

Now you’re well-prepared to deal with a malicious thief. Hopefully, the time will never come when you need to be well-prepared, but if it ever does, you’re ready.

Category: Crime, Safety & Security

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