Feeling safe with the assurance that our personal belongings are secure in our homes may be something we rarely think about. When we leave our homes, we tend to focus only on locking the front door, while forgetting at times that windows are left open, garage and back doors are left unlocked, and the trees and bushes along the house have not been trimmed, leaving plenty of places for burglars to hide. Why do we do such things?
For many of us, it’s carelessness, and for others it’s not believing we’ll ever be part of a statistical reality that unfortunately affects millions of victims each year. There are more than 2.2 million burglaries per year in the United States, and 70 percent of those are home burglaries. (Source: SecurAmerica, LLC)
If that information alarms you, read on to learn about what areas of your home are most likely to be broken into.
Most Common Home Break-In Areas
Knowing these vulnerable spots can help you prevent theft of your valuables, while keeping yourself and your loved ones safe from unwanted intruders (Source of statistics: Washington Post: Anatomy of a Burglary).
Front Door: 34% of the Time
Yes, you read that correctly. Burglars most often walk through the the front door. A burglar will often check the front door first because residents tend to leave extra keys under doormats, in planters, or in fake rocks.
What to Do: Never leave extra keys in “special” hiding places, because burglars know where to look for them. Remember, many burglars are professionals at breaking into homes, so don’t think you can fool them. It’s also a good idea to install a strong, durable deadbolt, because criminals may try kicking open a locked door when you’re not home.
First-Floor Windows: 23% of the Time
As their second choice besides breaking in through your front door, burglars often use first-floor windows to enter your residence.
What to Do: Don’t leave windows partly open thinking that it will deter a burglar from entering your home, because it won’t. Sometimes criminals use brute force to break through, so it’s advisable to always shut your windows completely and lock them. Additionally, use window sensors or glass break sensors, so you can be alerted to any tampering or intrusion.
Back Door: 22% of the Time
Most burglaries happen between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. (the hours most people are at work or school), which means a burglar can simply walk into your backyard without having to worry if you or your neighbors are home watching.
What to Do: Once you’ve locked the front door and first-floor windows, make sure you also lock the back door. Installing perimeter cameras on your property is also a great way to capture criminals or unwanted guests on video; plus, burglars often keep away from houses with visible security cameras.
Garage: 9% of the Time
All too often, homeowners remember to secure every part of their home except for the garage. Burglars love these people.
What to Do: Other than ensuring your garage door is closed and locked, make sure to change the garage-door opener code from the manufacturer’s default code. Most new openers have a factory-set code that is meant to be change after installation. If you don’t immediately change the code, you’ll run the risk of having a burglar drive down your street with various brands of remote controls, searching for garage doors that will open. Adding a garage door sensor is another great way to keep tabs on when your garage door is unexpectedly opened.
Other Areas Burglars Break Into Homes
Burglars also break into homes through unlocked storage areas (6% of the time), the basement (4% of the time), and second-floor windows (2% of the time). Even though these statistics are low compared to the areas listed above, you’ll still want to secure these areas just as well.
What to Do: Make sure bushes are trimmed back so that there are fewer places for criminals to hide. Cut off any tree limbs that are near or next to second-floor windows, because burglars are often unafraid to climb up trees and use their branches to enter your house. And finally, place home security warning signs throughout your property, whether you have a security system installed or now.
How to Secure Your Whole Home
Burglars are opportunistic criminals, so if your home seems like a hassle to rob, they’ll move onto a different home with less obstacles.
When it comes to keeping yourself, your family, and your personal belongings safe at home, first make sure to lock all possible entrances to your home. Secondly, install a home security system. There are various systems to consider from pro-grade security systems to DIY security systems, as well as video surveillance and stand-alone alerts. Some of these systems can even be paired with your cell phone to send you real-time mobile alerts.
Stay ahead of the game when it comes to home security and take advantage of the many ways technology can assist you. Being part of the home automation community is a great way to start. It will help keep burglars away and most importantly ensure your home and everything in it is safe from harm or being stolen.
To learn more about home security systems, Home Controls offers free support to assist you with product advice and system designs. Please call our toll-free number at 858-693-8887 (7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific, Monday – Friday).