A burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the US, but still we never think it will happen to us. Though the Washington D.C. metropolitan area is safer than many other parts of the United States, that does not mean we are immune to thefts and attacks within our homes. The stark reality is that with over 2 million home break-ins in the USA, it can still happen to you. It’s always better to be prepared than to be stuck in a situation you don’t know how to handle.
According to 2017’s statistics, here are your chances of a home invasion based on your town:
- Manassas, VA – 1 in 51
- Manassas Park, VA – 1 in 99
- Gainesville, VA – 1 in 136
- Centreville, VA – 1 in 90
- Chantilly, VA – 1 in 59
- Fairfax, VA – 1 in 59
- Bristow, VA – 1 in 137
- Haymarket, VA – 1 in 246
How to Arm Your Home
The most common point of entry for a burglary is the front door, typically in broad daylight. The second and third most common points of entry are the back door and first floor windows, so it is important to make sure they are all securely locked. For your front and back door it is suggested to have more than one lock — one of those locks being a deadbolt. On average, homeowners suffer a loss of $2,230 during a burglary. The most common profile for a burglar is a younger male that lives in your neighborhood looking to fund a drug addiction. This profile is slowly changing as internet-based cash schemes and crimes are on the rise.
So what do burglars look for when they single out your home?
- According to a study done by UNC Charlotte, 60% of burglars look for homes without alarm systems.
- If you own a corner house, you are more likely to be a target as neighbors tend to be further away and corner homes are overall more accessible.
- Having a house keeper or landscaper can increase your risk of a burglary as more than a third of burglars have are people housekeepers and landscapers personally know.
- Not having children increases your risk of burglary as well.
- Homes without dogs. 50% of burglars surveyed have stated they would reconsider stealing from homes with dogs as they can create too much noise.
- Your home isn’t well lit from the outside.
- You follow a general routine or pattern in your day-to-day life.
- Burglars also look for signs that you have something worth stealing. One of those signs is a fancy car. Another is having too many locks.
- You rent instead of own.
So, given these statistics, how can you keep your home safe?
- Get a security system or dogs
- Put a generic security system sign in your yard
- The burglar may know how to disarm specific security systems, so it is best to leave your brand of security system to their imagination.
- Have children — higher occupancy rates have contributed to less burglaries
- Don’t show off your wealth to neighbors
- Light up your landscape with motion sensor floodlights
- Keep shrubbery trimmed and short so burglars have nowhere to hide
- Cover your home’s windows with curtains so burglars can’t see what you have inside
We hope these tips keep your home safe from burglaries. Keeping weapons in each room is a helpful way to have quick access to tools that may help scare away burglars, though it is good to keep in mind most burglars are not armed (~88% of burglars enter homes unarmed).