Classes have started, and children are out of the house in New England. That means during regular business hours, your home is empty and more vulnerable to burglars than in the summer months.
Burglary is a serious problem. In 2017 — the most recent year with reliable statistics — some 1.4 million burglaries were committed across the United States, says the FBI. That’s about 18 percent of all property crimes committed in 2017.
The overall cost in property loss ran to about $3.4 billion, and the robbery of residential properties represented some 67 percent of all burglary crimes. Unfortunately, police only solve about 13 percent of burglary cases, Alarms.org reports.
What Do Burglars Want?
Most burglaries share certain similarities, according to a University of North Carolina at Charlotte 2016 criminology report. In 80 percent of the burglaries, no one is home when the crime is committed.
- Burglaries typically occur during the day (12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
- Just one out of six happens at night (or 10:01 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.)
During one week in September 2017, a thief (or thieves) attacked three homes in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, in broad daylight. The culprit(s) successfully kicked in the doors of two homes and stole a variety of items, including an iPhone and a Nintendo system, says a Boston 25 article.
Homeowners can take a number of precautions to protect their residences and properties. Here are a few suggestions, both high and low tech:
- Adopt a dog: Make sure you hang a “Beware of Dog” sign to discourage any would- be thieves.
- Install extra-strong security doors: They can be made of wood, steel or other materials, depending on your needs and budget.
- Replace the locks: This especially applies if you have just moved into the house.
- Familiarize yourself with your neighbors: This costs nothing and pays huge dividends. Your neighbor can keep an eye on your property, collect your mail when you’re gone, and otherwise act as a surrogate family member.
- Install an electronic surveillance and alarm system: Get a proven vendor who can install high-resolution cameras in the most vulnerable places in and around your house. Add sensors and related systems to monitor your house and its environmental conditions when you are away. You can also select a vendor who provides 24/7 monitoring services to give you extra piece of mind.
With these solutions you can breathe a bit easier, even with no one home.
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