Most property crimes don’t involve physical danger to residents. Burglars want to get in, grab cash and valuables and get out. But if you’ve ever experienced a break-in, you understand the sense of violation. Troubling questions arise: What if my family had been home? Could they have hurt us? High-income areas like Northern Virginia often become targets for criminals around the region. Large, secluded properties are a dream target unless they’re protected. Fortunately, there are proven steps you can take to deter intruders and protect your home. Installing a high-quality security system is at the top of the list.
What Are The Chances Someone Will Break Into My Home?
The term burglary refers to someone illegally breaking into your home (it’s still a crime even if nothing is stolen). Theft or robbery involves stealing property, and a home invasion is a break-in that occurs while residents are in the home–the scariest but least common of the three.
In its most recent statistics, the FBI reported more than 1.1 million burglaries in 2019. This means more than 3,000 burglaries in the US every day and a yearly rate of 336 per 1000,000 inhabitants. According to Neighborhood Scout’s safety report, Virginia residents have a 1 in 61 chance of being victims of a property crime. In a nutshell, there’s a fairly significant chance your home could be burglarized–even in low-crime areas like Northern Virginia. Most burglaries happen during the day when residents aren’t home. But even if you’re physically safe, there’s still a sense that the break-in has shattered your privacy, safety, and security. Fortunately, research tells us what burglars look for when they target a home–and how to avoid a break-in.
What Attracts Burglars To A Home?
There are a handful of glaring signals that invite burglars into your home. Failing to set up a security system is one of the main mistakes homeowners make. Here’s a look at red flags that could make you a target:
- Low visibility location: if your house is secluded or off the beaten path, it can be attractive for burglars. Burglars choose single-family homes more than townhomes or apartments because there’s a smaller chance of being spotted. Criminals often avoid locations with heavy traffic or other houses or businesses close by.
- Full mailboxes or trash cans let potential criminals know that no one is home.
- According to the US Department of Justice, a majority of burglaries happen in the summer. Posting vacation plans on social media is a no-no.
- Failure to secure doors and windows makes your home an easy target. Thirty percent of burglaries involve the intruder going through an unlocked door. Open windows are also a draw.
- If you don’t have a home security system, you’re inviting criminals into your home. According to the insurance comparison site The Zebra (using information from the FBI and other sources), homes without a security system are 300 percent more likely to be broken into. A 2013 the University of North Carolina study showed that a significant majority of offenders intentionally avoid homes with security systems and look for cameras and security system signs.
How Can I Protect My Home From Break-Ins
There are several common-sense steps you can take to protect your home from break-ins. A high-quality security system is at the top of the list.
- In a survey by The Zebra, experts listed exterior cameras as the essential feature in a security system. Motion sensors and floodlights round out the top three must-haves. Other assets include video doorbells, window and door sensors, and digital door locks.
- Security alarms deter burglars and alert homeowners and the authorities to break-ins.
- In most cases, burglary is a crime of opportunity. Solid doors and high-quality locks keep intruders out. If a break-in isn’t easy, they’re likely to move onto the next house.
- Change locks when you move to a new home.
- Keep your yard tidy and make sure mailboxes and trash cans show that someone is home. Avoid ostentatious displays that indicate valuables inside.
- Build relationships with your neighbors and keep an eye on each other’s houses. Community awareness and support are essential to preventing crime.
Does A Security System Lower My Insurance Rates?
According to Consumer Reports, a monitored home security system can mean significant savings on insurance premiums. A complete system generally means a 5 to 8 percent discount. It’s a valuable perk, but the peace of mind that comes with a reliable security system is an even bigger bonus.
What Should I Do If There’s An Intruder In My Home?
Most burglaries occur when residents are not at home. Burglars usually look to avoid confrontation and get in and out undetected. Home invasions are break-ins that happen while residents are in the house. Fortunately, they are rarer than burglaries but can put residents in danger when they happen. Here are some tips for dealing with a home invasion:
- Make a plan with your family and discuss what you will do if an intruder enters while you are home.
- Stay calm and don’t panic. Most intruders are looking to steal property and avoid harming residents. No material object is worth risking your life or health.
- Don’t attempt to handle the situation yourself. Instead, call 911.
- Cameras and remote monitoring equipment can alert family members and authorities to danger and allow them to help you even if they’re not on site.
- Panic alarms that you can activate from inside your home are a valuable part of a home security system and alert authorities when you are threatened.
How Can A Home Security System Keep My Home and Family Safe?
Along with common-sense safety measures and partnering with neighbors, a high-quality security system is one of the best ways to protect your home and family from intruders. Today’s technology allows us to watch what’s happening at home even when we’re not there.
Aegis Technologies is an independent security and audio-visual firm serving businesses and savvy residential customers in the Washington, DC region. Our knowledgeable team of security specialists will analyze your security challenges and create solutions using the best products available. Options include:
- Security cameras
- Live webcams
- Remote monitoring
- Card access
- Gate and door control
- Security alarms
- Panic alarms
Unlike the one-size-fits-all approach many home securities take, Aegis Technologies offers customized services to design a security system just for you. Our region’s high-end homes, extensive properties, and complex security needs require creative solutions that go way beyond a video doorbell. Contact us for a review of your home’s security: we’ll identify weak spots and recommend effective solutions to keep you and your family safe.