In fact, 23.8 percent of property claims involve burglary, causing an estimated $4.6 billion in lost property. Plus, with only 13 percent of burglaries cleared by police, the likelihood of retrieving your stolen items is fairly small.
This brings up two important questions:
Are there items that make homes more susceptible to burglary?
What can be done to help prevent it?
Below is a breakdown on where and how burglaries occur, along with some additional information on protecting your residence from potential break-ins.
If you have additional questions on how your homeowners insurance responds to burglary, please feel free to give our office a call.
Where do burglaries occur?
Of all burglaries, 60.5 percent involved a forcible entry with another 33.2 percent as unlawful entries (without force). The majority of break-ins occur in the following locations:
- Front Door: 34%
- First-Floor Windows: 23%
- Side Entry: 22%
- Garage: 9%
What can I do to help prevent it?
- Protect the house.
- Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in.
- Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked.
- Don’t allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.
- Pushbutton locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
- Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
Don’t Tempt a Thief:
- Lawn mowers, barbecues and bicycles should be stored out of sight.
- Always lock your garden sheds and garages.
- Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
Locks…Get the Best:
- No lock, regardless of its quality, can be truly effective. Key-in dead bolt locks provide minimum security.
- Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
- When moving into a new home, have all locks changed.
Targeting the Outside:
- Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
- Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
- Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.
- Most windows can be pinned for security.
- Drill a 3/16″ hole on a slight downward slant through the inside window frame and halfway into the outside frame – place a nail in the hole to secure the window.
- An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There is a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.
- If you have a home alarm system, use it! Activate your alarm system — Alarm systems are only useful when you remember to activate them.
- Many individuals have alarm systems but do not arm them because it is inconvenient. Many burglars know this and will not be deterred by a window sticker or sign indicating that the home has an alarm system.
If Your Home Is Broken Into:
- If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:
- Do not enter – the perpetrator may still be inside.
- Use a neighbor’s phone to call police.
- Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
- Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
- Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.
Other precautions you should take:
Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other “secret” hiding places — burglars know where to look for hidden keys.