2019 was a groundbreaking year within the security industry. Long standing trends and statistics were thrown out the window, forcing homeowners and renters to re-evaluate their current environment. While home invasions and property crimes are nothing new, this year has ushered in a new group of potential targets. Savvy criminals are adapting to their target’s behaviors, and for now, have seemingly outsmarted their victims.
According to a recent FBI report, 1 in 5 homes in the United States will fall victim to a violent, forcible entry in its lifetime. Furthermore, as of 2019, for the first time in history residents in suburban and rural communities are at higher risk for burglary than those in urban areas. The average loss per successful burglary attempt is $2,416. A home invasion not only affects the victim financially, but even when not home, the victim can feel a sense of paranoia and of being violated. It’s very difficult for the victim of a burglary to feel confident in the safety their home provides. Not to mention, the obvious physical harm that can occur when the victim is home when a forcible entry takes place.
When examined closely, logic can make sense of many of the variables contributing to this trend. Some factors aren’t quite as clear. First, urban areas have higher visibility. More people means more sets of eyes to deter a possible crime. Rural and suburban residents often contribute to this trend by adopting a “small town” mindset. Many of these residents do not take necessary steps to protect themselves. By leaving doors unlocked, distributing extra keys, or access codes, and quite frankly, trusting others too much with vital information, can lead to your home becoming a target. On the other hand, there are some other contributing factors that don’t immediately come to mind when thinking of property crime. Rural homes especially, might not have access to reliable home monitoring systems and response. Digital monitoring relies on fast, reliable fiber optic, or network connections that might not be found in remote areas. Furthermore, even if a home is protected by a security system, when law enforcement officials are based miles away, the ability to respond to an alarm in a timely manner drastically decreases. Finally, suburban sprawl has made it easy for intruders to case an area. Within multi-family properties, there may be up to several hundred residences in a relatively small area, making it easier for criminals to pick and choose their victims.
While the current trend might be disturbing to renters and home-owners alike, Signal Security provides some steps that can be taken to help protect you and your home from becoming a negative statistic:
Vary your schedule: The majority of property crimes take place between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm. If possible, vary your times being at home and times out tending to errands. If you have a set work schedule, try to designate a close friend or family member to drive by, or check on your property. If possible, go home during the day to check mail, or for lunch breaks.
Keep vital information secure: Do not indicate to neighbors or service providers anything referencing your work schedule, or times you will be away from home. If on an extended stay away from home, do not post on social media until you return home. Keep access codes, house keys, and other private information privy to only your closest associates.
Don’t take the “little things” for granted: Always lock the doors to both your home and vehicles. Criminals can gain access to your home through smart devices and garage openers found in vehicles. Even if you feel like your community is safe, never adopt the mindset that a burglary cannot happen where you live.
Pay for home security: The extra cost you spend on a monthly basis is invaluable if it protects your property even once. If you’re a homeowner, get a home monitoring system or digital doorbell. You can access controls remotely from your smart device and deter criminals at the touch of a button. If you’re a renter, ask your property manager if they contract a private security contractor. If they don’t, ask them to research security providers. As a renter, your peace of mind should be a priority to your property manager, not to mention your rent includes amenities, which should include safety and security measures.
By following some of the above pointers, it’s our hope to establish a new trend. One that leads us to report in the coming years that property crime rates are falling across the nation. Security and peace of mind are invaluable, and should never be taken for granted. Signal is the leading provider of security expertise and insight. If you are a property owner, schedule a free assessment and let our experts develop a customized security solution for your business.
We would love to hear your feedback! Please let us know in the comments section if you found this blog helpful, thought provoking, or otherwise. Are there any other security or safety tips you think we missed and would like to share?