Breaking Down Breaking & Entering: 10 Surprising Home Burglary Facts

Breaking Down Breaking & Entering: 10 Surprising Home Burglary Facts

May 27, 2021

8 minute read…

Learn the shocking stats and ways that criminals breach your home- and the best ways to protect your family, property, and belongings.
Home burglary is one of the most common and feared property crimes in the United States. In fact, homes are burglarized every 18 seconds in the United States, alone! Thinking too much about home burglary can be stressful, and for good cause- it causes both monetary and financial devastation. But the number one way to protect yourself and your property is to know what you’re up against so you can know what measures to take to prevent burglary.
Here are 10 home burglary facts that everyone should know, as well as ways to prevent it from happening.

1. 34% of burglars walk right through the front door

Breaking Down Breaking & Entering: 10 Surprising Home Burglary Facts
One of the most common ways criminals get into your house?
Right through the front door!
Burglars aren’t afraid to just walk right in. If the door is locked, they might not be adverse to picking a lock, breaking glass, or kicking the door in.
Reduce this by making sure your home is locked at all times- even when you’re at home. Use a heavy metal or wood door. Solid doors are much safer as they are way harder to kick down. A heavy duty deadbolt lock is also a must- they are much harder to get into. Mounting a security camera or sensor lights is another way to deter burglars from walking right into your home.
Make sure you don’t give your key away, and certainly don’t have a “hide key.” For the best way to protect your locks, consider automation and smart locks. They are much harder to penetrate and you can check on them through a simple smartphone app.

2. The majority of break-ins are committed by burglars who live nearby

Shockingly, burglars often live within a two mile radius of the homes they target. If you watch shows like Criminal Minds, you may have heard things like “comfort zone.” This is actually a very true phenomenon. Criminals feel safe in places they know well. They may even try to get to know you. And they’re always looking out for signs that you aren’t home. Things like newspapers piling up, an unmowed lawn, and no lights or sounds.
You can protect yourself by varying your routine. You can do this by investing in home automation to make it seem like you are home when you aren’t. This is one of the best ways to make your home an undesirable target to those close to you or scoping out your property.

3. A burglary, on average, happens once every 30 seconds in the United States.

Breaking Down Breaking & Entering: 10 Surprising Home Burglary Facts
Burglaries are an incredibly common crime all over the globe, including in the United States. According to the FBI, on average, burglaries occur every 30 seconds.

This is a startling statistic, and there’s more:

  • Over 3000 burglaries on an average day
  • 2 burglaries per minute
  • This is a conservative estimate- the FBI reports it could be as high as every 22 seconds.
  • There are an estimated 2.5 million burglaries committed every year in the United States.
  • 66% of these burglaries were classified as home invasion.
  • Homeowners report burglary being one of the top property crime worries
As you can see, burglary is one of the top property crimes, and invasion of home can cause a great deal of stress. Outside of physical assault, burglary is one of the most invasive crimes that increase vulnerability in victims.

4. The average loss from a burglary is $2,661- and the emotional toll may be even higher.

Breaking Down Breaking & Entering: 10 Surprising Home Burglary Facts
Burglary results in a ton of costs- both monetarily and emotionally.
Even people who don’t feel like they have a lot of valuables stand to lose a ton of money if their home is burgled. The average loss of a home break-in is about $3,000.
Costs include loss of belongings, time missed from work, changing locks, and more. For people living paycheck to paycheck, this can be quite the hit. This is one case where an ounce of prevention is cheaper than a pound of cure.
Upgrading home security may seem like a hefty cost, but it is recouped when figuring in a single, isolated burglary incident. This is especially true when considering that repeated break-ins are especially likely if the criminal feels the home is an easy target.
In addition to the financial hit, victims of break-ins often report a huge emotional toll.
Out of a survey of nearly 700 victims, 67% of respondents noted that their mental health suffered as a result of a break in. 63% of respondents had trouble sleeping afterwards. 50% of respondents noted that the criminal damaged or stole sentimental items deemed irreplaceable.
Given the hefty financial and emotional costs, it makes sense to consider increasing security to deter criminals from breaking into your safe haven.

5. Breaks-ins are one of the most feared property crimes.

Breaking Down Breaking & Entering: 10 Surprising Home Burglary Facts
Break-ins are the most common and most-feared property crimes. For good reason- burglaries take away a sense of safety.
  • In a survey by Policy Advice, 58% of respondents feared a break-in occurring while they were asleep
  • 60% of respondents feared break-in when they weren’t home.
  • Break-ins were more feared than theft, fraud, and other property crimes.

6. Most burglaries happen in broad daylight.

Most people imagine burglars prowling around in the dead of the night. However, in most instances, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Surveys on burglary show that the most common time for criminals to break into homes and properties is between 12PM and 4PM.

FBI data confirms this:

  • 45% of all reported burglaries happened during the day
  • 38% of reported burglaries happen at night.
  • Some statistics show that this trend may be changing and nighttime burglaries might be growing.
The reasoning typically is that most (but not all!) burglars don’t want to do you any harm. They want to get in and out as soon as possible with as much money and goods as possible. Burglary becomes a home invasion when someone is home. When people are present, the stakes go up.

7. Burglaries rise in the summer.

Burglaries tend to happen more in the summertime. With rising temperatures comes rising crime, including burglaries. Between June and August, burglaries rise about 10%.
Why the increase?
Homes are often more tempting because doors and windows are left open more often, and renters or homeowners spend less time, on average, at home when the weather is gorgeous. For criminals, this creates more opportunities to break into your home and steal what’s yours.

8. Someone is at home during about 3 out of every 10 break-ins!

The only thing worse than getting your house broken into is getting your house broken into while you’re home. According to the United States Department of Justice, victims have been home during 28% of burglaries. 7% of these victims experience a violent crime as a result of said burglary.
When homeschooling and remote learning is on the rise, this is particularly problematic. Taking extra security measures to protect you and your family is key.
Though the odds of a break in occurring when home or violence occurring is less likely, being prepared and taking security seriously can make all the difference.

9. Renters are especially a burglary target- a problem for landlords and tenants alike.

Breaking Down Breaking & Entering: 10 Surprising Home Burglary Facts
Rental properties are surprisingly more likely to be burglarized than homeowners. This makes security a very important issue.
  • Homes with no security gates or security systems are 300% more likely to be broken into.
  • Many burglars find rentals to be an easy target since they don’t typically have these security measures.
  • 7.2% of burglaries result in injury- which should be of utmost concern to tenants serious about their security and landlords who want to make sure their tenants and properties are safe.
This problem affects both landlords and tenants. No one wants to live somewhere unsafe. Installing a gate operator can help keep residents safe, reduce break-ins, and make a more secure apartment complex- resulting in more occupants and higher revenues.

10. Burglaries are showing an overall downward trend.

The most up to date and current crime information shows that burglaries actually fell almost 10 percent in the last few years. The US Department of Justice found over a 56% drop in burglaries from 1993 to 2011. While this may seem like good news, there is still cause for concern. Even though burglaries are decreasing, in 2019 alone there were over 3 billion dollars in losses in the United States as a result of this crime! That is a ridiculously high amount.

How to protect your home and family from a burglary

The good news- FBI analysts have determined that over 90% of all burglaries are preventable.
The bad news- Up to 40% of Americans don’t do anything at all to prevent burglaries.
Putting up basic defenses can make your home less enticing to a criminal, which can reduce your chances of being a victim of burglary. By reading this article, you are already ahead of tons of people. Knowing important information on burglaries is the first step to protecting your home and family. With a few simple steps, you can go even further and really deter criminals from targeting your property.

Consider Installing a Security Fence and Gate Operator

A security fence and gate operator is one of the best ways to protect your property and family.
Automatic gate operators are incredibly effective in preventing people from getting in. Burglars want something fast, easy, and non-intimidating. An automatic gate opener with security fencing prevents easy access to your home, property, and family.
Criminals don’t want to be seen climbing over a fence, and they certainly want a way to get out quickly if something goes wrong. Criminals won’t just be deterred by the fence- they’ll also be wondering what other security defenses you have. After all, if you have a security gate, why wouldn’t you have more deterrents? Having a gate is absolutely the best way to make your house completely unattractive to would-be criminals.
No matter what kind of property you have, there is a gate operator that can protect your investment. Both electric sliding gate openers and electric swing gate openers can help secure your home and belongings, providing peace of mind and security for you and your loved ones.

Other Safety Measures to Protect Your Home

Burglary can cause such financial and emotional devastation. We hate to see when people suffer as a result of burglary or breaking and entering. We are serious about home security and believe that whatever you can do to help deter crime is a step forward.
To be clear, we aren’t victim blaming, but we want to make sure that everyone takes preventable measures to reduce the risk of a break-in. There are a ton of things you can do to stay safe!
  • Don’t post about not being home! Posting on social media may seem fun, but posting beach pics and checking in shows thieves you aren’t home. Burglaries aren’t always committed by strangers, either. A thief could be right under your nose- hiding in your friend or followers lists!
  • Make sure you have insurance. This helps to protect valuables! You probably already have homeowners insurance if you own your home, but if you rent, make sure you get renters’ insurance. This can really save you a ton of money if you do end up being the victim of a break-in!
  • Keep your yard tidy. Criminals just adore a landscape that isn’t well maintained. Keep trees and bushes trimmed so they don’t offer respite as a hiding spot for criminals. If you do go on vacation, keep up yard work, including mowing the lawn. If you let your otherwise tidy lawn get unruly, that’s a key indication for thieves that you aren’t home.
  • Install a home security system. An alarm system is cheaper than you might think- and certainly costs less than a break-in. DIY systems start at less than $200 with monitoring as cheap as $5 each month. Home security systems are more likely to deter criminals as they want to get in and out as easily as possible.
  • Talk to the landlord. As you know from this list, renters are at a high risk of burglary and break-in. Talk to your landlord about security concerns if you are worried. You can also look for home security systems that are compact and meant for renters.
  • Do what you can now. Don’t put off home security until after property crime happens. You don’t have to do everything at once. Do what you can to mitigate risk, and you’re well on your way to having a more secure home.

Conclusion

We get it. These statistics can be downright scary for homeowners and renters alike. You work hard to buy nice things, so of course you want to do everything you can to protect your family, property, and belongings.
Most burglaries don’t involve using a weapon or any sort of violence. A small amount do, but most burglars want to get in and get out- with as much of your hard-earned property as possible. Most victims report a fear that a burglar may return or an uneasy feeling about the criminal violating their home or safe space.
This list isn’t meant to scare you, but to educate you. We believe that the more you educate yourself, the more you can prepare and defend yourself and your property from becoming victims of breaking and entering.
By knowing these tips, you are empowered to make choices that benefit you and keep you safe.
Eagle Operators is here to help you. We have gate operators for every home, landscape, or business. Installing a security fence and automatic gate opener is a great way to deter would-be criminals and keep your home, family, property, and belongings safe- as well as have peace of mind.