Is Your Home at Risk of Being Burglarized? Location Matters
Every home is a target for burglary, so that means the risk factor is 100%, as in, every residential building with four walls harbors something of value. Obviously, one of the primary mitigating factors is whether the house is equipped with a monitored alarm system. Research into the burglar mentality found in a 2012 study from the University of North Carolina, Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology, that around 60% of burglars “indicated that the presence of an alarm would cause them to seek an alternative target altogether.”
Apart from whether an alarm system is installed, close examination of the physical location of the house and its immediate surroundings can really expose vulnerabilities that impact the risk profile for a burglary.
Where, exactly, on the street is your house, and what kind of street is it?
These details matter greatly when it comes to security. According to U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, houses that back up to an alley face greater burglary risk, because alleys provide “both access and escape for burglars, and limited visibility to neighbors.”
The same organization also found that the typical suburban corner lot is more vulnerable. This stems from the fact that burglars can observe and assess targeted houses on corner lots inconspicuously from around the corner, also, the adjacent homes tend to be more spaced out, offering reduced risk of detection from neighbors.
What kind of neighborhood do you live in, and what’s nearby?
The British Government conducted research from the UK (and easily applicable to the US) that found the odds of becoming a target for burglary were increased for those houses in proximity to areas with heavy traffic patterns, as well as houses close to bike paths or pedestrian walkways.
Another locational element that factors into the risk equation is that New Jersey, infamously, counts five hundred and sixty-six independent municipalities (all crammed into the most densely populated state in the country), all separately taxed, governed and policed. This leads to scenarios where a town like Millburn, (just down the road from our corporate HQ) will, statistically speaking, have a low crime rate, with 54 sworn police officers protecting a population of 20,000 over 10 square miles. The issue for Millburn homeowners concerning burglary is the fact that the town is a 5-minute drive from Irvington, a 3-square mile town of 53k, patrolled by 132 sworn officers, which endures a violent crime rate that is among the highest in the nation.
While some burglary cases involve perpetrators from outside the area, even outside the state, the majority of home break-ins are committed by locals. A study from the Center for Public Safety Initiatives at the Rochester Institute of Technology found that burglars target areas that they’re intimately familiar with, i.e. their own neighborhoods and neighborhoods close by.
This is not to say that if your home fits a few or more of these characteristics that you should panic, and in order to ensure your family is protected put your home on the market. Reach out to a reputable company that offers the latest home security technology through a UL-rated 24×7, 365 day monitoring center and have your specific security situation analyzed and your needs assessed.