Alarm Industry Organization Advice to Homeowners: Think like a Burglar

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With residential crime still increasing across much of the US, more people are focusing on exactly what leads an intruder target your house vs. your neighbor’s – and what you can do about it. We are learning more about how burglars think, as described in my recent post listing common home security mistakes from the intruder’s perspective. And now the Electronic Security Association (ESA), our industry’s leading organization has weighed in with its own findings. This article is definitely worth a read!

The preliminary 2012 Uniform Crime Report published by the FBI recently reported that nearly every U.S. region saw increases in property crime, burglary and robbery in 2012 compared to 2011. Thanks to technology and innovative security measures, homeowners don’t have to become a part of the burglary statistic. The Electronic Security Association (ESA) offers homeowners insight into the mind of a burglar, along with tips for reducing the risk of a burglary.

Most home burglaries can be classified as random opportunistic acts – not planned events. Homeowners can protect against burglary by looking at the weaknesses of their home from a burglar’s point of view. Here are a few questions a burglar might ask when deciding on a house to target.

Is anyone home?

The first thing many burglars do is check to see if anyone is home. Sometimes the burglar will simply knock on the front door. If someone answers, he or she may make up an excuse for the disturbance, such as being lost and needing directions. If the knock at the door goes unanswered, the burglar may turn the door knob to test for an unlocked or easily accessible door.

Traditional locks aren’t always the answer to home protection. On average, burglars will spend no more than 60 seconds on defeating locks to gain entry to a home. To better protect their homes, homeowners should consider upgrading to deadbolts and reinforcing the frame of their front door to make a break-in more strenuous for the burglar.

Is the home equipped with an alarm system?

A 2009 study by the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice found that an installed security system makes a dwelling less attractive to would-be and active burglars and protects the home without displacing burglaries to nearby homes. Additionally, the Cromwell-Olson-Avary study, conducted to better understand offenders’ perception of the risks and rewards involved in criminal activity, found that nearly all convicted burglars (90 percent) admitted that they would avoid homes that are equipped with security systems.

The study also revealed that if a potential burglar sees a yard sign or window decal from a credible security company outside of a home, around 75 percent would think twice about going through with an attack. But signs and decals aren’t enough to deter a burglar; security systems are the best protection against home burglary.

Will anyone notice?

Burglars tend to target homes they can get away from easily without detection. For a burglar, an ideal home would be located in a dark, lifeless neighborhood with good hiding places and escape paths, such as overgrown bushes or trees in the yard.

Hiding areas can be eliminated by keeping the landscaping neatly trimmed and using an enhanced security system complete with timed or remotely-controlled lights and surveillance. These sophisticated systems give homeowners the ability to set timers and control various aspects of their homes via a smart phone, tablet or other web-enabled device.

By thinking like a burglar and using enhanced technology to reinforce security at home, homeowners can protect their property and keep their family safe from crime.

Of course, we are all over the second question – the one on the benefits of protecting the home with a security alarm. And when that burglar does decide that your home is the one, only a monitored alarm system has the potential to have police being dispatched to your home as soon as possible.

More Timely Home Security Advice

FrontPoint has prepared its own list of Top 10 Home Security Tips – and don’t be surprised to see some overlap between list of recommendations. Good security measures are not that complicated, and they are fairly well understood by law enforcement – and the alarm industry.

But let’s remember that we’re not just talking about intrusion detection: there are many other benefits with today’s fully featured alarm systems: round-the-clock fire and environmental monitoring, remote control of arming and disarming, text and email notifications, free mobile apps, video services, and even remote control of lights, locks, and thermostats. Companies like FrontPoint sell the latest technology, along with that basic peace of mind, so you can feel both protected and connected.

Yes, with a burglary taking place every 14 seconds in the US, intrusion detection is the main focus, provided by a monitored home alarm system – especially one with safer cellular monitoring. FrontPoint specializes in these systems: as the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US, that’s our commitment. FrontPoint systems are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat – for the random intruder, or the most experienced burglar.

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