Several years before entering the security business, I found myself the victim of a burglary. In 2006, I was renting a brownstone in a nice neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts. Great location, I felt safe, but bad parking. It offered street parking only.
The day I was robbed, I left my house to go meet some friends for brunch in Harvard Square. About an hour later I returned home and as I approached my front door, I noticed it was open. That fact alone did not immediately alarm me, however, upon entering my unit I realized that many of my belongings were missing. Specifically, TV’s, my computer, iPod, camera, etc.
At this point I knew I was a victim of burglary. I did what anyone would do next, I called the police and filed a report. I knew the likelihood of getting my belongings back was low, but I followed the protocol anyway.
Trying to put this unfortunate incident behind me, I made a call to a local security company to get a security system for my home. I never thought burglary would happen to me, so I never had one installed. After all, I lived in a nice neighborhood that was fairly safe. However, like many, I made the call the day after I truly needed a security system. Over the next several days a few details seemed to haunt me:
- Street parking - there was no driveway. The only way for someone to know if I was home or not when they broke-in was if they had been watching my unit.
- Even worse, did they even care if I was home or not?
Fast forward to my entry into the security industry. It took me two years of asking people whether they were more concerned about burglary while they were home or away for me to realize that both are equally important, and I knew what I had lived through confirmed this realization. Criminals are bold and frankly often don’t care if you are home or away.
All of this being said, after six years of meeting with people to discuss their home security needs (most often the day after they needed the system), I have learned several valuable lessons that are important to keep in mind as a homeowner:
- A burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the United States.
- Burglaries occur everywhere. From apartment complexes to gated communities. Nobody is immune from it.
- Criminals may not care if you are home or away, and as a result, protecting your home in both situations is critical.
- Most burglaries occur in the middle of the day. 65% of burglaries take place between 6 am and 6 pm.
- 34% of burglars enter through an unlocked door! Let's be smart and not give criminals easy access. Remember to lock your doors and don't use hide-a-keys.