The Dangers And Solutions To Small Crime Part 1 Burglaries

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Real security requires a realistic look at the world. No way around it. The truth is that although serious crimes do happen, the bulk of criminal activity in this country is not actually under FBI’s radar. Nonetheless becoming a victim to a “small” crime is still a pretty traumatic event.

This is why today we kick off with a series highlighting the lesser, but much more common threats that we all face on a daily basis.

Today’s article will deal with burglaries, people stealing stuff from your home while you’re away. Coincidentally, this IS one of the crimes that FBI tracks so here’s what their data tells for the 2000-2011 interval. Make of it what you will. To me it seems that the drop in crime people keep clamoring about is sublime, but somewhat non-existing.

Anyway to give you a better idea of what those numbers mean, 2 million break-ins roughly equals one break-in every 13 seconds. Yay for math. That’s roughly the time you need to read this paragraph.

Sorry I couldn’t help it. Me and my statistics:

So what can we do about it?

Step 1: Know Thy Neighbors. I mean it. Landlines can be cut, but your neighbor can always keep an eye out, especially if he/she knows you’re away.

Step 2: Don’t Get Stupid. Use your common sense. Do you think that the doormat or the plant pot is a good place to hide your key? Hint: It’s NOT.

Step 3: Get Sneaky About It. Make it look like your empty home is not in fact empty. Automatic lights, leave the shades exactly the same, maybe leave the TV on. Go wild.

Step 4: May the Force Be with You, or at the very least with your doors. Seriously. Reinforcing your doors really is a good idea and it makes for a fairly easy and fun DIY project. Please note, the definitions of easy and fun might differ from person to person. If the word IKEA scares you, just hire a damn professional.

Step 5: Go with the Obvious. Yes, I know. Alarm systems can be expensive and they do not scale well in case of systemic risk a.k.a. when the brown stuff really hits the fan. But in the meantime they can actually be quite effective, especially if they rely on wireless connections and they have some backup power. To give you the raw numbers, not having an alarm system makes your house 3 times more likely to be hit.

Next time we deal with fraud and identity theft, which is a much more widespread phenomenon and extremely difficult to counter.

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