Seasonal Crime Rates - Why the Summer Months Call for Increased Home Security
Jordan Frankel Commonly Known as The Security Sensei Discusses Seasonal Crime Rates in the U.S. for Burglary, Home Invasions, and Violent and Sexual Crimes
As senseless and heartless as they can be, criminals are people too. Like you, they are enticed by the pleasant weather that the summer brings and look for ways to make the most of it. The only difference is in the summer ventures they seek. While you look for ways to enjoy some innocent fun with friends and family, criminals look for ways to indulge in their guiltiest of pleasures—burglary, home invasions, and other violent and sexual crimes.
Whether you're looking to spend some time away from home this summer or simply sit and enjoy the fresh summer air from the comfort of your living room, it's important to understand your risk of being victimized by a burglar or violent criminal. The more you learn about seasonal crime rates and why the summer months call for increased home security, the more you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Seasonal Crime Rates in the U.S.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics conducts and publishes a number of studies on crime. Their most recent National Crime Victimization Survey (2014) provides important insight into the seasonal fluctuations in both property crimes and violent crimes throughout the United States. The following are some important findings from this study:
- Burglary and household larceny increases during the summer months by nearly 11%. Fall is the second most common season for these types of crimes.
- Burglary accounts for the majority of property crimes that increase during the summer.
- Aggravated assault, intimate violent crimes, and other violent crimes increase by as much as 12% during the summer months.
- Rape and sexual assault crimes are highest during the summer.
- Robbery and vehicle theft rates remain fairly steady throughout the year.
Why Do Burglary and Property Crimes Increase During the Summer Months?
When thinking about why burglaries and other property crimes increase during the summer months, the most obvious reason is summer vacations. Many families travel during the summer to enjoy time with their family and/or friends. Burglars and other criminals know this and the telltale signs that vacationing residents leave behind make their homes prime targets.
The weather also plays a role in seasonal crime patterns. Summer is the time of year when many residents open their windows to let the fresh air in. Some people purposely keep their windows open throughout the day and night. Others simply forget to close them or lock them before they go to bed or when they leave home. Open and unlocked windows provide additional opportunities for burglars and other home intruders and makes gaining entry very easy.
The warm and pleasant weather during the summer months also allows criminals to spend more time outdoors. This provides additional opportunities to case homes and neighborhoods. The pleasant weather during the daytime and evening hours also makes pulling off a burglary or another crime much easier.
Tips for Decreasing Your Risk For Burglary and Other Crimes Throughout the Year
There are a number of simple, inexpensive security measures you can take to decrease your risk for burglary and other crimes over the summer, as well as throughout the year. Over my 15+ years of home security experience and expertise, I have found the following to be the most effective.
1. Reinforce your home's windows and entry doors.
If you want to keep a criminal out of your home, you have to make your residence extremely difficult if not impossible to break into. The only way to do that is to install home security devices that are specifically designed to resist entry through doors and windows.
An effective device for securing entry doors that swing inward is the OnGARD Security Door Brace. This ingenious device can withstand over 1700 pounds of force, making kick-ins and other forceful entries nearly impossible. To see for yourself how this simple, yet highly effective and affordable home security device works, watch this quick OnGARD Security Door Brace Kick In demonstration.
For vulnerable windows and sliding glass doors, adding a layer of BurglarGARD security glass film to window panes is a must. The glass security film in the various do-it-yourself BurglarGARD glass protection kits can withstand numerous forceful strikes by a hammer, brick, rock, and even a baseball bat, making entry both difficult and risky. The time, noise, and effort it takes to bust through a window or sliding glass door protected with BurglarGARD security film is not worth the risk of being seen by someone and potentially apprehended.
When determining which doors and windows need reinforcing, be sure to assess all areas of your home, including garages, basements, and patios. Second-floor entry doors and windows located above or near decks, patio covers, trees, fences, or retaining walls should also have additional reinforcements.
2. When going on vacation, eliminate the trail of clues that tell criminals you're out of town.
Burglars prefer to break into homes when no one is there. This is what makes unoccupied homes—especially those of vacationing residents—so enticing. Some of the ways you can avoid advertising that you're out of town include the following:
- Limit who you and members of your family tell about your travel plans, and refrain from communications about your vacation through online social networks. Wait until you get back to share your vacation experience.
- Put a hold on mail and newspaper deliveries prior to your departure, or ask a trusted neighbor or friend to pick them up for you each day.
- Use indoor timers to turn lights, stereos, and TVs on and off intermittently to make it appear that someone is home.
- Ask a close friend/family member to housesit while you're gone.
For more simple yet highly effective ways to decrease your risk for burglary while on vacation, be sure to read Don't Let a Burglar Ruin Your Family Vacation.
3. Don't put your guard down when you're home. Unlike burglars, home invasion criminals prey on the residents themselves to carry out their crimes. While their intent is typically the same as burglars—to rob their victims of money and other valuables—home invasion criminals are often more brazen and violent. The risk for being physically or sexually assaulted is significantly increased during a home invasion.
In a recent Fox 10 TV's news report out of Mobile County, Alabama, a young woman and her 2-year-old child were shot by a home intruder who forced his way into their home during the evening hours. In another report by KTRK-TV out of Houston, a man was pistol whipped then shot and killed after three intruders invaded the home. The victim's wife and children lay asleep in the other room during the crime.
News reports like this serve as chilling reminders of the importance of home security while you're inside your residence. In addition to locking the door behind you after arriving home, ensure all home security devices are re-engaged, such as your home alarm/surveillance system and security door braces. If you have to have windows open while you're home, only open those that you can visualize from the room you are in. Before going to bed at night, do a home security check to ensure all doors and windows are locked and all security devices are properly engaged. Last but not least, if at any time a stranger comes knocking, DO NOT answer the door!
Decrease Your Risk of Being Victimized by Crime All Year Long
Though your risk of being victimized by crime increases during the summer months, home security is important year round. To ensure you don't fall prey to a burglary or home invasion, take the increased home security measures you learned from this article and apply them to your life, and continue to remain vigilant both when you're away and at home.
Jordan Frankel, commonly known as The Security Sensei develops revolutionary security products and solutions that protect both lives & property. Countless agencies and corporations such as NASDAQ, the US Military, and law enforcement entrust Mr. Frankel with their security and safety. Jordan Frankel is also frequent media guest addressing the personal and financial consequences associated with home invasions, burglaries and other serious threats. In addition, Mr. Frankel's security products & inventions have been featured on Oprah, FOX news and in countless publications. Jordan's ability to outsmart the proverbial bad guys - coupled with his commitment to making security an affordable reality for everyone is the key to Global Security Experts Inc success. Mr. Frankel (The Security Sensei) is available for media interviews by appointment only.
Mr. Frankel is a proud member of:
The American Society for Industrial Security.
The International Association for Counter Terrorism & Security.
The Society of Professional Locksmiths.