When the discussion turns to home security, the concept can often seem theoretical. Crimes in my town happen, you may think, but they wouldn’t happen to me. Statistics on intrusion, vandalism, and theft feel more like an aggregate of crime from more “dangerous” cities than an accurate depiction of what’s happening in your own backyard. What’s more, you go without experiencing a crime, the more comfortable you may become with the idea that a security system is an unnecessary precaution. It becomes easy to convince yourself that break-ins only happen in “bad” neighborhoods, even when affluent areas are commonly targeted. A sense of complacency can overtake the need for vigilance in defending your home from the very real threats that face it.
After decades of decline, however, crime rates have seen a steady increase in the last year—concerningly, violent crimes in particular.
But just how real is the threat of crime against your home specifically? One only needs to look as far as the local news to find actual incidents of break-ins, theft, and even violence:
A Wyoming man was apprehended by police after being identified in a string of 20+ Kent County burglaries.
A Baldwin man confessed responsibility for a number of recent Lake County burglaries after being questioned by authorities.
A suspect was arrested and arraigned in a Clinton County court after breaking into a home and assaulting the homeowners.
Given these news stories and more, it quickly becomes apparent that not only are burglaries a prevalent, but they are also a local threat that should not be taken lightly.
Money, obviously, or the prospect of making money is the obvious and most common contributing factor to what motivates burglars. However, there is more nuance as to what necessitates the desire to steal money and property from others. Per a study of convicted burglars through UNC Charlotte, 44% of burglars steal to support a drug habit. An overwhelming 73% of burglars actively abused drugs while committing a burglary at some point in their careers.
Outside of drug use, the study identified “living expenses” as a primary motivator for burglary, followed closely by lifestyle choices such as partying or the purchase of clothing. Money is such a strong factor in a person’s decision to commit a burglary that the other admitted motivators—thrill-seeking, bad decision-making, and revenge—only accounted for roughly 10% of all burglaries within the 422 participants in the UNC Charlotte sample group.
The idea that most burglaries are motivated by money—and especially money to support a drug habit—is apparent in at least one of the aforementioned local burglary cases. In addition to home invasion, the Clinton County suspect was charged with a slew of other charges—including the possession of methamphetamine.
Addressing larger social issues such as drug abuse and poverty are “big picture” ways of minimizing the motivations of would-be burglars. There are more “micro” level ways of deterring burglars, including:
Keeping the exterior of your house well-lit
Maintaining trees, plants, and flowers to minimize cover
Owning a dog/advertising you have a dog
Locking all doors and windows that do not currently need to be open
These items can certainly help make your home a less attractive target to burglars, but the uncomfortable truth is that there is nothing that can bring your risk of home intrusion down to zero. The best defense against burglars remains a professionally installed and monitored home security system. Door and window sensors can help detect intrusion at the perimeter of a home. Motion sensors can detect movement while ignoring pets (or rooms where homeowners are sleeping.) And when an unwanted intruder is detected, the control panel can use cellular and internet technology to send an alarm signal to a local monitoring center in seconds, minimizing the time between alarm and emergency dispatch.
While an alarm system is reactive, the mere presence of an alarm system can have a prohibitive effect on prospective burglars. The previously mentioned UNC Charlotte burglary study found that 60% of burglars would think about changing their plans if they found out a home had security devices installed. A similar percentage of burglars would choose another target altogether in the presence of video surveillance cameras. The presence of a home security system is one of the strongest possible deterrents against burglary, and it’s a deterrent that can also react in the event a burglar moves forward with their plan.
Home surveillance systems and video doorbells have their own special benefit. A burglar may break into a house and unwittingly trip the alarm system before leaving within moments, making off with some small amount of stolen goods before the police arrive. However, a burglar who gets caught on camera has a much higher likelihood of apprehension than one who operates without surveillance. The suspect in the Kent County string of burglaries was apprehended specifically with the assistance of home surveillance footage which was turned over to the police.
Whether you’re ready or not, criminals are at work closer to your home than you might think. Instead of waiting for the worst to happen, take a proactive approach to protecting your home and everything (and everyone) within it. Local crime requires a local response—namely, a security system engineered and monitored by a locally owned and operated company with decades of experience in protecting Michigan homes. Perhaps most importantly, you need a security company that monitors the systems it installs and is ready to respond to break-ins, fires, and other emergencies 24/7/365.
Local, experienced, comprehensive: EPS Security checks all of the boxes. Put burglars on guard with security and surveillance solutions customized for your home and lifestyle, all by a company with 66 years of home security experience.