Statistics gathered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation* show some alarming statistics:
• In 2009, there were approximately 2.2 million burglaries in the United States, with almost 73% of those being residential burglaries.
• Burglary accounted for 23.6% of all property crimes committed in the U.S. in 2009.
• Forcible entry was involved in 61% of burglaries, adding physical damage to the premises on top of the violation of the burglary itself.
• The average dollar loss per burglary in 2009 was $2,096.
The good news is that burglary is one of the easier crimes to help prevent, and homeowners can take a number of simple, practical steps to help protect their home and family.
"Bad Guy on the Block"
Protect Your Home recently released an online game called "Bad Guy on the Block" that takes players through the home break-in process from two points of view: the burglar and the homeowner.
The purpose of the game is to educate consumers on how burglars commit their crimes and what homeowners can do to help prevent burglaries. The game is simple enough that kids from middle school age on up can understand.
Learn How Burglars Operate
When you start "Bad Guy on the Block," one of the characters you can choose to play as is "Rob," a typical burglar.
As Rob, the player attempts to gain entry into a home. Different break-in techniques can be chosen, and the player learns what clues a burglar looks at to determine whether a house is an easy target or not.
Several different entry methods are available to choose from, and the game addresses each mode of entry and reasons why a burglar would or would not choose each one.
The takeaway from playing "Bad Guy on the Block" from the point of view of the intruder is that burglars look for a number of tell-tale signs that no one is home, or that there are valuables inside.
Learn How Homeowners Can Help Reduce their Risk
Your other choice when playing "Bad Guy on the Block" is to play from the point of view of "Harmony," a homeowner.
As Harmony, you identify vulnerabilities that make your home a target of burglars, as well as the average price of items burglars typically look for when breaking into a house.
The number one quality that burglars look for when casing a neighborhood is easy access. They would much rather walk in through an unlocked door or climb in through an unlocked window than to have to pick a lock or break down a door.
The game addresses each of the vulnerabilities present in Harmony's home, how they increase homeowner risk for burglary and how to correct them, and gets homeowners thinking about what they’d do if something they deemed “priceless” was taken from them.
Earn Valuable Prizes
By completing the game and earning "badges," players can earn a $100 VISA® gift card from Protect Your Home and free home security equipment with a $99 customer installation charge and purchase of alarm monitoring services.
Home security experts say that improving home security starts with awareness, and "Bad Guy on the Block" is designed to raise awareness of home vulnerabilities, break-in methods and how to prevent a burglary.
Home burglary not only results in the loss of cherished possessions, but also in emotional trauma to a homeowner, who often feels violated and vulnerable.
Unfortunately, only around 15% of burglaries* are ever solved, so the old axiom of "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" definitely holds true when it comes to home burglary.