Burglars, Fires, and Break-Ins – Oh My!(Infographic)

Eye-Opening Facts and Pragmatic Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe

Home is where we feel safe. We arrive home after stressful days fighting traffic, jockeying for corporate status, standing firm against line-jumpers at Starbucks. A weight drops off our shoulders when we come in the front door.

Statistics suggest that our relaxation is ill-founded. Our homes are not inviolable bubbles of calm and safety. The places we live are vulnerable to burglaries and home invasions, to fire, to carbon monoxide poisoning, to freak accidents.

Even if you do everything right, you and your family are not completely safe.

This eye-opening list of statistics outlines your risk of suffering a catastrophic event at home. We start by examining the burglary numbers, concluding that break-ins and theft are alarmingly common no matter what you do. You can improve your odds of foiling burglars with our selection of proven tips, including a hard look at home security systems.

From burglary we proceed to fire, which can strike any home and render it a total loss surprisingly quickly. We take up carbon monoxide poisoning next – have you had your home tested? We conclude with an overview of threats that target children especially.

Happy reading.

Top 10 Fascinating Burglary Statistics:

  • There are 2.5 Million burglaries per year, 66% of which are home break-ins

  • A burglary occurs every 13 seconds

  • According to the FBI, 65% of burglaries happen between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

  • Homes without a security system have a 300% more chance of getting broken into

  • 65% of burglars know their victims!

  • 85% of burglaries are committed by non-professionals

  • 65% of burglaries occur during the day to reduce the chance of someone being home

  • An average break-in lasts between 8 and 10 minutes

  • According to the FBI the average loss per burglary is $2,416

  • Only 17% of US homes have a security system

breaking down burglaries - Burglary statistics Infographic

All About Burglary

“Burglary,” by definition, is the crime of illegally entering a building or other location for the purpose of committing an offense, according to the Cambridge English Dictionary. In most cases, that offense is theft.

Theft is the most commonly reported property crime in the US, and the nuances between theft, robbery, burglary, and home invasion are something we should all be familiar with—especially since we will be focusing primarily on burglary statistics in this article. Every crime that involves obtaining someone’s property in an illegal manner, without person-to-person contact, is classified as theft. Robbery, on the other hand, involves person-to-person contact, such as intimidation, coercion, or force. 

Burglary involves entering a building or residence with the intention to commit a crime, and it doesn’t require a piece of property to be stolen or a person-to-person interaction to occur. This is the main difference in the robbery vs. burglary crime classification.

Home invasion is defined as forcible entrance into an occupied residence. If someone lives in the residence, it is considered occupied, regardless of whether they were home at the time of the invasion. Burglary is breaking into any protected structure, inhabited or not. Both home invasion and burglary charges are frequently issued to those who forcibly enter another person’s home.

1. 77% of all crimes committed are specifically property crimes. 

Crime is divided into two main categories: violent and property crime. Violent crimes include assaults, robberies, rapes, and murders. Property crime has three subcategories: burglary, theft, and vehicle theft.

Data shows that property crime, with all of its subcategories, is the most prevalent type of crime, with 77% of all reported offenses belonging to this group.

2. There are more than 10,000 burglaries in the United States every day. 

One of the ever-changing figures is the number of burglaries that occur on a daily basis, the question, How many break-ins happen daily? is not an easy one to answer.

However, the Bureau of Justice Statistics says that the average number of yearly burglaries in the US is 3.7 million. This means that, on an average day, 10,137 burglaries occur.

3. Burglary is the cause of more than $3.1 billion in damages every year. 

Home security statistics show that burglary is a substantial economic burden for victims and society.

4. Over the next 20 years, it’s projected that 75% of the homes in the US will be broken into. 

Predictive analytics show that three out of four homes in the US will be burglarized at some point in the next 20 years. No matter how safe the neighborhood is, most homes are at risk of burglary. This information might come as a shock if you’ve never wondered, What are the chances of your house being robbed? But understanding this is the first step toward preventing anything like it from occurring.

5. Just 13% of all reported burglaries are cleared by the police. 

In case you’re thinking that the bad guys breaking into your home and stealing your belongings are likely to face justice, we’re sorry to disappoint you.

Only 13% of all reported burglaries lead to an arrest.

6. 66% of burglaries are home break-ins. 

The majority of burglaries are home intrusions: 66% of burglars choose to commit residential burglaries, while only a minority of their colleagues choose businesses as their target. 

7. Burglars are most likely to be males under the age of 25, but this number seems to be rising. 

Most burglars turn out to be young males. However, even though they are still the most prevalent age group among burglars, they are slowly being pushed out by those between 36 and 50. Female burglar cases are still uncommon. Former burglars say that burglary has become an old-school form of crime that fewer and fewer young criminals are interested in. Young male criminals are presumed to have shifted their focus to internet frauds and drug-related crimes, as they carry much less risk. 

8. An average break-in lasts between 8 and 10 minutes. 

It takes less than 10 minutes for an average burglar to go through their victim’s home and find what they’re after, FBI statistics tell us. Information about what they most commonly take can be found below.

9. Cash is the most commonly stolen item (followed by electronics, gold, guns, jewelry, and medications). 

During the time they’re in, burglars search for anything that can easily be sold or traded. Their primary goal is cash, but they’ll be more than glad to take your electronics (laptops, smartphones, etc.), jewelry (watches, earrings, necklaces), firearms, power tools, or your car. Any documents found can also be a great asset to them, as they can steal the owner’s identity and open credit cards in their name. Burglary cases often involve stolen meds, as there are plenty of addicts in the business.

10. The average burglary loss is valued at $2,416. 

A typical break-in costs homeowners $2,416. Keep in mind that this is the value of just the stolen items, not accounting for any damaged property, which can also easily amount to thousands of dollars.

11. The master bedroom is the most common first target. 

Once they break in, burglars are most likely to head to the master bedroom first, home burglary stats show. This is where most people keep valuables such as jewelry, cash, and weapons. The first item the burglars search through is the dresser, followed by the closets and under the mattress.

12. 28% of burglaries occur with someone still in the house. 

FBI burglary statistics say that there’s someone still in the house in 28% of burglaries. It can be quite dangerous to catch the thieves off guard when they think there’s no one in the house they’re breaking into.

13. More than 25% of those who interrupt burglars become victims of violent crimes. 

Out of one million cases of household members being present during a burglary, 266,560 ended in them becoming victims of a violent crime. In 15% of the cases, the crime was classified as simple assault. Home burglary statistics for 2018 show that robbery occurred in 7% of cases, while rape occurred in 3%. Serious injuries occurred in 9% of the cases, while minor injuries were sustained in 36%.

14. 12% of burglars carry a firearm. 

Even though most burglars carry some sort of weapon, this is a surprisingly low number in answer to the question, What percentage of burglars are armed? When just 12% of them carry a firearm, it’s clear that most don’t have any intention to run into anyone, let alone hurt them.

15. 51% of burglarized homes are targeted again within 6 weeks. 

Once they hit a good spot, burglars will likely return within six weeks, as evident by the data showing this is the case in more than half of all burglaries. The waiting period is six weeks because that’s how long it typically takes insurance companies to pay out or replace the stolen items. There’s your answer if you wondered, Do burglars return to the same house?

16. Suburban areas are actually a bit less safe than metropolitan areas when it comes to burglaries. 

For those thinking that choosing the suburbs for their new home is a significantly safer option, we have a staggering surprise. Metropolitan areas have an average of 4,975 burglaries per 100,000 inhabitants every year. For suburban areas, the average sits at 4,987 per 100,000 people, United States home security data shows.

Apartment burglary statistics show significantly lower numbers than single-family residences. In addition, suburban single-family homes are easily accessed from all sides, providing multiple entry points for the burglars.

If you’re wondering where the safest place to move with your family is, rural areas have an average of just 1,998 burglaries per 100,000 inhabitants.

17. 47% of burglaries are not planned. 

Convicted burglars say that almost half of their “jobs” were not planned. Unsecured homes, which burglars spot while casing a neighborhood, are more likely to be targeted, which the home invasion statistics from 2018 confirm. 

18. 65% of burglars know their victims. 

Statistics show that 65% of burglars are someone that the victim knows. It is devastating to find out that someone you know and trust might use the information about you, your home, and your schedule to earn a quick buck this way.

19. Burglars commonly choose houses with window air conditioning units. 

Window air conditioning units provide one of the easiest entry points to a home, as they can be easily kicked in, especially if they are located on the lower floors. Nonetheless, some burglars don’t shy away from climbing to higher floors, as you’ll see in the home burglary statistics listed below.

20. Piled up mail is an open invitation to burglars. 

Piles of mail in front of a house are one of the things that burglars look for. This probably means that the owners have been away for a while, providing an opportunity for burglars to strike. Ask your neighbors to pick up your mail when you leave town for a vacation.

21. Burglars avoid houses with security systems and/or dogs. 

Gathering the data by sending letters to 86 inmates currently in jail for burglary, KGW News found that most agree that seeing signs of a security system or a dog on the premises would prevent burglars from breaking into the house. You can find more data on home security further down the list.

22. 85% of burglaries are committed by amateurs. 

The numbers show that most burglaries are committed by amateurs, often out of desperation. Most burglars are addicts or in desperate need of money, making them extremely dangerous.

23. Most burglaries occur between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. 

Are you wondering, What time of day do most residential burglaries occur? Even though we tend to imagine burglars as some covert operatives that work under the veil of night, the fact is that most burglaries occur in daylight. 65% of burglars choose to strike during the day, as this lowers the chances of getting caught by someone in the house.

24. July and August are the months when most burglaries occur. 

Even though there are some reckless and crazy ones, burglars generally aren’t interested in harming anyone, and they want to avoid running into occupants by all means. This is the reason July and August, the period when most people are on vacation, are the answer to the question, What time of year do most burglaries occur?

25. February is when the least burglaries occur. 

Statistics provided by the Bureau of Justice show that household burglary numbers are 11% lower during the winter. February is an especially slow month for burglars, as their activity drastically lowers during this period. There aren’t many people walking around, so the suspicious ones are easy to spot. Another major reason behind this phenomenon is the fact that snow drastically increases their chances of getting caught, according to home security statistics.

26. Warmer days see an increased number of burglaries. 

A study that took place in Chicago, one of the most violent cities in the US, found that warmer weather, even in the winter, leads to an increase in burglaries, assaults, vehicle thefts, and increased overall aggression. Burglars’ preferences for the summer months might have a psychological background, the study suggests.

27. 34% of burglars enter through the front door. 

Statistics show that every 25th burglar simply walks into the house they’re targeting through an unlocked door. Some neighborhoods offer a strong sense of security, and people living there just don’t lock their doors, which can prove to be a fatal mistake. No matter how safe your area is, locking your door is the least you can do to keep your family and your home safe. Home security statistics for 2019 point out that just 1 in 8 burglars picks a lock in order to enter the premises. 

The main entry point is the front door. Thirty-four percent of all burglars decide to break-in using this method, while other popular methods include the back door, a window, and the garage door.

28. 22% go in through the back door. 

22% of burglars try to remain a bit more stealthy and avoid the attention that knocking down someone’s front door can bring, so they choose the back door as their point of entry. Nowadays, many houses have cameras set at the front as a burglar deterrent and in order to track packages and such, so the back of the house can be a better option.

29. 2% of burglars try to enter through the second floor. 

Our burglary statistics show that just 2% of burglars are prone to exhibition and climbing, as they take the harder route and enter a house through the second floor. Once again, we get a false sense of security and don’t bother with securing the upper levels of our houses, but there are people out there willing to exploit this weakness.

30. 81% of burglars gain entry through the first floor. 

Most burglars take the easier way and break in through the first floor. 81% of them won’t climb up to check for an unlocked window upstairs, and they would rather take their chances with the ground floor.

31. 9% of burglars break in through the basement. 

And finally, some burglars will try their luck underground and enter the premises through the basement. This part of the house is usually easily accessible through windows that aren’t too difficult to break and climb through.

32. 23% of burglars enter through a window. 

Nearly a fourth of all burglars will try to break in through a window. Windows are commonly left unlocked, or even open, making them an easy entry point. Even locked windows can be easily broken if there’s no alarm system in place.

33. 9% of burglars will break in through the garage. 

Nine percent of burglars’ preferred method of forced entry is through the garage, as shown by property crime statistics. Typically, garage doors aren’t secured, making it easy for experienced burglars to get in. More people need to know how easy it is to make your garage burglary-proof.

How to Prevent Break-ins and Secure Your Home

The burglary threat is huge, but we are not powerless when it comes to keeping our possessions and our loved ones safe. While we cannot entirely erase the threat, we can reduce the risk substantially with commonsense practices and security systems that are designed to foil intruders.

34. About 2.5 million victims per year use guns to scare burglars. 

2.5 million victims will pull a weapon on the burglar during the year. However, the weapon is fired in just 8% of these cases.

35. 87% of burglaries are considered preventable. 

Even though burglaries are one of the most common types of crime, it’s a crime that’s easily preventable. Even the most basic home security system can reduce the chance of your home being burglarized by up to 87%.

36. Make sure to keep your windows and doors locked.

Locking your doors at all time