It's alarming to walk into your home and discover you've been burglarized. It's happening more often in many areas of the U.S. with the trend expected to continue during the summer when more people are away from their homes, making their property more vulnerable to intruders.
Mary Hunt is a recent victim. Her Chicago home was burglarized, but since she had a monitored alarm system, police busted the burglars minutes after the break-in.
“You'd never think that when you leave your house someone will try to intrude,” Hunt said. “But thankfully, in my case, the alarm caught them in the act.”
The home burglary rate is expected to worsen this summer, traditionally the peak time. And with the rise in home break-ins comes increased consumer interest in the benefits of home security systems, reports the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA), a industry organization that represents companies comprising over 70 percent of the multi-billion dollar home security market.
“As the crime rate in many markets continues increasing, we keep seeing more people calling security companies who are concerned about their safety,” said Merlin Guilbeau, Executive Director of NBFAA. “Security systems have become the ‘must have' item for the home.”
There are numerous studies and statistics which support the need for consumers to arm their homes with security systems:
? Rutgers University recently released a study, using five years of data, which scientifically proved that burglars tend to avoid homes with alarm systems.
? The FBI reports that a home is burglarized every 15 seconds in the U.S. and crimes to property, like homes, represent over 75 percent of all crimes reported.
? According to a Temple University study, a monitored alarm system makes a home three times less likely to be burglarized versus a home without an alarm.
? Most home alarm systems are easy to operate, inexpensive to install and come with monthly monitoring fees that cost about a dollar a day. Besides helping to deter burglars and providing peace of mind when residents are away from their homes, security systems can also save money by providing consumers with up to a 20 percent discount off homeowner's policies offered by most insurance companies. Additionally, many monitored systems offer protection from fire and carbon monoxide.
“When you go on a summer vacation, burglars can go to work on your house. It's important that you make sure you are protected,” said Kathleen Baty, ‘the Safety Chick,' an author and crime victim who was held at knifepoint in her home by an intruder. “Getting a security system can be a huge relief and make your vacation truly relaxing.”
The increase in home burglaries means high numbers of emergency calls are coming into security monitoring centers. ADT, a provider of home security, operates four interconnected, fully redundant monitoring centers nationwide, including Aurora, Colo. Since October, all four centers have had over 3.2 million emergency calls.