There’s one feeling no homeowner wants to experience.
It’s the moment you walk towards the front door and realize it’s cracked open, but no one’s home. You tentatively push it a few inches more, noticing that there are misplaced and disgruntled items. The rug is bunched up, the living room TV is missing, and an heirloom vase has fallen and shattered near the foyer.
You’ve been robbed.
According to the FBI, there were 1,401,840 burglaries in 2017 alone. While this number has recently decreased, it doesn’t shake the bad feeling when it happens to you.
What is a burglary, though, and how can you prevent it? We answer these questions below.
What Is a Burglary?
The FBI defines a burglary as:
- The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft
Despite common belief, the use of force to gain entry is notrequired to be considered a burglary. There are three different kinds of burglaries: excessive force, unlawful entry with no force, and even attempted forcible entry. Any vessel can be burglarized—homes, houseboats, ships, apartments, barns, and other structures.
The number of burglaries divided by category is as follows:
- 57.5% include forcible entry
- 36.2% are unlawful entries with no use of force
- 6.3% are attempted forcible entry
Now that you know what burglary entails, we’ll cover preventative measures next.
How Can Homeowners Prevent a Burglary?
Protecting your home preventatively is the best way to ensure it’s not an easy target.
There are several acts you can take to avoid a home invasion. These practices are sufficient when done alone, but even better when all done in tandem. Some things to consider doing are as follows:
- Updating your door and window locks
- Installing a security system
- Removing hiding spots around the home, such as cutting tall hedges or illuminating dark areas with a light
- Keeping all valuables out of sight and away from the windows
- Becoming friendly with the neighbors and promising to look out for each others’ homes
- Getting a dog
Of course, these aren’t all possible for everyone. Some people don’t have the time, money, or energy for a new puppy. Others may live in remote areas that don’t allow for a neighborhood watch.
Just do whatever you can do to make your home less susceptible to being robbed. That can mean trimming trees and bushes, installing an alarm, and whatever else is feasible for you.
What Should You Do if You’ve Been Burglarized?
If you notice you’ve been burglarized before you enter the home, stay out. If possible, call the police immediately from the comforts of your car. If you don’t have your vehicle, stand away from the home, near a spotlight, or a neighbor’s home.
It’s important to wait for the police as the burglar could still be in the home or nearby.
If you overlook the burglary until you’ve gone indoors, don’t touch anything. The police will likely fingerprint the home when searching for a suspect.
Within one day, file a police report if you choose to do so. Filing promptly allows you to then apply for an insurance claim. Make a detailed list of anything stolen and their value.
Keep Your Belongings Safe
Now you know the answer to the question, “What is a burglary?”
Furthermore, you know how to prevent one and what to do should this unfortunate event happen to you.
For more insight into a wide range of topics like this one, please keep browsing our page. Stay safe!