Factors that lead to a home invasion

Home invasions can cost homeowners more than just their valuables. It can also cost them their piece of mind and sense of security. And according to a new report, experiencing such a traumatic event is much more likely than many may think. The newly released 2017 Ooma.com home security report found that 63 percent of American homes are at high risk of burglary.

The data scientists at Ooma.com surveyed 1,000 Americans about how they protect their homes when they’re away and found that 16 percent of Americans say they’ve experienced a burglary. These victims identified the factors they say they believe contributed to or caused their home invasion.

Of the 16 percent of Americans who say they experienced a burglary, 7 percent say living in an apartment building put them at greater risk. Apartments can be more accessible targets for thieves for a few reasons, mainly due to easier access.

Fire escapes or sliding side doors can provide thieves with easy entry if not secured properly. There’s also an anonymity factor, where burglars could potentially walk through an apartment complex appearing to others as a resident. The significantly smaller size of an apartment compared to a home also makes it easier for thieves to cover more ground in a shorter amount of time.

In addition, renters experience a burglary at nearly double the rate of homeowners, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Eight percent of burglary victims say an open window was the cause of their attack. Ooma.com’s home security report found that 60 percent of Americans leave their windows open when they’re away, putting he majority at risk. Of that 60 percent, approximately 15 percent say they simply forget to close their windows, and another 15 percent say they leave their windows open in warmer weather.

Forty-two percent of Americans say they leave their doors unlocked when they are away from home. Some say they plan to return quickly (14 percent), and others say they just forgot (12 percent). Fourteen percent of burglary victims attribute their robbery to an unlocked door. Data collected from a 2012 FBI Crime Report says 34 percent of burglars enter through the front door.

Sixteen percent of burglary victims say not having a security system put them at risk. only 37 percent of Americans own a security system, putting 6 in 10 U.S. homes at risk. According to the FBI, homes without security systems are up to 300 percent more likely to be broken into.

NOTE: Some insurance agencies offer discounts on homes with a security system installed.

Nearly 24 percent of Americans burglarized say their neighborhood or surroundings put them at greater risk. Besides taking basic safety precautions like locking doors and windows, there are other ways to make your home less of a target.

Experts suggest adding more lights in and around your property to deter burglars. Keeping the lights on inside will make it harder to tell if anyone is home, and more exterior lights will make it easier for would-be thieves to be seen.