Apartment Burglaries vs. Single-Family Home Burglaries

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Living in an apartment complex can result in higher foot traffic, with neighbors frequently passing by your front door to access other units. While many factors can impact community safety, it’s important to take steps to protect your property when there are so many individuals coming and going. Brinks Home™ is proud to provide home security systems, professional monitoring of those systems, and professional installation, but safety concerns are not something limited to homeowners.

In 2023, there were an estimated 117.3 burglaries for every 100K households in America, which is defined as entering a building illegally and is the most common threat to our homes. Although single-family homes are known to be a high-value target for burglary, some things would benefit apartment dwellers to bear in mind, especially the different ways in which those renters can best defend against potential intrusion.

Identifying Easy Targets

There is an increased risk of burglary by a person associated with occupying a dwelling on the first floor. Taking specific precautions for securing your ground-floor apartment is highly recommended. Really, all types of homes can benefit from having door alarms, smart lights, smart door locks, and motion sensors.

Although single-family homes are considered attractive targets, as their large size promises would-be thieves greater rewards and numerous access points, a rental may run the risk of being perceived as an easy target. Any of these factors can increase the potential risk of being targeted:

Community: if there isn’t a tight-knit community where people know each other in neighboring units, there is a higher degree that outsiders may go unnoticed.

Familiarity: in rental properties, particularly those where resident tenure is low, previous occupants may be more familiar with security flaws, the closeness of neighbors, and building layouts, and they may feel particularly emboldened to revisit somewhere they know. Other times, familiarity can favor individuals outside the immediate complex still in the general area of town.

Accessibility: 37.8% of burglaries did not involve forcible entry, meaning access was gained without even breaking a lock or a window.

Vulnerability: most burglars do not target occupied residences. It is a known technique that burglars routinely ring doorbells to confirm a resident is absent. How long a resident is away from home is a strong predictor of the risk of burglary, which could explain why single-family homes are often the most vulnerable.

Visibility: if your residence is highly visible, such as along a high traffic thoroughfare, you may be subject to more vehicles and people passing, making it harder for someone to notice anything out of place. Separately, if a potential point of entrance to your home is in a secluded area, such as having a window facing a remote rear of lot, away from other residents and traffic, this would present an opportunity to would-be intruders.

Method of Entry

As previously stated, there are many burglaries which do not involve forced entry, and one common point of access that is specific to your home is the sliding glass door. People can often be forgetful when it comes to locking them up. Even locked, many are equipped with burglar bars due to their often less secure locking mechanisms. Having sensors which detect if the door is open, or others to detect if the glass is broken, will go a long way to securing these points of entry.

Other access points include doors and windows, where access is frequently gained by simply trying to see if any are unlocked. Since key-in-door entry is the most frequent method for renters entering their home, as opposed to perhaps a garage in a single-family dwelling, landlords need to change locks when renters move out. Unfortunately, not all landlords reliably do this.

If you have a spare key, it is highly recommended that you give it to a trusted friend, roommate, or relative. You may believe you’ve found the perfect hiding place near your property, in the event you are locked out, but this adds to your potential vulnerabilities.

Installing a smart lock can restore control over your access by enabling remote locking and unlocking, keyless entry by code, or detecting attempts to damage the door lock. Simply monitoring changes in the open/closed status of doors and windows, or monitoring interior motion when nobody is home, is a strong way to stay vigilant. Recently, interior motion detection has been performed by security cameras, which activate when motion is detected to record clips of activity.

Best Defense for Home Burglaries

Although monitoring your own home security system can be helpful, it may not be enough to effectively respond to an intrusion while you’re away from home. Whether you live in an apartment or a house, home security is essential. Monitored home security systems can detect intrusions and contact help even if your neighbors don’t hear anything suspicious. Brinks Home offers reliable smart home security systems with 24/7/365 professional monitoring to keep your home safe.

Brinks Home provides customizable home security packages that cater to the unique needs of homeowners and renters alike. Contact us today to speak to a Security Consultant who can find the perfect home security system for your needs.

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