Who is more likely to rob your home – a friend or a stranger? Is a burglary more likely to occur when you are at home or away? Does gun ownership contribute to more effective home security? What about a loud, barking dog?
A recent survey by Reviews.org considered these and other consumer preconceptions about home security and how they compare with the facts.
"Everyone wants to feel safe at home but not everyone knows which home safety measures will actually help protect them,” says Mindy Woodall, Reviews.org’s Home Security Expert. “This survey was interesting because it gives us a better idea of how some people think about home security and what measures they personally feel they should take to protect themselves and their families, as well as how their chosen methods compare to what experts say actually works."
Survey results and facts
Here are some of the survey’s results (compared with the facts, according to experts):
- Survey results: 50.4% of respondents thought a stranger is most likely to rob them, while 28% thought a friend (even a social media friend) is most likely to rob them. Another 21.6 percent thought a family member most likely to rob them.
- Fact: In robberies, 65.1% of attackers are someone the victim knows. In nonviolent robberies, 30% of attackers are known to the victim, 24% are strangers, and 46% are unable to be identified.
- Survey results: Guns were voted as providing the most effective home security by 24.4% of respondents, while 20.6% rated them as least effective. The next highest percentage, 22.8%, thought a professional home security system is the most effective. Only 11.8% of people thought dogs to be the most effective method for home security, although burglars often recommend a loud dog to deter theft (it ranked third most effective).
- Fact: Residents are three times more likely to be robbed if they don’t have a security system.
Time when burglary takes place
- Survey results: 89.4% of people (correctly) thought that they are most likely to be burglarized when away from home.
- Survey results: 44.2% of people thought that burglaries occur in the middle of the night, between midnight and 5 a.m. (which conflicts with the above stat because most people are at home during those times.)
- Fact: Burglaries are more likely during the day, between 10 a.m.– 3 p.m., when people are away from home for work and errands, and kids are at school.
- Survey results: 50.8% of respondents don’t think burglars knock on the door before breaking in.
- Fact: Burglars often knock on the door before entering. It’s a good way to see if anyone is home, or if there is a big noisy dog on the premises. If anyone answers, they often say they were looking for their friend’s house, need directions, or will offer cleaning/repair services.
The survey results from consumer website Reviews.org are based on a survey of 500 people in the United States of varying ages and locations to find out what they thought they knew about home break-ins, robbers, and burglars.