2 Million Homes Are Burgled Every Year

The FBI says a home is burgled every 15 seconds. Police only catch one out of 10 burglars. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, show U.S. households experience about 16 million property crimes annually. Burglaries result in over $4.5 billion in losses annually resulting in over $2000 in losses to the victims. The National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association, determined property crime averages above 75 percent of all crime. And despite 2 million homes being burgled every year the Justice Department says that burglaries have declined over the past 30 years.

One reason is due to as many as 1 million private officers and security guards who work in residential areas patrolling and providing access control at community entrances. But that’s not all.

What have also reduced burglaries are home security alarms. Studies show as many as 25% of all American homes are equipped with a home security system. Additional security measures such as home security cameras are far less expensive and easier to install, wireless alarm systems and window film that makes it difficult to break glass.

Today’s door locks are better than ever too. Certainly a person can buy and install budget locks, but they can be easily picked or compromised with a ‘bump key.” Spending a few bucks more means much better locks. The most important aspect of a good lock is LOCKING it!

However most burglars don’t care if you have an alarm or expensive locks, because they break into the homes that don’t have alarms or they just jiggle the door knob and hope it’s unlocked.

Many homeowners admit that they don’t use their home security systems to the full extent because they are inconvenient or “scary” to use.  When choosing a home security system, be sure to choose something that can be armed and disarmed easily by all family members.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Security on NBC Boston. Disclosures.

Ten Things to Look for When Choosing a Monitored Home Security Company

Once you’ve made the decision to purchase a monitored home security system, begin researching security companies in your area.  Below is a list of questions you should ask when narrowing your search.

Do some research into the home security company you choose. What is their reputation and history?  How large is the company?  How many current customers do they have?  Is it a local company or nationwide?  Additionally, find out if home security is their primary business and their level of experience.  Check with the Better Business Bureau if you’re unsure.

How “new”is the home security product you are installing? Today’s home security systems are far more superior to those available in past years.  Make sure you are getting the most recent product available.

Does the home security company offer central station monitoring? A security system is only as good as the company that is monitoring it.  A reputable home security company should provide its own central station monitoring instead of having another company monitor for them.

Does the home security company’s monitoring facility have back-up systems and are those facilities UL-listed?

Does the home security company’s monitoring facility have back-up systems in case of power failures? Find out if the monitoring facility has gas or electric-powered generators – as well as battery back-up to ensure that monitoring continues despite power failures.  Monitoring facilities should have at least two types of back-up power supplies.

Spend time thinking about the “amount”of security you need. The size and layout of your home and property must be taken into consideration when designing a security system.  However, the basic elements of a standard system include a key pad, a control panel, a siren, an inside motion detector, at least two door contacts, as well as connection to a central monitoring station for around the clock coverage.

Secure your home from “hidden”household dangers, too. Don’t forget to equip your home with effective smoke, fire, carbon monoxide and flood detection systems as these are hidden dangers to your home and family.  Be sure to also equip your home with fire extinguishers and develop a fire escape plan and route that is familiar to all household occupants.

Ease-of-use and convenience of the home security system ensure a high level of usage. Many homeowners admit that they don’t use their home security systems to the full extent because they are inconvenient or “scary” to use.  When choosing a home security system, be sure to choose something that can be armed and disarmed easily by all family members.

Make sure the system you install has a battery back-up unit. A security system is only useful when it’s active and working – even when there is a power failure.  Make sure the system you install has a battery back-up unit so home monitoring and protection is continuous. Monitoring facilities that have a UL rating (Underwriters Laboratory rating) have gone the extra step to ensure that they have reliable systems that will not fail.

What other benefits does the company offer besides installation and monitoring? Check to see what other benefits the home security company offers, including:
A money-back service guarantee in case you are not satisfied – including a full refund of your installation price and any monitoring fees paid?

Any guarantee against theft protection – if your home is being monitored by their service and is still burglarized, with the home security company contribute money towards your insurance deductible?

Are you a customer for life?  Does the home security company offer a relocation package so a new security system is installed in case you move?

What kind of customer service do they provide?  Is there a Web site that provides customer information and care?

Once you have selected a reputable monitored home security company, be sure to spend time with your security specialist to develop a security plan and system that meets you and your family’s specific needs.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing home invasions on the Gordon Elliot Show. Disclosures

Dumb Bungling Home Burglar Jailed

Yeah, one for the good guys! A taxi driver would pick people up at their homes then drop them off somewhere, and then he would then go back to that person’s house and break into it. I’ve often thought that’s what would happen when I get dropped off at the airport.

So, whenever they ask me where I’m going and when I will be back, I always say “Hold on, I need to make a quick call.” Then I get on the phone and call nobody and say “Hey Jimmy listen, the dog bit another guy who came to the house to deliver a package, there was blood everywhere, Killer shredded him real good, don’t let the beast out of the house. I’ll be back home early tonight. Make sure you set the home security system if you go out and activate the home security cameras as well. And tell our roommate Rocco the police were at the house looking for him in regards to that kid he pummeled the other night, if he doesn’t smarten up he will be going back to prison.”

Then back to the taxi driver “What were you saying?” And the conversation usually goes somewhere else.

The burglar would break into the homes and steal credit and debit cards. Then go to the same ATM more than 50 times – to try and guess the PIN numbers of bank cards he had stolen. He thought he might strike lucky if he kept on putting in random sets of four numbers into the ATM machine. But with the odds of correctly guessing a card’s PIN number ranked at one in 10,000. He never managed to make a single withdrawal. His repeated failed attempts at the same ATM only served to arouse suspicion and he was filmed by police on a CCTV camera.

You can always get creative with your home security. But you need to do all the fundamental things like locking your doors and invest in home security systems.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Security on NBC Boston. Disclosures.

Home Security: People Are Being Very Disappointing

I don’t mean to be Debbie Downer here, I just need to point out some things and hope people will shake up their fellow man and gather some perspective. As a person of planet earth, I can tell you straight out I often get disappointed in my fellow humans. For example, a bunch of smart people who know how to suck oil out of the ocean floor are in the process of polluting that same ocean. Very disappointing.

In Boston, a 10 foot diameter water pipe broke and another pipe had to be used to divert water.  So while the water was in the temporary pipe officials suggested people boil their water for a minute to kill any potential bacteria. In response, people flocked to all the supermarkets and cleaned out all the water off the shelves. Some people punched each other and wrestled over the last case of water. Someone paid $100.00 for a case of water. Then the National Guard brought in cases of water to distribute and people lined up in their cars for miles to get a free case of water and chastised officials when it ran out.  I boiled water. It was easy. What did people do before water came in a bottle? Very disappointing.

In Georgia, more people seem to be fabricating tales of assaults and robberies these days, and police have become more aggressive in proving the lies and bringing the pretenders to justice.  People invent crimes for lots of reasons, like to hide spending from spouses or to keep embarrassing secrets. People invent crimes for lots of reasons, like to hide spending from spouses or to keep embarrassing secrets. Very disappointing.

Police across Western Washington are searching for four suspects wanted in a fatal home invasion robbery in Pierce County that started with a Craigslist posting. The homeowner was shot and killed, and his wife and sons were assaulted. Beyond very disappointing.

I’ve stopped using for this reason.  There are too many whackos and to many risks.

No matter what you are selling or buying you must know who you are dealing with on Craigslist. When we were young, our parents told us not to talk to strangers. Strangers are not yet part of our trusted circle. So don’t trust them!

Whenever possible, deal locally and meet in a populated area or even in front of the police department! People who cannot meet you in your town are more likely to be scammers. And even when you do meet in person, you should be wary.

Never engage in online transactions involving credit cards, cashier’s checks, money orders, personal checks, Western Union, MoneyGram or cash that require you to send money to a stranger in response to money they have sent you. This is an advance fee scam.

Home security tips: If you have to meet someone at your home consider keeping the meeting outside. If you have to meet inside then have someone standing next to the home security alarm ready to press the panic button or have a remote control for your wireless security alarm that will also ring the panic button.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Invasions on Montel Williams.

Elderly Couple Assaulted During Home Invasion

Every day I scan the news for stories to report on. My job is to disseminate information in a way that is easily digestible and makes sense. Hopefully the reader will act on what they learn and make better decisions to protect themselves and their families.

It’s not easy to read stories every single day about horrible things happening to good people. The frustrating part is seeing the same awful crimes happening over and over and over again. I can write about “Elderly couple assaulted during home invasion” 20 times a day and each story will be worse than the next. If you are elderly or have elderly parents, please take heed:

The man’s wife, whom he’s been married to for almost six decades, lies in the hospital. The victim says the suspect broke a window in the bedroom and appeared in their living room around 10:30pm Sunday night as they watched television. “He grabbed me around the neck, and said he would cut my throat if I didn’t do what he said,” said the husband.

THEY WERE JUST WATCHING TV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“He went through the drawers, getting jewelry and whatever else he saw he wanted,” said the husband. For four hours, the homeowner says the suspect tore through their belongings while they were forced to lie face down in their bedroom. “He was very comfortable with being in here.

Any time his wife made a noise showing her fear, the suspect came back to the bedroom. “She was making noise and he didn’t want her making noise, he would kick her hard.” The victim’s wife was transported to Methodist Hospital in the Medical Center due to brain swelling from being kicked by the suspect. Her husband tells us they will monitor her overnight and she may be able to go home on Tuesday.

Locking your doors isn’t enough. Locking your windows isn’t enough. In order to prevent a crime like this the homeowner needs a comprehensive home security review. Bring in the local police to give your home a once over. Invite a local locksmith to determine what the best locks for your doors are. Call a home alarm installer to discuss a home security system. Consider taking it up a notch and installing home security cameras. Consider a do it yourself wireless home alarm system or hire a professional. But please, whatever you do, do something. The worst thing you can do is nothing.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing home invasions on the Gordon Elliot Show. Disclosures