New York

Burglary is Big Business in the Twenty-First Century
Technology has advanced science, medicine, electronics, and agriculture to new levels. It has also done the same for home invasion. Lone burglars who randomly break into houses are becoming rare. Clever and tech savvy burglars are getting organized, formulating strategies, and utilizing easily accessible and inexpensive technology to hack into security systems for home use. Burglary has become big business in the past decade. What to Know About Home Security Old-fashioned wired security systems for home use are more difficult to hack than wireless systems. There are other drawbacks to wired systems, such as the need for professional installation, wires that can be cut, and possible disruption if service when power is out for extended periods of time. Minor power outages are not a problem due to battery backup capabilities. Wireless systems that do not utilize encrypted signals are more vulnerable to hacking attempts. Radio signals are used in wireless systems to alert the monitoring company when a home has been entered. Sensors that have been activated, locks that have been opened, and motion cameras that are suddenly turned on transmit a signal. Burglars can get detailed instructions on the internet on how to jam those signals. They can also purchase cheap tools that allow them to do just that. A wireless system that encrypts the radio signals are more difficult to hack. Burglars are more likely to find another home to break into than try to hack an encrypted system. The total cost may be slightly more initially, but the added security is well worth it. The most important thing to keep in mind with any security system is that is has to be activated to be of any use. Many people forget to arm the system when they leave the house, or do not think to arm it when they are home. Homes Burglars Target Depending on the location of the home, it can be a more likely target for burglars. Homeowners will want to explore security options if the house is located near an alley, on the corner, or located at the outskirts of town. Homes in those locations offer an area that does not expose criminals to neighbors, passing cars, or other interruptions. It is also easier to vacate those areas quickly once the house has been robbed. Homes located in heavily populated areas are also targets for very different reasons. Busy places, such as shopping centers, transit stations, recreational centers, and large hospitals are typically crowded with strangers. That makes it less likely for homeowners and neighbors to notice somebody watching the area. Burglars today do conduct surveillance on homes before selecting one to enter. Busy areas also provide a way to leave the area quickly without being seen. Burglars can enter a transit station, for example, and get on a subway train or bus before the intrusion is even discovered. Homes next to highway entrances, parks, schools, and office buildings are also easy targets. There are plenty of distractions, cars, and noises to divert attention elsewhere while a home is burglarized. Response Times to Alarms Burglars will often set off a home alarm system remotely to determine how quickly help arrives. Police response times for home alarms can be as long as thirty to forty-five minutes, depending on the location of the home. There are a couple of reasons for that. One is the prevalence of false alarms with home systems. Another is a shortage of coverage in larger areas. Budget cuts, emergencies, and the increase in serious crimes stretch local law enforcement to the limits. Monitoring services for security systems may offer faster response times, depending on where monitoring is completed. If the station is local, most companies have their own security guards to respond to alarms. That makes response times fast and reliable. Remote monitoring stations rely on police response. Homeowners can check with local police to find out if there is a security company with which they prefer to deal. Those that verify alarms first, for example, ensure officers they are not wasting time responding to a false alarm. It is also essential to select an alarm system that automatically notifies local police of an invasion. Systems that do not notify both the monitoring station and the police add time to original responses. How Burglars Enter Your Home It surprises people to learn that close to thirty-five percent of time, burglars enter through the front door. They search for a spare key, pick the lock, steal alarm passwords, or break the door with a crowbar. Some have reported that the front door was unlocked so they just walked right into the house. Back doors, side doors, and garage doors are also ways that provide easy access. Homeowners can provide extra security by fitting every door that leads into the home with a deadbolt lock. Sliding patio doors can be fitted with special high-security locks. Double checking the door to make sure it is locked on the way out is also a wise habit to cultivate. Windows are accessed easily as well because many are not locked. Basement windows are rarely locked. Homeowners simply do not think of them as an entry point. They also do not lock second story windows because they do not anticipate burglars bringing ladders to a break in. Burglars, of course, do not typically carry ladders. The truth is they do not need them. Outdoor furniture, a porch railing, a tree, or a large planter are high enough to provide a boost to the second floor. Other Deterrents There are several things homeowners can do to deter burglars. A home security system is definitely a major deterrent, but it is not the only one. Bright lighting around the house is a major deterrent. Burglars do not want to be seen so lighting is avoided. Motion sensors can be attached to spotlights to save electricity costs, and prevent keeping the neighbors awake all night. Outdoor cameras also deter burglars, as do large breed dogs.