Over 50% Of All Burglaries Are Residential—How To Protect Your Family

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Need to Know from SafeWise
  • Reports of property crime rose between 2021 and 2022, according to the FBI.
  • Burglary makes up nearly 14% of all property crimes.
  • 53% of all burglaries are residential.
  • 57% of reported burglaries involved forcible entry.

I recently joined forces with Today's Homeowner to address what to do after a burglary and how to better secure your home to deter a break-in. In light of the FBI's latest statistics (released on Monday) about crimes reported in 2022, it's also the right time to review recovery after a burglary on SafeWise.

According to the FBI, property crime has been on the rise. The per capita property crime rate jumped 6.7% from 2021 to 2022. Burglary accounted for nearly 14% of all property crimes, with over one in two burglaries occurring at private residences and 57% involving forcible entry.

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While we hope none of our readers have to deal with the traumatic experience of a burglary, the truth is it can happen. Whether you've had a break-in, know someone who's been burgled, or simply want to be prepared, we're here to help. Here are our recommendations for what to do after a burglary—and the proactive steps you can take to prevent one in the future.

Close-up shot of broken window glass in teal front door of brick house

Steps to take after a break-in

1. Ensure immediate safety.

  • Find a safe place and call 911.
  • Avoid entering your home if you suspect a break-in.

2. Check on family, kids, and pets.

  • Contact all family members, especially kids.
  • Check on the well-being of pets.

3. Take inventory.

  • Document damaged property and forced entry points.
  • List stolen items for insurance claims and police assistance.

4. File a police report and contact insurance.

  • Cooperate with law enforcement and provide details.
  • Contact your insurance company with policy information and documentation.

5. Review surveillance footage.

  • Examine any security camera footage for evidence. 
  • Check with neighbors to see if they have any footage they're willing to share.
  • Help identify intruders and provide timestamps for investigations.

6. Clean up after police investigation.

  • Restore your space after the police finish gathering evidence.
  • Seek emotional support to help all family members cope with the break-in.

How to secure your home from burglars

1. Entry point security

  • Upgrade locks to high-quality deadbolts and smart locks.
  • Use all entry point locks; burglars avoid locked homes.
  • Strengthen windows with locks and security film.
  • Secure the garage with maintenance and interior locks.

2. Outdoor safety measures

3. Home security systems

  • Invest in surveillance cameras, doorbell cameras, and smart alarms.
  • Stay proactive with real-time insights.
  • Establish a direct line to help with 24/7 professional monitoring.

4. Neighborhood collaboration

  • Build relationships with neighbors for mutual protection.
  • Join a neighborhood watch program.
  • Share travel plans discreetly with trusted neighbors.

5. Personal privacy and valuables

  • Avoid oversharing on social media.
  • Store valuables in unconventional spots, or invest in a home safe.
  • Use home automation to make your home appear occupied when you're away.

6. Emergency planning and readiness

  • Create an emergency plan with your family.
  • Determine meeting spots inside and outside the home.
  • Practice escape routes and designate a caregiver.
  • Prepare a safe room with a lock.
  • Plan to call 911 once safely retreated; stay in a secure room until police arrive.
Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past decade. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime and safety reports and spotting trends. Her expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like NPR, TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of podcast, radio and TV clips in the US and abroad.

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