Home Safety and Security Stats and Facts

Safety and security risks are part of everyday life, but there’s a lot we can do to minimize the odds. We’ve got the facts behind the fears to help you learn how likely things like fires and burglaries really are.

Plus, we’ve got tips, resources, and advice to help make your life—at home or on the road—safer.

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From our expert

Ben Stickle

We beefed up our advice for you with input from our expert advisor, criminal justice and theft expert Dr. Ben Stickle. Check the end of each section for extra tips from him. 

Property crime statistics and facts

You are more likely to be a victim of property crime than any other type of crime. Prevention is the key to reducing your risk of victimization.

  • Property crime makes up 85% of all crime in the US.¹
  • In 2018, a property crime occurred every 4.4 seconds in the US.²
  • Approximately 21 property crimes were reported per 1,000 people in 2019.1
  • There were around 7 million property crimes reported in 2019—that’s 4% fewer than in 2018 and 24% fewer than in 2010.1
  • 18% of Americans reported a personal experience with property crime in 2020, and 42% think a property crime could happen to them.³
  • Package theft is the number one property crime concern across the US.³
  • $13.3 billion worth of property was reported stolen in 2019, and 28.9% was recovered—an increase of 11% from 2015.
    • Burglaries account for 16% of all property crimes and $3 billion worth (19%) of all property crime losses in 2019.
    • The average loss per burglary was nearly $2,700 in 2019.
    • Larceny-theft accounted for 73% of all property crimes and almost $6 billion in losses.
    • The average loss per larceny-theft is just over $1100 per incident.
    • Motor vehicle thefts are the most costly property crime, accounting for more than $6 billion in losses, with the average loss per victim landing around $8,800.

Expert tip: Protect your ride

“Many times, people park their car at home, but don’t lock it. This is so simple! I can’t tell you how many times I’d investigate a series of thefts from cars. Often in a row of 10 homes, 8 would be unlocked and victims. The perpetrator would just walk from house to house trying for open doors. “And don’t leave the key in the car. This is a growing problem where people are leaving key fobs in their cars and people are just driving off.”

—Dr. Ben Stickle, criminal justice and theft expert
  • Only 17.2% of all property crime offenses were cleared by law enforcement in 2019.
  • Of all property crimes reported in the United States in 2019, 42.7% occurred in the South, followed by the West with 27.3%, the Midwest with 19.1%, and the Northeast with 10.9%.6

Incidence of property crimes 2019

Property crime
# of crimes reported
% of all property crime
Burglary1,117,69616.1%
Larceny-theft5,086,09673.4%
Motor vehicle theft721,88510.4%
TOTAL property crimes6,925,677

Burglary statistics and facts

Burglary isn’t the most common property crime in the US, but  it accounted for 16% of all property crimes in 2019.

  • More than 3,000 burglaries happen in the US every day—or just over 1.1 million annually—a decrease of 30% between 2015 and 2019.¹
  • A burglar struck once every 25.7 seconds in the US in 2018—but 2019 saw 9.5% fewer burglaries year over year.¹,²
  • The average dollar loss per burglary increased from $2,316 in 2015 to $2,661 in 2019.¹ 
  • Police solve about 14% of all reported burglaries, mostly due to a lack of witnesses or physical evidence.
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Home security costs less than a burglary

The average cost for monitored home security is $31.65 per month. That works out to less than $400 per year to have someone else keep an eye on your home. The average burglary costs victims up to 550% more.

Where and when burglaries occur

  • About 63% of all burglaries reported in 2019 were on residential property.¹
  • Historically, the risk of burglary is higher for rental properties than occupant-owned properties. If you rent, consider the advantages of a wireless security system.
  • The rate of household burglaries tends to be highest in summer and lowest in winter or spring.8
  • In 2019, 64% of all residential burglaries (in which a time was reported) occurred during the daytime.1 Install interior and exterior motion-activated home security cameras so you can see what’s going on in and around your home when you’re away.
  • Being the victim of a home burglary can increase the risk of future victimization for burglary, as offenders often target the same residence more than once.
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Expert tips: Keep your vacation home safe

Learn how to properly secure your home before vacation.

  • Consider live view cameras to keep an active eye on your property.
  • Ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your property while you are out of town.

How burglaries occur

  • Roughly 56% of all burglaries involved forcible entry.¹
  • Damaging, removing, or destroying a door is the most common type of entry used in burglaries.7 Install a SafeWise-recommended high-security door to make your home less penetrable.
  • Burglars gain entry via open or unlocked doors or windows in more than half of all unoccupied residential break-ins.7Add a smart lock to your home automation and home security system to control your door locks remotely.
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Expert tips: Keep burglars at bay

Our expert shared these basics to help thwart burglars:

  • Stop mail when you’re out of town.
  • Ask a neighbor to watch your home.
  • Join a neighborhood watch.
  • Use social media to keep tabs on what’s going on (including crime and suspicious behavior) in your neighborhood.
  • Maintain clear lines of sight to public areas—the risk of someone observing criminals makes them second-guess. Don’t give them something to hide behind.

 

Home security statistics and facts

According to the 2021 State of Safety report, 62% of Americans use some kind of security measure to protect their home.

  • Security cameras are the most common form of home security used, followed by dogs, firearms, and security systems.³
  • Despite Americans' belief that crime is on the rise, use of property protection measures fell 6% between 2019 and 2020.³
  • 1 in 4 Americans use a security system to protect their home and property.³
  • Nearly 40% of US residents don’t use any kind of security measures to protect their home.³
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Shore up your home’s defenses

Use our Home Security Checklist to safeguard your home against a break-in.

  • Dog ownership has been found to reduce the likelihood of burglary and other property crime.
  • About 60% of convicted burglars say the presence of an alarm would steer them to a different home to burglarize.9
  • ADT has more than 6 million customers, which is more than any other US home security company.10
  • The average amount of stolen property from a burglarized home totals $2,661.1
  • Some homeowners insurance providers offer discounts up to 20% when homeowners install home security systems.

Violent crime statistics and facts

People tend to fear violent crimes the most, but you’re far less likely to fall victim to a violent crime like assault than a property crime like theft.

  • The number of violent crimes reported in 2019 is 3.8% lower than the number reported in 2010.1
  • Nearly 4 violent crimes were reported per 1,000 Americans in 2019.1
  • 10% of Americans reported a personal experience with violent crime in 2020.3
  • 41% of Americans think a violent crime could happen to them.3
  • In 2018, a violent crime—including aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery—occurred every 26.2 seconds.2
  • A robbery occurs every 1.9 minutes in the United States.2
“The risk of being a victim during a burglary is actually very very low. There’s only someone present 12.5% of the time, and people only became a victim of violence in 26% of those 12.5% cases.”

—Dr. Ben Stickle, criminal justice and theft expert
  • Between 2003 and 2007, a household member was present in roughly one million burglaries and became a victim of violence about 26% of the time.7
  • In 65.1% of all violent burglaries committed from 2003 to 2007, the perpetrators and victims knew each other.7
  • The highest rate of burglaries committed with a household member present occur in homes occupied by single females with children.7
  • The South reported more incidents of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter than any other region of the country, while the Northeast reported the fewest.6

Fire safety statistics and facts

Local fire departments responded to nearly 1.3 billion fire calls in 2019.11Protect your home and loved ones with our complete Home Fire Safety Guide.

  • More than 27% of all reported fires occur in residential homes.12
  • Nearly 1,000 house fires happen every day in the US.13We recommend installing a smart smoke alarm as part of your home security system so emergency personnel are alerted to a potential fire even if you’re not home.
  • In 2019, an estimated $14.8 billion in property was lost in US fires.11Store valuable and irreplaceable items in a fire-resistant safe to help protect them from damage.
  • Cooking is the leading cause of house fires, accounting for 49% of all residential fires.13
  • Between 2014 and 2018, cooking-related fires peaked during the holidays with most occurring around Thanksgiving and Christmas.14
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Furniture can make fires worse

Learn how your furniture can contribute to the danger of a house fire. Watch our interview with Dr. Marilyn Black, United Laboratories Vice President and Senior Technical Advisor. 

  • Approximately 3 out of every 5 deaths caused by home fires occur on properties with no—or inoperable—smoke alarms.15Learn how to properly install and maintain your home’s smoke detectors.
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.15
  • The majority—67%—of smoke alarm failures are caused by missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.15
  • About 5 million US homes don’t have a smoke alarm, despite being required by most localities across the country.15
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Expert tips: Be prepared
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy, especially in the kitchen.
  • Have a fire blanket ready to smother a fire or help you get out of your home safely.
  • Create a fire evacuation plan for your home and review it quarterly.

Carbon monoxide statistics and facts

CO poisoning is the second-most common type of poisoning death in the US that’s not related to medication.

  • Accidental CO poisoning kills about 430 people in the US every year.16Learn the dangers of CO and consider enhancing your monitored home security system with a CO detector to reduce the risk of poisoning.
  • Between 2005 and 2016, 849 people died from CO incidents involving portable generators.17
  • Due to the dangers of CO, 27 states require homes to have CO detectors.18
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Expert insight: CO is an invisible killer

Carbon monoxide is odorless and invisible. One of the only ways to detect it is with a CO detector. Watch our video about how CO detectors work and learn why you need them in your home.

Child safety statistics and facts

It’s hard to think about children suffering injuries that can lead to death. But we have more than statistics. We’ve also got a full suite of resources to keep little ones safe

Suffocation and drowning statistics

  • Unintentional suffocation is the most frequent cause of injury deaths for children up to 1 year of age.19
  • Unintentional drowning is the leading cause of injury deaths for children 1 to 4 years old.2 And sadly, 3 children die every day from drowning.20
  • Annually, nearly 90 children drown inside the home, with about 65% of these deaths occurring in bathtubs.21
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Expert tip: Make playtime safe

Whether it’s playing on the swings, climbing a tree, or navigating the family pool, our tips help make your backyard a safe place to play.

Emergency room visit statistics

  • Over 280,000 children visit the emergency room (ER) each year for traumatic brain injuries. 45% of those visits are due to sport and playground-related injuries.22
  • Approximately 81,800 ATV-related injuries were treated in ERs in the United States in 2018. 1 in 4 of these injuries involved children younger than 16 years of age. 23
  • There were an average of 74,200 accidental pediatric poisonings treated in ERs for the 3 years spanning 2016 to 2018—that’s an 8% decline from the average between 2013 and 2015. 24
  • In 2018, 86% of all accidental poisonings in kids happened at home.24
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Expert tip: Prevent poisoning at home

Review our poison-proofing home guide to create a safer household for your children.

Older adult safety statistics and facts

The number of Americans aged 65 or higher has grown rapidly as Baby Boomers continue to reach this milestone. Baby Boomers tend to be healthier and more active than previous generations, but it’s still smart to pay attention to the tools and resources available to help us stay safe as we age.

  • Someone aged 65 or higher falls every second of every day in the US.25
  • 1 in 4 people 65 or older fall each year.25 Make your loved one’s home safer by installing grab bars, securing rugs, and illuminating dark areas.
  • Falls are the number one cause of unintentional injury death for people 65 years and older, leading to over 32,000 deaths annually.25
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Expert tip: On-call help for falls

Panic pendants—which are available as part of many monitored home security and medical alert systems—can help your loved one get care quickly in the case of a fall or other emergency.

  • The highest prescription painkiller overdose rate occurs among middle-aged adults.26Home safety devices like automated pill dispensers can help prevent accidental overdoses.
  • People aged 45 to 64 have the highest rate of suicide, accounting for 34% of all reported suicides.19
  • In 2018, over 250,000 adults aged 65 and higher were treated in the ER for car crash injuries, with nearly 7,700 resulting in death.27
  • Every day, around 700 older adults are injured in a car crash, and more than 20 die from their injuries.27
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Expert tip: Stay connected for free

Did you know that you can use Amazon Echo devices to stay connected to older loved ones? The free Alexa Care Hub makes it easy to stay informed about daily activity, connect to emergency help, and stay in touch with voice or video.

See our video about Alexa Care to learn more.

Car safety statistics and facts

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for people ages 5 to 24.21

Distracted driving statistics

  • Each day in the United States, about 8 people are killed—and more than 1,000 are injured—in crashes reported to involve a distracted driver.28
  • In 2019, almost 40% of high school students admitted texting or emailing at least once while driving in the past 30 days.28
  • Texting and emailing during driving is more common in older teens, jumping from 31% for 16-year-olds to 60% for 18-year-olds.28
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Learn more: Teens and driving

We’ve got tips and resources to help you talk to your teen about safe driving, explain the dangers of texting while driving, and learn how a GPS tracker can help your teen build safer driving habits.

Impaired driving statistics

  • Sadly, 29 people in the US die every day in car crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver—that’s 1 death every 53 minutes.29
  • Alcohol-involved crashes made up 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the US in 2016. That same year, over 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.29
  • In 2018, 12.6 million people reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs or marijuana.29

Child car safety statistics

  • In 2018, more than 600 children under the age of 12 died in a motor vehicle accident, and 33% of these children weren’t restrained in any way.30
  • Properly installed car seats can reduce deadly injuries by 67% for infants and toddlers.31
  • Montana has the most child-car-crash fatalities, and Washington, DC has the fewest.32
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Expert tip: Buckle up

Take a look at our Best Car Seats Guide for more child car safety facts and step-by-step instructions about how to properly install your car seat and buckle your kiddos up correctly.

Weather-related car safety statistics

  • More than 70% of roads in the US are located in snowy regions, and 70% of the US population lives in these regions.33
  • Each year, over 192,000 people are injured in snow- and ice-related accidents, and more than 2,200 are killed.33
  • 24% of all weather-related car crashes happen on slushy, icy, or snowy pavement, and 15% occur during snowfall or sleet conditions.33
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Expert tip: Know how to drive in the snow

Check out our winter driving safety tips to learn how vehicle maintenance, defensive driving, and assessing weather conditions before you hit the road can lower your odds of a wintry weather crash.

Related articles on SafeWise

Sources

  1. FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
  2. FBI: 2018 Crime in the United States, “2018 Crime Clock Statistics,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
  3. SafeWise, “The State of Safety in America 2021,” June 16, 2021. Accessed August 5, 2021.
  4. FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States, Table 24, Property Stolen and Recovered,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
  5. FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States, Clearances,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
  6. FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States, Table 3, Offense and Population Percent Distribution,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
  7. US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Victimization During Household Burglary,” September 2010. Accessed August 5, 2021.
  8. US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Lauritsen and White, “Seasonal Patterns in Criminal Victimization Trends,” June 2014. Accessed August 5, 2021.
  9. University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Kuhns, “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender's Perspective,” December 2012. Accessed August 5, 2021.
  10.  ADT, “About ADT,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
  11.  National Fire Protection Association, Ahrens and Evarts, “Fire Loss in the United States,” September 2020. Accessed August 5, 2021.
  12.  Ready.gov, “Home Fires,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
  13.  National Fire Protection Association, Ahrens and Maheshwari, “Home Structure Fires,” November 2020. Accessed August 5, 2021.
  14.  National Fire Protection Association, Ahrens, “Home Cooking Fires,” July 2020. Accessed August 5, 2021.
  15.  National Fire Protection Association, Ahrens, “Smoke Alarms in US Home Fires,” February 2021. Accessed August 5, 2021.
  16.  CDC, National Center for Environmental Health, “Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning Prevention,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
  17.  US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Hnatov, “Incidents, Deaths, and In-Depth Investigations Associated with Non-Fire Carbon Monoxide from Engine-Driven Generators and Other Engine-Driven Tools, 2005–2016,” June 2017. Accessed August 5, 2021.
  18.  National Conference of State Legislatures, “Carbon Monoxide Detector Requirements, Laws, and Regulations,” March 27, 2018. Accessed August 5, 2021.
  19.  CDC, WISQARS, “10 Leading Causes of Death, United States,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
  20.  CDC, “Drowning Prevention,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
  21.  US Consumer Product Safety Commission, “In-Home Drowning Information Center,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
  22.  CDC, Sarmiento, Thomas, Daugherty, et al,  “Emergency Department Visits for Sports- and Recreation-Related Traumatic Brain Injuries Among Children—United States, 2010–2016,” March 15, 2019. Accessed August 5, 2021.
  23.  US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Topping, “2018 Annual Report of ATV-Related Deaths and Injuries,” February 2020. Accessed August 5, 2021.
  24.  US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Qin, “Unintentional Pediatric Poisoning Estimates for 2018,” January 24, 2020. Accessed August 5, 2021.
  25.  CDC, “Keep on Your Feet—Preventing Older Adult Falls,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
  26.  CDC, “Prescription Painkiller Overdoses in the US,” November 2011. Accessed August 5, 2021.
  27.  CDC, “Older Adult Drivers,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
  28.  CDC, “Distracted Driving,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
  29.  CDC, “Impaired Driving: Get the Facts,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
  30.  CDC, “Child Passenger Safety: Get the Facts,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
  31.  American Journal of Public Health,  Rice and Anderson, “Effectiveness of Child Restraint Systems for Children Aged 3 Years or Younger During Motor Vehicle Collisions: 1996–2005,” February 2009. Accessed August 5, 2021.
  32.  SafeWise, “States with Highest and Lowest Child Car Crash Fatality Rates,” July 14, 2021. Accessed August 5, 2021.
  33.  Federal Highway Administration, “Road Weather Management Program, Snow and Ice,” Accessed August 5, 2021.
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 eight. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime reports and spotting trends. Her safety 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 TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, NPR, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.

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