By Duncan Cottrell, the Entry Enforcer
Heat waves bring crime waves, says the FBI. Statistics show that most every category of crime increases by at least 10% during July and August. For home intrusions, the culprits are usually middle or high school aged, and noon to 3:00pm is when homes are most vulnerable. Kicking in a door is the most common method of entry, followed by broken windows.
There are two forces in play: the heat and ennui.
As heat and humidity build day after day, held and radiated by pavement and dark roofs, it can simply become too hot to be nice. Tempers are short, patience even shorter.
Kids are out of school and even the best of them get restless–while the worst of them get frisky and risky. Eager for something to relieve the boredom, the temptation of burglary can be irresistible to a teen. They rarely damage property; they just want the thrill and some treats. Tools and toys left outside or within view are terribly enticing, and a well-stocked fridge, pantry, or bar can make their adventure wildly fulfilling.
Logic makes sense of the opposite pattern: there are fewer intrusions in February than any other month. Days are short, skies are gray, temperatures are cool or cold and the default is to simply stay inside where it is warm, bright and cozy.
Here are summer tips for home safety and protection:
- Keep your guard up. Double check locks and security systems, and put away the toys and other temptations.
- Alert neighbors before you go away on vacation. Ask them to watch your home, pick up newspapers and notices, and to phone police if they see suspicious activity.
- Go to www.usps.com to put a stop on your mail.
- Keep the kids engaged, and their time accountable to an adult. The Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA, church camps, sports practice, or volunteering will provide structure and fill up those idle hours.