Are you aware that almost 5 million residential burglaries occur each year in our country? This works out to one every 15 seconds. By the time you have read this far someone’s home or apartment has been broken into and some of their most precious possessions have been stolen by thieves. The economic impact, as well as the emotional trauma, on the American people is tremendous. Each year losses experienced by burglary victims is estimated to be $3.1 billion and the average loss per residential burglary is $1,441.
Several weeks ago I got a phone call from Jason Bird, an executive with the Burglary Prevention Council in Chicago. He passed along some information about their organization which was formed back in 1995 as a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of residential burglaries. A few days later a nice press kit arrived in the mail, and after reviewing it I decided to pass along some of the pertinent information to you in the hope that it may keep you from becoming a burglary victim.
The reason I decided to share this is because none of us who has a home, apartment, condominium, cabin or cottage is immune from unlawful entry by those who want to respect our property more. Because of human nature, until it happens to us we are lethargic and complacent. That’s someone else’s problem, we say. Just last night when I was at church a young single lady was very distraught because a few days earlier someone had broken into her apartment. They did not take much but she just felt violated, as any of us would.
According to the Burglary Prevention Council, the good news is that nine out of 10 burglaries can be prevented. In the press kit I received, there was a fantastic booklet titled “Safe And Secure: A Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Safeguarding Your Home Against Burglars.” The index contains a listing of the various topics that are in the booklet. They include Introduction/Understanding The Burglar, and Evaluating Your Home’s Security with three subheadings: Your Home’s Current Security Measures, Your Home’s Design and Your Neighborhood.
Next is Burglar Entry Points with subheadings: Doors, Locks and Windows, Your Possessions, Creating A Secure State Of Mind, If You Are Burglarized, Protecting Your Home, Vacation Checklist, Home Protection Devices, Summary and 10 Tips.
Because I have had the opportunity to read it, I can promise you this booklet is well done and would be a valuable resource for any person who would like to take measures to prevent a burglar from making off with their property.
“Safe And Secure” is free from the Burglary Prevention Council, but it does ask that you send $1 to cover the cost of handling and a self-addressed stamped envelope to 221 North LaSalle Street, Suite 3500, Chicago IL 60601. You may also download this booklet from www.burglaryprevention.org.
I realize this kind of information is not very exciting, but as I have said before, it does not make a lot of sense to be motivated and work hard to buy some of those material things we all enjoy just to have a thief come along, break into our place of residence and help himself to whatever he wants. The good news is that with a little extra time and effort, nine of 10 burglaries can be prevented.
Yes, it can happen to you. Us too!
(Editor’s Note: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. He may be contacted at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway AR 72034.)