Although the number of home burglaries has significantly decreased over the past decade, hundreds of break-ins still occur, especially during the summer months. It is crucial to lock your home, even if it is unoccupied for a short period of time. With the highest probability of burglaries happening in July and August, it is essential to take measures to ensure the security of your home, whether you're simply running errands or embarking on a longer summer vacation.
Despite the decreased number of burglaries, precautions are necessary: According to the police, nearly 1,400 severe home burglaries or attempted burglaries were reported last year. The record-low figure is partly attributed to reduced mobility during the pandemic, but the decline in burglaries had already begun before the global crisis. When including other types of burglaries, such as those targeting basements or outdoor storage areas, the overall number is approximately twice as high.
"The decrease in the number of burglaries can be attributed to several factors, including increased awareness among people regarding theft prevention and the improved protection of their homes. Additionally, with the rise in remote work, homes have been less vacant," says Mikko Pöyhönen, Director of Vehicle and Property Insurance Services at Fennia.
Enhancing home security during the summer: There is a clear spike in burglaries during the summer months each year. Statistics indicate that the highest likelihood of falling victim to a home burglary is especially in July and August. Therefore, it is crucial to prioritize home security during the summer vacation period, whether you're just visiting a nearby ice cream parlor or embarking on a longer trip.
"Finns tend to be trusting by nature, which may lead them to leave doors or windows open during the summer when, for example, visiting an ice cream parlor or going for a jog. Opportunistic burglars shamelessly take advantage of this," warns Pöyhönen.
Preparing for home burglaries: Keeping doors and windows locked is a simple yet effective way to deter burglars. It is advisable to lock your doors even when you're away for a short period, such as running errands or taking a walk. Spare keys should not be kept on the premises but rather entrusted to a reliable neighbor for safekeeping.
"Many people may neglect burglary prevention, thinking that they have never been targeted before. While the likelihood of becoming a victim of a home burglary is statistically low, if it does happen, it can greatly impact a person's sense of security for a long time, in addition to the financial losses," emphasizes Pöyhönen.
Here are some ways to protect your home from burglaries and ease your concerns when going on a vacation:
- Keep all doors and windows locked, preferably with additional deadbolts if available. Avoid storing spare keys in obvious outdoor locations.
- Make your home appear occupied even when you're away for an extended period. Request assistance from a trusted neighbor or family member to empty your mailbox and maintain the appearance of an inhabited residence, such as mowing the lawn occasionally.
- Install a reliable alarm system to deter burglars. Make sure the alarm system stickers are prominently displayed, dissuading potential burglars from targeting your home. Such systems often include sensors for fire and water leaks, enhancing overall home safety.
- Exercise caution when sharing vacation plans on social media or limit the audience of your posts to trusted individuals only.
- Store valuable items and personal information in secure places, such as a burglar-tested safe or a lockable cabinet with reinforced doors.
- Consider photographing your home and valuable possessions in advance. In the event of a burglary, these photos can serve as evidence when filing both a police report and an insurance claim. Creating a list and capturing images of your valuable items also helps in identifying missing belongings, increasing the likelihood of recovery.
Conclusion: Protecting your home from burglaries requires proactive measures and a conscious effort to enhance security. While the number of home burglaries has decreased, it is essential to remain vigilant, especially during the summer months when the risk is higher. By following the provided tips, you can significantly reduce the chances of becoming a victim and safeguard your property, providing peace of mind as you enjoy your summer activities.