Multiple studies have demonstrated that crime rates increase in the summer. Why? Well, the answer is complex, but researchers have suggested that some of the reasons include:
- Homeowners/renters tend to be away from home more during the summer months, whether on vacation or enjoying the summer weather outdoors;
- There tends to be more alcohol use and risky behavior during the summer;
- Younger people (who research shows are more likely to commit crimes) are less occupied during the summer;
- Research shows that higher temperatures can put people on edge and make them more aggressive.
And this year, in particular, the pandemic may be adding to this effect, as several major cities are seeing an abnormal spike in violent crime as they emerge from COVID-19 restrictions and people resume their normal activities.
If you're a homeowner or renter, here are some things you can do to protect your family and property in light of these alarming trends.
Install a Security System: Not everyone can afford an expensive security system, but you might be surprised at some of the affordable options out there - many of which you can install on your own. Many of these work with smartphones and/or smart speakers for 24/7 monitoring, and offer peace of mind while you're away.
Lighting: Motion sensors and outdoor lighting have been proved effective for deterring potential thefts. Keep doorways and walkways well-lit to prevent break-ins, and consider using timers for indoor lighting when you spend time away from home.
Upgrade Locks: If you live in an older home, there's a good chance that the locks are outdated. Even if your home does have decent locks, consider installing smart locks, which can be controlled and monitored remotely.
Build a Support Community: Getting to know your neighbors and local business owners is a good way to create a safer community overall. When you know the people in your neighborhood, and have a sense of their comings and goings, it's more likely that you'll be looking out for each other and that you'll notice anything suspicious. It also means that you can call if there's a problem, someone to pick up your mail, and someone you can help out in return.
Planning for Vacations: Arrange to have any mail, packages, or deliveries picked up in a timely manner; let trusted neighbors know you will be away, and ask them to keep an eye on your home; consider hiring a house sitter; use a timed lighting system to make it look like the home is in use; and make sure all windows and doors are locked before you leave.
For all of your home insurance questions, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.