Having someone break into your home is downright scary. Not only could the burglar take valuable and priceless belongings, but the incident could ruin your sense of security. Even your own home stops feeling so safe.
With nearly 3 million burglaries occurring in the United States each year, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the fear of a break-in is nothing to scoff at—but it probably doesn’t match the picture in your head.
When you think of someone sneaking around in your home, you likely imagine a burglar sneaking in while you’re asleep. In reality, your biggest risk of a break-in isn’t at night.
Research actually suggests that break-ins are most likely to happen during the day. Burglars are most likely to enter homes on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. or from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Entering a stranger’s house in the light of day sounds risky, but it’s actually a safer bet for burglars. Even when residents spend most of their days at home, late morning and early afternoon are among the times they’re most likely to be out.
When you’re out of the house in the middle of the day, make sure to lock your doors and windows behind you to protect yourself from burglaries. Cash, jewelry, and electronics are among the items thieves most hope to walk off with, according to a University of North Carolina at Charlotte survey of convicted burglars, so keep those belongings secure if you can.
To keep your home even safer, home security service ADT has a few more recommendations: Keep a light on when you’re out of the house, don’t leave a spare key where burglars can find it, and avoid any social media posts advertising the fact that you’re traveling.
Many fights between neighbors start over a disagreement about the rules and how someone is or isn’t following them. Most of these can be avoided by simply doing your best to abide by the standards set by your neighborhood, Gottsman says.
Whether that’s taking down holiday decorations by the end of January or not playing music outdoors after 10 or keeping your garbage cans out of sight, these were things your neighbors have decided are important so you should make a good faith effort to follow them, even if they seem silly to you.
If you live in an area with an HOA, these rules were likely spelled out in your signed contract. Otherwise, you might have to dig a little deeper to figure out what the expected norms are in your neighborhood.