In the industry of protecting homes and businesses there is one question that we are constantly defending and seeking new answers to. Does an alarm effectively deter a burglar from entry? Jason Unger wrote an article about Jospeh Kuhns, associate professor of Criminology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Joseph Kuhns was sponsored by the Alarm Industry Research and Education Foundation (AIREF) to conduct research to help give some new insight to our question. According to his research of 422 randomly selected male and female burglars in three states (North Carolina, Kentucky, and Ohio), the following was learned.

1. 3/4 said they were using drugs when breaking into your homes and businesses.

2. Their goal was to avoid contact with the home owners and business owners, while being very quick to steal money or drugs and get out.

3. ONLY 1 out 3 “cased” the crime spot prior to break in.

4. Women broke into homes during the day while men broke into businesses at night.

5. 6 out of 10 agreed that if there is an alarm onsite they are going somewhere else.

For me #3 and #5 were eye openers. We can assume money and drugs are the motivators, it seems logical. However for me personally I would guess more break-in would be “cased” then spontaneous, not the other way around. But as I am not a criminal, it is hard sometimes to imagine what they are thinking. After reading these stats however it does make sense that criminals, especially those under the influence of drugs, would be spontaneous in their crimes.

It was good to hear that %60 of the criminals interviewed did see an alarm as a deterrent. I wish that was %100, but don’t we all. This proves that an alarm is an effective deterrent, but there are other things in play here, such as, lighting, available break-in equipment, things that are easily “smash and grabbed” etc. It is also just as important to ARM your alarm as it is to have one.

If I can find a way to link the article I will. Either way I hope this summary gives you something to think about.


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