2020 Update:

The latest FBI burglary statistics were released for 2017 and there were an estimated 1,401,840 burglaries committed.

According to the FBI, burglary is the most common threat to our homes. In fact, there were an estimated 1,928,465 burglaries in the United States in 2013 alone. By definition, the crime of burglary is a non-confrontational property crime that occurs when we are not at home. This article will break down Apartment burglaries compared to single-family home burglaries.

With the unfortunate event of burglary being such a common occurrence in our daily lives, we should constantly strive to make our living spaces safer. The likelihood of burglary for apartments versus single-family homes varies with different communities, locations, and types of dwelling under speculation. While there are many similarities between the burglaries of houses and apartments, the crime prevention techniques differ. Taking these factors into account can minimize your risk of burglary and consequently impact your community in a positive way.

A burglar dressed in black is looking into a home's glass back patio door.

Target Selection

Single family houses are often attractive targetswith greater rewards—and more difficult to secure because they have multiple access points. In general, greater accessibility presents opportunities to offenders. And in turn, burglars are less likely to be seen entering larger houses that offer greater privacy. When a burglar selects a target home or apartment, the individual usually makes the decision based on a number of key factors, including the following:

  • occupancy
  • familiarity
  • convenience
  • visibility
  • accessibility
  • vulnerability
  • potential rewards

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    Most burglars do not target occupied residences. Apartments are commonly targeted if they are located on the ground-floor because of the easy access. However, getting to know your neighbors (in both apartments and homes) can reduce the risk of burglary. Some studies suggest burglars routinely ring doorbells of houses to confirm residents’ absence. How long a resident is away from home is a strong predictor of the risk of burglary,which could explain why single-family homes are more vulnerable.

    Three different houseplants and a silver dish holding an assortment of fruit are lined in a row in front of a window that's open just a crack.

    Method of Entry

    The layout of an apartment community versus a street of neighboring homes poses different opportunities and threats for burglars as far as the method of entry. You could kick down the door of a house, and it’s entirely possible that no one will hear you… or they will ignore the noise and attribute it to something else. It is slightly more difficult to do this in an apartment building, where neighbors are closer together. In apartments, there is often only one entry door. Apartment-dwellers generally have to walk past one another’s doors to get to their own. In apartments it’s also more common to enter using a key. Landlords are supposed to change your locks when you move from unit to unit as well as rental homes, but not all landlords do this.

    Sliding glass patio doors are extremely common in apartment buildings, and people are usually forgetful when it comes to locking the patio. Depending on the design of the apartment, it may also be possible to gain entry via a window. However, according to a study, about 30% of all burglars gain access to the dwelling through an unlocked door or window. For this reason it is very important to lock all your doors and windows before leaving!

    Bonus Tip for Preventing Apartment Burglaries:

    Apartment owners or renters should keep their spare keys only in the hands of a trusted few. This includes house guests or family members and probably not someone doing maintenance in your home.

    A closeup of a blue and white Protect America yard sign between two bushes while on the front lawn of a home outside.

    Best Defense for Home and Apartment Burglaries

    Although many apartment renters do not consider home security, it is extremely effective in both home and apartment settings. Monitored home security systems will undoubtedly sense an intrusion and contact help regardless of if your neighbors hear anything suspicious. Protect America  can provide you with a number of home security packages that will cater to your financial and security needs exactly. We carry a security package for everyone with monitoring starting as low as $19.99 a month. Additionally, we have no installation fees and equipment is free with purchase of a monitoring plan.

    Our goal is to empower families and make it easy to choose the right decision for their home and loved ones, whether that’s Protect America or not. Protection isn’t a homogenized need. Your home needs different safeguards than a small business or an apartment. All of our packages are customizable and come with lifetime equipment warranties. Protect America can offer you the reliability of a professional security system while still maintaining the simplicity and affordability of a DIY system, so consider calling us today!