What do ice cream and crime have in common? Well, both ice cream sales and crime rates increase in the summertime.
According to a 2014 study from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, with the exception of robbery and auto theft, violent and property crimes are higher during the summer than the rest of the year.
Summer is time for vacations, pools, cold drinks, watermelon, and more. The last thing on anyone’s mind is protecting their home. Numbers never lie. A 2001 paper called "Heat and Violence" by University of Iowa professor Craig Anderson stated that there are 2.6 percent more murders and assaults in the U.S. in the summer than in the winter and that "hot summers produce a bigger increase in violence than cooler summers." There are reasons why the crime rates take a leap in the summer heat.
1. More people travel during the summer. Like the Kardashians, burglars are keeping an eye on where you are all the time through social media. If you are one to post everything you are doing, at all times of the day, then thieves know when you are not at home. Thinks twice before posting, “Can’t wait for our trip to Belgium next week!” Burglars know you’ll be gone and long enough for them to do some real damage.
2. Kids are off school with no plans. They are bored out of their minds. If they are not being occupied, kids will likely fall into peer pressure by looting homes, stealing cars, and getting into drugs. Evidence from the University of Chicago shows that summer job programs for youth can reduce violent crime arrests by 51 percent. By giving kids something to do over the summer, they are less likely to start bad behavior. Send your children to summer camp, get them involved in the community, or push them to find a job. Your neighborhood will be better when kids have plans.
3. Cold beer and BBQ go hand in hand. It’s not a surprise that sipping on libations near the pool is a common visual on your Instagram feed. Drinking by the barbecue is a common venue for a cold beer. According to Nielsen, 65% of Americans plan to drink around popular outdoor settings including festivals, sporting events, concerts and more.
Where this is alcohol, there is usually violence. Studies show that a person’s comprehension of difficult situations diminish if they are under the influence causing them to either get really angry or depressed for no reason.
4. Hot Tempers and Broken A/C’s. The heat can make someone’s emotions skyrocket. Being hot and uncomfortable usually increases irritations and decreases patience levels. Especially when the A/C breaks down. The frustration, along with the high price tag doesn’t help your temper is the smoldering summer heat. According to Professor Craig Anderson, who wrote the 2001 paper on heat and violence, "the scientific evidence shows that uncomfortably hot temperatures increase irritability, which in turn increases aggressive behavior, including violent crime." It is only a matter of time when someone reaches their breaking point, adding to the already high crime rates.
5. There are just more opportunities. People are leaving their doors and windows open all willy nilly, allowing burglars the opportunity to strike when they have a chance. When guests come to your home, they will forget to lock doors. Burglars go through neighborhoods at night and check for open car doors for the chance to grab some of your precious belongings. Kiss those Prada sunglasses goodbye because the weather is great for thieves for a nightly stroll.
Prepare for the summer
Remember that criminals do not take vacations. The important thing to do is protect your home and belongings for a potential break-in. Like Benjamin Franklin says, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
In retail, they say the best deterrent for theft is great customer service and attentiveness. You can apply that same theory for your home. Get to know your neighbors over the summertime so they are likely to look out for you while you’re away. The nosey little old lady next door could be one of your best alarm systems along with the one you already own. This will also help you recognize any people in your community so when someone suspicious is walking around, you’ll be ready. You can never be too safe when it comes to your home and personal belongings.
Text alerts that save us
Technology has given us so many tools that warn us when something is happening. If a pipe bursts in your basement or your daughter left her curling iron on that sparked a fire, you will be notified immediately. The right alarm system will send you a text notification that something is wrong. Knowing right away will help save your home and belongings from being stolen or damaged.
Securing your home while you’re away is the best way to protect your family and belongings. Finding an alarm system package through a company like Specialty Alarm Engineering will give you peace of mind when you are away from your home for even the shortest amount of time.
Not only will your home be protected from burglaries but you can also opt for a package that will include water sensors and fire alarms. For more information on how to keep your home safe during the summer from fire, check out our blog post Summer Fire Safety Tips.