About Entry by Intruders

Burglary is the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft. To classify an offense as a burglary, the use of force to gain entry need not have occurred. There are three subclassifications for burglary: forcible entry, unlawful entry where no force is used, and attempted forcible entry.1

Facts and Figures

  • 1 in 5 homes will experience a burglary.2
  • A burglary is committed in the U.S. every 15 seconds.2
  • Up to 80% of homes are burglarized via a “locked” door or window.2
  • Socio-economic circumstances are related to the risk of burglary and fear of burglary. Fear of burglary is brought about by knowing someone who has been burgled and by publicity about crimes.1
  • Generally, economically disadvantaged households are at higher risk of burglary, with run-down inner city and the poorest council estates being most at risk. Also at high risk are flats and terraced properties. However, the risks are associated more with socioeconomic factors, than with physical attributes, such as estate design and home security.1
  • Renters are nearly twice as likely to be victims of burglary or attempted burglary than homeowners.1
  • In the majority of successful burglaries, some force is used to enter the home. The risk of entry increases with declining levels of security.1


Potential effects of entry by intruders include1:

  • The fear of a possible burglary occurrence or recurrence;
  • The stress and anguish caused by a burglary; and
  • Injuries caused to occupants by an intruder (aggravated burglary).

Gain Control: Actions You Can Take

To help prevent health and safety risks due to entry by intruders, see below for suggested actions you can take2:

  • Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in.
  • Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
  • Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
  • Keep your garage door closed and locked.
  • Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
  • Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
  • Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for alternatives.
  • Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.

Local Resources for Detroit Residents

For contact information of partner organizations that might be able to provide help with asbestos hazards in your home, visit our Get Help page.


1U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development: Healthy Home Rating System – Operating Guidance (http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=operating_guidance_hhrs_v1.pdf)
2Global Security Experts Inc. (http://www.globalsecurityexperts.com/home-security/burglary-prevention-tips.html)