Door Locking Survey Raises More Questions Than in Answers

Door Locking Survey Raises More Questions Than in Answers 1

I was researching home burglary statistics when I ran across an interesting 2023 survey conducted by SafeHome. The results of the survey were published in late September 2023. I will admit to being surprised by some of the numbers. For me, the survey data raised more questions than it answered.

More than 1,000 respondents were surveyed about their door locking habits. SafeHome asked whether homeowners always locked their doors, just when they left home, or not at all. They also asked about living arrangements and other security practices to see if there were any correlations.

For the record, I am a big proponent of keeping doors and windows locked. I am also a big fan of monitored home security. I am more than happy to recommend Vivint Smart Home to anyone looking for a state-of-the-art home security system that can be integrated with home automation. But not all people think like me.

Door Locking Survey Raises More Questions Than in Answers 2

A Modest Majority Lock Their Doors

Monitored home security aside, the SafeHome survey produced some interesting information. For starters, roughly 68% of all U.S. adults keep their doors locked. That is the average across the nation. But rates differ based on region. For example, only 58% of New Englanders keep their doors locked. Here is a breakdown by region:

  • New England – 58%
  • Mid-Atlantic – 75%
  • Southeast – 81%
  • Southwest – 79%
  • Midwest – 70%
  • West – 78%
  • Northwest & Alaska – 54%

Residents in most of the country are pretty good about locking their doors. But at an average rate of just 68%, that means 32% are not so diligent about locking up. That is alarming for someone concerned about burglary, home invasion, and other property crimes.

Apartment Dwellers Lock Up

SafeHome also surveyed respondents about their living arrangements. Then they drew correlations. It turns out that apartment dwellers are the most likely to keep their doors locked. They do so at a rate of 78%. Here are the rest of the categories, by the numbers:

  • Townhouse residents – 75%
  • Single family homeowners – 72%
  • Residents of gated communities – 71%
  • Manufactured homeowners – 59%

Apartment dwellers being most likely to lock their doors makes perfect sense to me. By their nature, apartment buildings are communal buildings. More people in a smaller space only increases the chances of being burglarized.

Locking Up with Other Security Measures

One of the more interesting correlations drawn from the survey data relates to other security measures homeowners and apartment dwellers take. For instance, 85% of the survey respondents making use of security cameras also lock their doors. Here is a list of additional security measures and the percentage of users who keep their doors locked:

  • Alarm systems – 84%
  • Doormen – 82%
  • Security guards – 80%
  • Secured doors (requiring a code) – 77%
  • Firearms – 74%
  • Dogs – 68%

I find it fascinating that people who rely on their dogs for home security are the least likely to lock their doors. On the other hand, it seems that people who invest in home security systems and standalone security devices are also the most likely to lock up. Could the behaviors be related? I think so.

Just One Strategy

Keeping windows indoors always locked is just one strategy for preventing property crimes. People who invest in home security systems seem to recognize that their best protection is employing multiple strategies. It makes sense that these same people would enhance their security systems by keeping their doors locked.

Still, that does not explain why so many people don’t lock their doors. It doesn’t explain the differences between geographic regions or the fact that owners of large dogs aren’t as concerned about locking up.


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