CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – How safe do you feel in your neighborhood? According to a new study, the Mountain State is in the top 10 for safest homes in the country, however, West Virginians can be pretty forgetful about making sure their door is locked.
Researchers with Vivint compared survey results to FBI crime rate statistics to calculate which states have the safest homes. According to Vivint, the researchers surveyed 1,847 respondents across all 50 states about home security such as their outdoor lighting, fencing, cameras, door locks, security systems and other security habits.
West Virginia came in at ninth place on the list for having the best home security in the country compared to the state’s property crime rates. The study also found that, according to FBI data, West Virginia has a property crime rate of 1,399 per 100,000 residents.
Oklahoma came in at the top of the list as having the best home security in comparison to the state’s property crime rate of 2,706 per 100,000 citizens. Rounding out the top 10 are Idaho, Wyoming, Vermont, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, West Virginia and Montana.
The five states with the worst home security compared to property crime rates are Oregon, South Dakota, Alabama, Kansas and Ohio.
According to the study, 58% of Americans across the country will answer the door without knowing who is on the other side. Vivint researchers say this can be dangerous because criminals can try to scam you or even force their way into your home when you open the door.
Of those surveyed, 56% also said they often forget to lock their doors, and 44% said they leave the garage door open when they are not home. Not only is an unlocked door or window the main way burglars try to enter a home, researchers say having the doors and windows locked is also important for activating your home security system.
When it comes to forgetting to lock the door, West Virginia and Vermont tie at the top of the list with 76% of survey respondents from each state admitting they often forget to lock the door. Montana, Wyoming and Idaho round out the top five.
On the other side of the scale, Ohioans are most likely to remember to lock their door with only 28% of respondents from the state saying they often forget. Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia and Georgia round out the top five of most likely to remember to lock their doors.
Other national statistics researchers found through the survey include:
- 87% of Americans have their homes well-lit at night
- 80% of Americans have a fence around their property
- 68% of Americans have deterrents in place for lurkers
- 68% of Americans have a home security system
- 68% of Americans have outdoor security cameras around their home
- 65% of Americans have security cameras inside their home
Some other strategies to protect your home while you are out include having locks on your doors and windows, monitoring your home security system from a phone, shutting the garage door, having a security dog, having someone you trust check on your home while you are away and/or having an intruder alarm.