Throwback: Tips from The Flame about Burglars

Before the days of advanced alarm systems, vacationers relied on more traditional anti-theft methods when protecting their home. Back then guard dogs and neighbors were the most reliable form of protection against home break-ins.

In the 1955 April edition of The Flame there was a questionnaire to test readers’ vulnerability to burglars. The article cites an FBI statistic form 1955 that estimated one burglary happened ever minute costing Americans millions of dollars each year.

According to police reports from across the U.S. in 1955, a burglar’s biggest ally is the victim. This article advises home owners to avoid errors in “judgment” and “omission.” Some examples of recommendations include for homeowners to keep valuables in a safety deposit box at their bank and to inform their local newspaper about their vacation before they leave.

Here are two tips that were included in the article.

  1. Flame Tip: Don’t leave a note in the mailbox instructing where you hid your key
  2. Flame Tip: Don’t allow things to accumulate on your doorstep indicating that you’re not home

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Some of the tips – such as preventing milk bottles from accumulating on the front step – are no longer a concern, but it’s always interesting to read about life nearly sixty years ago. Here’s the brief article, complete with mention of “Mr. J. Edgar Hoover’s Federal Bureau of Investigation”:
















Burglary Assessment

We included the quiz straight out of 1955 in case anyone wants to check how they would shape up as a homeowner – some of the questions are still relevant today.

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Maria Turconi

Maria Turconi was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is currently pursuing a BA in Public Relations from Penn State University. Maria currently works as an Intern in External Affairs for Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation where her responsibilities include writing for Cabot's social media, scheduling content and event planning.

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