Burglary – Simple steps to lessen your risk

Burglary – A crime on the rise.

According to the 2008 Eircom Phonewatch Burglary Report, burglaries in Ireland increased by a whopping 32% over a one year period. In this post, we are going to give you some good advice on how to minimize your risk of becoming a victim of this crime. Firstly we will take a look at some of the figures from the Eircom Phonewatch report.

Between June 2007 and June 2008 over €100m worth of goods were stolen from Irish homes, give that figure a moment to sink in, €100m! The report also showed that a staggering 80% of burglaries took place while occupants are in the home.

Eircom Phonewatch also found that whilst Dublin remains the worst hit county in Ireland, rates of increase were higher outside of the capital. Amongst the top ten counties worst affected are Wicklow, Kildare, Meath, Louth, Cork, Limerick and Waterford.

The most targeted day of the week is Saturday (16.3%) closely followed by Friday (16.1%). Sunday (11%) is the least likely day to be the victim of a break in. The most likely time of day to be burgled is between the hours of 12pm and 4pm. Entry through the back door accounts for 45% of all burglaries.

Your home is your castle and no insurance cover in the world can reinstate precious and sentimental items. We have dealt with countless burglary claims over the years and in many cases it could have been avoided by following some simple tips.

Most day-time burglary’s take place in unoccupied homes, windows are the most commonly used entry point so make sure that you secure all windows and doors before you leave home or go to bed. It is worthwhile to examine all external window and door locks and make sure that they are in good repair and are of good quality. Replace or repair what is not up to scratch.

Burglar alarms are obviously recommended – these should be fitted and maintained by qualified reputable persons. Secure sheds and garages. Don’t leave obvious signs of a vacant home such as closed curtains during daylight hours. Make sure you protect and mark your property. Keep photographic records where necessary. Do not leave loose cash at home. Keep bank cards, passports and credit cards in a safe place.

Security at your Residence
• Ensure your apartment and house doors are locked at all times. When vacating your apartment, check to ensure that all windows are locked.

• Never give your house/apartment keys to anyone else and do not leave your keys where others could have access to them.

• Before you admit any callers to your apartment, ensure you are satisfied with their identity – ask for identification if in doubt.

• Inform a trusted neighbour if you are going away.

• Ensure that all your property is marked with your own personal identification code. Items of value should be securely locked away.

Your Bedtime check list.

  • Money – is it safely stored?
  • Windows – are they securely shut?
  • If you need to keep windows open at night – have you put the alarm on?
  • Keep keys handy for emergency exits – but not to attract unwanted entrances – and don’t leave your keys in the back door, especially if you have a cat flap
  • Leave a light on in the porch or hallway – light deters prowlers.
  • Downstairs is not the only way in – remember drain pipes, walls, lattice work, extension roofs and wheelie bins all give burglars a step up.
  • Keep blinds/curtains closed – only you need to know what’s in your house.

Your Holiday Checklist.

–       Do your neighbour and yourself a favour – invite them to use your driveway while you’re away.

–       Leave your answering machine off, if possible, or check your messages as often as possible.

–       Get a neighbour or friend to move your post to somewhere less conspicuous than your doormat.

–       Remember to cancel your milk and newspaper orders while away.

–       Will you need your grass cut or your bins put out? Ask your neighbour, you can return the favour when the time comes.

–       Do you always live in darkness? Have your blinds/curtains open during the day.

–       A timer for lights is a worthwhile investment and gives the impression that someone is at home.

Take a look at An Garda Síochána Crime Prevention Leaflet on Holiday Security