Home Security While Away at Christmas

Although the dark evenings mean we should all be taking extra precautions when it comes to home security, the Christmas period brings added risk with many people travelling to be with friends and family over the festive period. This leaves empty houses all over the country.

Recent Garda statistics show that almost 50% of burglaries that occur in winter happen between 5pm and 11pm. In almost 1 in 5 burglaries, entry is through an unsecured door or window.

As home security experts, Stop the Burglar say “burglars look for easy entry and escape routes”, so secure your home whether you are away visiting family or out for the evening at a Christmas party by following these simple steps.

1.  Secure your home before you leave

Go through the house systematically and consciously secure each room. This will stop ‘the fear’ when you are an hour into your journey that you forgot to lock the downstairs bathroom window:

  • Make sure doors and windows are closed and locked (even the tiny one in the bathroom): don’t make it easy for criminals to access your house, keep it secure without turning it into Fort Knox.
  • Double lock the main door if you can: house burglars are experts at entering houses. If they see a single lock front door, they will target that home over another.
  • Have a couple of lights on a timer: it is an affordable way to make your home looked lived in. A timer switch for a lamp in the hall and one in a front facing room may discourage a burglar, who may be watching your home, from breaking in.
  • Have a neighbour or friend collect post: There is nothing that makes a home look empty quite like post around the door.
  • Don’t leave valuables on display: although we also recommend not making your home look like you have valuables to hide, ensure easy to take items like jewellery, laptops and tablets are stored out of view.

2.  Set your house alarm 

Although an alarm in itself isn’t always a deterrent to burglars, it will help. The Gardai say that most reported burglary incidents are due to an alarm activation.

3. Don’t close all the blinds

Stop the Burglar say closed blinds encourage potential burglars to wonder what you are hiding, so ideally have someone open and close them each day. If that isn’t possible, leave blinds half way down and curtains open.

Closed blinds encourage potential burglars to wonder what you are hiding, so ideally have someone open and close them each day.

4. Borrow a car for the drive

An easy way for a burglar to know who is home and who isn’t, is by looking for cars in the drive. While there is a small chance someone is at home if there is no car, it is much less than a house with a car outside.

5. Let there be light

Thieves rely on dark corners so they can hide while they access your property through a back door or window. Stop this by installing motion sensor lighting at the front and back of your home.

Find more ways to keep your home safe this Christmas with our handy home security infographic. Protect the things you love with comprehensive home insurance from AIG.




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