With the increase in break-ins we really need to be vigilant and take proper precautions to keep the burglars at bay. The days are long gone when we could leave our homes unlocked whilst we were out, but irrespective of that, many break-ins take place during daylight and quite often when we are home.
The gardai tell us that many break-ins are opportunistic and that a large percentage don’t even need a forced entry – the burglar goes through an open window or uses the keys that are left under the door mat. Sometimes the intruder even enters through the unlocked back door when you are upstairs.
Other burglaries are often carried out by a rogue tradesman who searches for such an opportunity. Be wary of cold callers that offer to clean your windows or clear your guttering. Genuine tradesmen would have no problem providing you with ID or a business card and you can check them out before you allow them to enter your home. Getting an Intercom System fitted is a good way of checking who is at the door before you open it.
Don’t be fooled by a leaflet or business card that only has a mobile phone number on it and no address – anyone can have these printed up very inexpensively. When you need work done it is better to use someone who has been recommended to you rather than someone who calls to your door.
You should consider getting CCTV for your home or an alarm system fitted. There are some great deals on Alarm Systems (currently with free intercom), and a Home CCTV System could cost less than you think.
It is easy to become complacent so keep the following tips in mind:
- Don’t leave spare keys under the flower pot or door mat – this is the first place a burglar will look.
- Don’t label your keys – you are potentially helping an intruder determine how to gain entry to your home.
- External security lights are a good deterrent.
- Ask for identification from cold callers, and check it is legitimate.
- Lock your doors behind you when you enter your home. This includes the back door when you come in from the garden.
- Lock all doors and windows when you leave the house. Have deadlocks fitted on external doors – and ensure you use them.
- Don’t leave your keys in the hall beside your front door – this is the first place an intruder will look. Take car keys upstairs with you at night time.
- Use timers on internal lights when you are out. It is also possible to fit timers to stereos or televisions.
- If you are going on holiday, cancel any milk/paper deliveries and have a family member or neighbour collect your mail so it doesn’t obviously overflow.
- Consider an alarm or CCTV for home security.