As the days get shorter, it is timely for all of us to take steps to ensure that our homes are not an easy target for potential burglars. We attended a recent Garda briefing for representative bodies in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and wish to share the following words of advice from them. Please also take time to consider the relevant sections in An Garda Síochána – Operation Thor’s Lock Up Light Up Campaign 2016 (the links to the PDF leaflets are on the right hand side of the page), in particular the “Lock Up and Light Up” campaign.
- Turn on and leave on some lights in the house. Timer switches are a cheap and easy option to keep your home lit up if you are going to be away. If you have external lighting, take some time to check that the bulbs are ok and that the sensors are working.
- When leaving the house unattended, check that doors and windows are securely locked. A Chubb lock (or similar type) is recommended for your front door for additional security.
- Cars are a popular target for burglars. “Fishing” the keys through the front door letterbox does happen so please don’t leave keys visible and accessible in the front porch. Store your keys away from windows and letterboxes.
- Other than cars, cash and Jewellery are the most popular items for burglars. If you have a home safe, don’t store it in the wardrobe of your bedroom – it’s the first place burglars look. Please don’t keep large amounts of cash or valuable jewellery in the home if at all possible.
- If you do have valuables in your home, keep a record of them. Take a photo, record the serial number (for bikes etc.). The Gardaí do recover property from time to time and you have a number better chance of recovery if you have a record/identification of the items in question.
- Check that your alarm is working properly, and we recommend you get it serviced by a reputable licensed firm if you are not sure. (You can search for a registered contractor here: www.psa.gov.ie/en/PSA/webContract?OpenForm.) We recommend that you consider using the perimeter setting (0#7) when you are at home in the house. If you are the victim of a burglary, please report it to the Gardaí and let your local Neighbourhood Watch representative know about the event.
- Please keep an eye out for your neighbours and their property, especially if your neighbour is elderly and/or living on their own. The local Neighbourhood Watch representative will be happy to meet with anyone who needs assistance in protecting their home and property against unwanted intrusion.
An Garda Síochána Leaflet – Personal Safety Security for the Older Person
Whether you are at home or going out, remember to turn on some lights, use timer switches, lock all doors and windows, use an alarm, store keys away from windows and letter boxes and don’t store large amounts of cash or jewellery in the house.