Last weekend the clocks went back and now winter will be truly upon us. With the clocks going back, there’s shorter hours of sunlight and with these darker evenings burglaries historically go up.
The Gardaí divisions in Ireland revealed that burglaries increase by around 20% in the winter months, largely due to the darker evenings. With that in mind, burglars are gearing up for their busiest time of year across the country and homeowners have to be extra vigilant.
To help with this we’ve compiled a list of 10 things to be extra mindful of heading into the winter months:
Always set your alarm whether you're at home or away
Always check your HomeSecure app to see the status of your app. You can also arm and disarm the alarm from your app
Keep your doors and windows (including upstairs) locked at all times
Leave a Leave a light on, and use timer switches or a smart plug when you're away
Leave a radio on to make the house seem occupied
Move your keys away from letterboxes to prevent “fishing”
Record details of valuables, this can be used as part of your content insurance. Particularly important to update coming up to Christmas
Do not keep large amounts of cash in the house and keep jewelry locked away
Keep ladders and tools locked safely away to prevent burglars from using them
Never leave a key out under a mat or flowerpot
Previously around this time of the year, An Garda Síochána have released a ‘Light up and Lock up’, message to the public and with 20% of burglars entering homes through an unlocked door or window, it’s important to try and make their job as difficult as possible.
Lighting up is now (like everything else these days) available on the go. If you can use Smart Switches or Smart Plugs to turn on lights or lamps to come on in your home from a smartphone, when you’re out and about. You can also set them to a timer, so if you know you the house is always vacant until 6:30pm, you can time your light / lamp to come on every day at 5pm until 6:30pm, making it look like someone is home even when the house is empty.
CEO of HomeSecure.ie, Colm Daly had this say ahead of clocks going back, “Householders must remain vigilant and aware of home security leading into the darker months. We know that burglaries increase by around 20% once the clocks go back. We know crime prevention is much more effective than crime control and we encourage our customers to do what they can to prevent a burglar from ever entering their home. Making your home less inviting to potential crime is critical as we outline in the points above. Unfortunately, as upwards of 60% of break-ins can occur when householders are at home we always recommend for our customers to set their alarm to the ‘Stay’ mode and that all family members are fully briefed on the use of the alarm.”