Eight things to do to protect your home from burglars this Christmas

Research shows that almost half of Irish people, 45%, are living in homes with no house alarm installed.

This is despite one in seven people claiming to have been the victim of break-ins, according to the research commissioned by Zurich Insurance.

The study shows that, despite concerns regarding rural crime, rural dwellers significantly lag urban householders for home security with just 37% of people in Connacht and Ulster, and 40% in Munster, found to have alarms.

This compares to 64% of homes having alarms installed in Greater Leinster and 74% in Dublin.

The research also found that a solid 24% of people’s homes across the country are now monitored remotely 24/7 by a security provider.

Burglars are believed to be increasingly going online to identify potential break-in targets, and the research found that 16% of people continue to share holiday plans publically on social media.

    Zurich has outlined eight steps that people can take to help protect their homes this Christmas period:

  • Ensure that all windows and doors are locked, and alarms set before leaving the house;
  • Hide keys and other valuables such as Christmas presents out of sight from passer-by’s or would be burglars;
  • Don’t share your holiday plans on social media;
  • Apply timed switches on lights so it looks like you’re at home when you’re out;
  • Make your home alarm visible and ensure it’s noisy as it will ward off burglars;
  • Trim trees and bushes as burglars can hide behind unkempt shrubbery and overbearing branches, using them to get closer to houses without being seen;
  • Install motion sensor lighting in your garden to prevent burglars from sneaking around unseen;
  • Make your house look occupied if you’re travelling over the Christmas period and give a friend, relative or trusted neighbour a key so they can collect excess post.

Colm Blake, Marketing Manager at Zurich Insurance, said: "An empty house is an easy target for burglars so people should do everything they can to avoid bringing unwanted attention to unoccupied homes while away on travels. Apart from the more practical home security measures, we’re advising people to be extra careful when sharing holiday plans outside of close friends and family, particularly on social media."

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