AA Home Insurance has said they are approaching the peak time for home burglaries in Ireland.
An analysis of the home insurance provider’s books found that around 42% of home insurance claims for burglaries in 2016 and 2017 were made between October and January.
They also found that in around 20% of burglary claims, the intruder was able to get into the home through an unsecured door or window.
Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs, issued a reminder to homeowners to double-check their security.
He said: “Burglaries really come to the fore of homeowners’ minds late in the winter months, but from as early as October the risk of home intrusion will increase quite significantly.
"Unfortunately, you can’t truly eliminate the risk of someone breaking into your property but there are steps you can take which will help reduce the likelihood of someone gaining access to your home or at least make it more difficult for them to do so.
"It sounds obvious, but making sure any possible point of entry to your home is secure is a vital step for homeowners to take.
"Take five minutes now to check each window and door lock in your home and plan to replace any malfunctioning locks and you’ll greatly reduce the ability of any intruder to access your home.”
The analysis also found that jewellery, watches and rings were among the items most likely to be stolen during a home break-in, with electrical items such as iPads, laptops and mobile phones less likely to be taken by a burglar.
The AA’s analysis also found tools and bikes are likely to be high on a burglar’s priority list, with the continued increase in the number of people owning mid to high-value bikes making these a key target.
Mr Faughnan said: “Burglars tend to be quite choosy once they enter a property in the sense that they will likely have a list in their head of items they’re looking for and a goal of getting in and out as quickly as possible.
“Having any items of value covered under your home insurance is a great start, but we would also strongly encourage homeowners to fit an alarm to their property.
"It may not prevent the burglary outright, but in most cases where an alarm was activated only the main bedroom was targeted by the intruders. Conversely, where no alarm was present, our analysis seems to indicate that burglars were likely to spend more time in the property going from room to room."