Householders urged to take extra security precautions this Christmas

As the shopping and party seasons get into full swing, homeowners are being advised to take a series of additional Christmas security measures. The guidance comes from PhoneWatch to coincide with the release of research on Irish people’s Christmas security habits.

PhoneWatch research found that: almost a quarter of homes are left unoccupied during evenings in December; 59 per cent are left unalarmed while not occupied; the average household will contain €500 of brand new gifts in December; four in 10 take no additional security measures during the month of December.

Eoin Dunne, managing director of PhoneWatch, said: “We all look forward to Christmas time, catching up with family and friends, as well as the excitement of giving gifts. In the run-up to Christmas we can all get carried away with the fun and excitement and forget some basic safety tips. Homes are more likely to be empty, and often contain lots of brand new gifts. At this time of year extra vigilance is required to make sure your home is safe and secure.

“With an average of €500 worth of gifts in people’s homes Irish people are clearly very generous. We want to ensure that this generosity doesn’t extend to burglars this Christmas. However the research shows that these gifts are most often left in very obvious locations that any burglar would find in seconds. Wardrobes are the most popular storage spot (46 per cent ), and 38 per cent leave valuable gifts in open sight under their Christmas tree. This is simply a gift to any burglar.”

In addition to the standard precautions such as alarming your home, leaving lights on, and locking all windows and doors, PhoneWatch recommend a series of additional Christmas-time precautions:

Hide expensive gifts and avoid the most common places such as wardrobes, closets, and car boots.

Instead of leaving gifts under trees, use gift-wrapped boxes as both a decoration and a decoy.

Discard packaging sensibly. Do not leave the box to a brand new iPad or iPhone on top of the green bin.

Do not store extra cash in your home. Use cards where possible and do not forget ATMs do not close for Christmas.

Do not advertise your absence by posting on social media from a Christmas party or the start of a vacation.

Do not forget to unplug your Christmas lights at night time.

To avoid false alarm activations, be careful where you place your Christmas decorations.

And, of course, always arm your alarm.

For more information on the importance of home security and what measures you can take to protect your home and family, visit www.phonewatch.ie/alarm-monitoring/security-tips/ or call (01 ) 2135271.

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