In the excitement of going on holidays, homeowners often overlook basic security arrangements to keep their home safe while they are away from home.
PhoneWatch Athlone Office manager, Mick Curley, offers some timely hints as we enter the summer holiday season.
Do not leave keys hidden outside: Burglars know every potential hiding place - yet despite this, 35 per cent of homeowners have left a key hidden in the garden.
Lock your doors: More than 50 per cent of attempted burglaries are through the front and back doors. Make sure that all doors are locked and double check before you go.
Do not leave a top window open for fresh air: This amounts to inviting an agile and opportunistic thief to enter your home. Make sure windows are locked and check before you go.
Secondary locking for double the protection: Install a secondary locking system to all windows and doors for extra peace of mind.
Ask for help: Ask your neighbour to keep an eye on your home and to take in your post while you are away. A tell-tale sign that a home is unoccupied is post piled up on the door mat.
It’s all about perception: Put lights on timer switches to give the impression of people at home as dusk falls.
Cut the grass before you go: Nothing says ‘I’m on holidays’ more than an uncut lawn. Ask a neighbour to put your bins out for collection and put them back in again while you are away.
Keep your journey off social media: Do not update your social media account with information about when you are leaving and when you will return. Social media is a great source of information for burglars. Keep your plans private.
Your alarm: Make sure your exterior alarm box is clean; it implies that it has been serviced recently.
Make sure to turn it on: Switch on your alarm. Again, this is basic, but in the rush to get to the airport this is easily forgotten. A monitored alarm will provide you with the best protection, notifying you and the Gardaí of any intrusions and potentially catching the burglars in the act.
If you observe any unusual activity in your area do not hesitate to report it to the Gardaí.