The following are some tips on how to make your home more secure.
If an alarm system is installed it reduces the risk of your home becoming a target and helps minimise the loss if an alarm is activated following a break-in.
There are many different types of Alarms available with a variety of features but irrespective of the type of Alarm fitted it is very important to note that it is illegal to have an alarm fitted unless it is done by a licensed alarm installer. The relevant installation standard for intruder alarm systems is IS 199. Insurance companies allow a significant discount on Home Insurance premiums depending on the type of Alarm system installed and whether it is monitored or not.
A five-lever mortice deadlock is the recommended minimum security for external doors as it offers excellent protection against all common forms of attack including force, drilling, manipulation and hacksaw. In respect of Patio Doors it would be recommended to install a multi-point locking mechanism or standard patio lock with key operated locks, top and bottom.
It is a requirement of many Home Insurers that five-lever locks and approved Patio Door locks are installed on all external doors of the home.
If key operated Window Locks are fitted to a property it may deter thieves from breaking in as it would force them to break the glass to gain entry.
It is usually a requirement with many home Insurers that appropriate locks are installed on all accessible windows of the home.
Burglars tend to target properties where they cannot easily be seen. It is advisable to fit exterior security lighting to the home and any outbuildings as a deterrent.
If burglars believe a home is occupied they are less likely to break in. Install Timers on some lights which can then be set at different intervals which gives the home the appearance of being occupied.
Joining your local neighbourhood watch or Community Alert Scheme is a way to take positive action together with your neighbours in co-operation with the Garda Siochana to help reduce local crime and protect your home.
Some Home Insurers give discounts where the policyholder is in a Neighbourhood Watch or Community Alert Scheme.
If your Home is clearly visible from the road or from a neighbours house thieves may be deterred from breaking in. Any large hedges or shrubs should be trimmed back.
Outbuildings, Garages and Sheds should be kept locked when not in use to prevent theft and to prevent access to useful tools to assist a burglar gain access to the home. Never leave ladders or other tools that could be used by a burglar to gain access to the Home in the open. Such items should always be locked away.
Arrange for a neighbour to visit your home to check all is in order and remove any visible post which has been delivered. Cancel the newspaper delivery. It is also possible to re-direct your post at the post office. Notify your Home Insurer if you will be away from the home for a long period, usually more than 30 days as reduced cover may apply.
This will not prevent property being stolen but will help the Gardai recover items that have been stolen. Use an ultra violet market pen to mark valuable items and items of sentimental value. Also record details of high value items such as jewellery, silver, audio visual equipment etc and photograph them.