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The Importance of Home Security

Remember the olden days where you could leave the key in the door for your friends and neighbours to come and go… unfortunately we don’t have that privilege any more.

Security is the most important factor to fight against possible burglaries.  Make sure you check your home insurance policy for your Underwriters rules and regulations around locks and alarms.  There’s no point in securing great cover and then leaving the door unlocked, giving an open invitation to your home.  As they say… no point closing the gate after the horse has bolted.

So, let’s have a look at some security tips we can put in place to make sure you and your family stay safe and your home insurance has you covered.

We have used some well-known songs and lyrics to help us remember a new security routine to assist us in our everyday lives.  Perhaps you can use these too or come up with your own favourites to help you memorise the main points to action when leaving your home.

Keep burglars ‘Locked out of Heaven’

Your house could be ‘heaven’ to potential burglars so let’s not make it an easy target.

  • It seems so obvious, but don’t forget to lock all doors and windows when you’re not home.  Unlocked doors and opened windows may mean you are not covered by your Home Insurance so make sure it’s a natural thing you do when leaving your home. Check all doors and windows before you leave.  www.garda.ie confirmed that 1 in 5 burglars will enter a home via an unlocked door or window, so let’s not offer up our home on a silver plate.
  • Don’t forget to check all garage, basement and sliding doors are locked too.
  • External doors should have good quality locks fitted.  These would include 5-lever mortice locks for wooden doors, multi-point locking for uPVC doors. (Check your home insurance policy documents for what is required from your home insurer.)
  • ‘Neighbours… everybody needs good neighbours’…. Make your neighbours your new besties so you can leave a spare key with them for cases of emergency... never leave a key outside or in your letterbox.

‘Light Up.. Light Up’

According to www.garda.ie nearly half of burglaries in our Emerald Isle occur between 5pm and 11pm.  So, let’s shine a light on our unwelcome visitors by lighting up our home and garden when we are not home.

  • Set a timer for lights to turn on inside the house when it’s due to get dark and you’re not due home.
  • Invest in some motion detector flood lights outside your home and in the garden to deter anyone up to no good.
  • A bit strapped in the finance department these days?? Not to worry... why not head to your local Dealz or similar discount store to pick up some solar lights for your garden that will come on automatically when it’s starts getting dark.

‘Ring the Alarm’

Using a visible home alarm system will be a natural deterrent for any burglar.  I mean who wants to be caught halfway in a window when the bells start ringing.

Don’t forget… if you have confirmed with your insurance company that you have an alarm on your home… you must turn on the alarm while away from the home.  (Again, ensure to check your home insurance policy documents for what is required from your home insurer).

‘Don’t make it ‘obvious’

Try not to establish any obvious patterns so potential robbers can be sure when your home is vacant.

‘Nowhere to Hide’

Don’t give them somewhere to hide.  If you have trees or shrubs in your garden, make sure they are trimmed back and not an ideal place for someone to hide behind until the coast is clear.  A few thorny plants wouldn’t go amiss around the perimeter and windows for a bit of extra security.

‘Holiday... Celebrate’

When you are going on holidays and leaving your home vacant, don’t advertise it on social media.  This could be seen as an open invitation to your home.

www.garda.ie have some good tips here for what burglars look out for when targeting or marking a home.

In all instances of home security, it is very important that you read through the Terms and Conditions of your home insurance policy so you know what is expected to ensure your home is covered in the event of a burglary.

An Post Insurance Home Insurance is underwritten by Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC.

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