With a year on year rise of 7% in burglaries and anecdotal insurance claims evidence that an increasing number are premeditated, the AA is reminding homeowners to be extra vigilant if heading away or out socializing over the Easter bank holiday weekend.
Of a sample of 20,000 people recently polled by AA Home Insurance, almost a third indicated they have been the victim of burglary at some point during their lives. Of this category, the AA reports that a quarter of incidents occurred at the night while the occupants were asleep upstairs.
“Based on our own home insurance book of close to 60,000 customers, break-ins while the occupants are at home would seem to be slightly on the up.” Says Conor Faughnan, Director of Policy, AA Ireland. “While an unfortunate reality, it’s no harm to get into good habits as regards your windows, doors and alarm system even when you’re home.”
“One recent burglary example from our poll that springs to mind occurred when both a husband and wife were at home. The wife was taking a shower and the husband watching TV. Hard to imagine but it does happen on occasion. ” says Faughnan.
Burglars are most likely to strike during the day when no one is at home results of the AA Home Insurance Poll suggest. Of the category polled, 43% said they were burgled during daylight hours when their home was empty.
Following this just short of 10% of burglaries happened while the individual was either on holidays, during the Christmas break or when out at a family wedding or funeral.
To reduce the risk of burglary this Easter weekend, the AA is advising homeowners to take the following extra precautions:
Remember to cancel your regular deliveries such as milk and newspapers.
Ask your neighbour to collect any post you receive
Put your lights on timers if you have them
Never say you’re away from home on your home answering machine or social media accounts
Turn on your house alarm if you have one
Double check everything is locked before you go
Don’t hide your spare keys somewhere obvious
Don’t leave valuables in any cars left in your driveway
Lock away valuables such as jewellery and electronics
Remember to lock your shed as well as the main house