The majority of burglaries take place in unoccupied homes. The following are some of the things a burglar looks for:
• No lights on at night, or just ‘dead’ lights on (porch, hall)
• Lights on constantly during the day
• Blinds pulled down, or curtains across during the day
• A build-up of papers and/or flyers in the letter box
• A build-up of letters in the hall or porch visible from outside
• A build-up of milk on the door-step
• Front gates closed and no car in the driveway
• Notes left for delivery men or callers
• Uncut lawn and untidy garden.
Burglars are opportunists
Most burglars are opportunists and will select the easiest target that they can find. Don’t offer them assistance by:
• Leaving any window open. Some people do this for ventilation forgetting that burglars will take advantage of the smallest opening
• Leaving external doors unlocked
• Leaving a key on a string, under a doormat, or in some other ‘good hiding place’ outside
• Failing to secure side doors, allowing entry to the back of the premises, which is more vulnerable to attack
• Failing to keep garages and sheds locked. Not only do they contain valuable property, but also tools which may help the burglar gain access to your home.
Burglars prefer to enter homes through a door because, if disturbed the open door provides the quickest escape route.
Whether an intruder will gain access to your home through your external doors may depend on:
• the strength of the construction material
• the quality of the locks
• proper fitting and installation.
If you are replacing your doors, you should consider doors that have already passed stringent security tests, such as PAS 24 2016, or for higher levels of security, doors meeting Irish & EU Burglar Resistant Security Standard IS EN 1627:2011.
Additional locks and limiters may be added for extra security. Remember to lock your doors. One in five burglars will enter a home via an unlocked door or window.
More than a third of burglars will enter your property through a window. A window’s individual vulnerability will depend on three main factors:
• The accessibility of the window
• The quality of the fabrication, strength and installation of the window
• The visibility of the window to neighbours or passers-by.
We can reduce their attraction as an entry point for the burglar by trying to minimize these risk features.
Windows manufactured to comply with the European standard I.S. EN 1627:2011 or the British security standard for doors & windows PAS 24-2016 or equivalent are recommended as these will have been subjected to specific security and burglar resistance tests.
Additional locks and limiters may be added for extra security. Remember to lock your windows. One in five burglars will enter a home via an unlocked door or window.
It is widely accepted that appropriate lighting can help to reduce crime and act as an effective deterrent to burglars. Appropriate lighting will help to make your home more visible to neighbours and passers-by; thereby increasing the likelihood of discovering unwanted intruders and trespassers. Lighting also helps to reduce the fear of crime.
When installing security lighting, please consider each of the following:
• Avoid the creation of shadows and dark areas
• Position the light fitting out of reach
• Aim for a uniform light level
• Direct the light beam appropriately
• Consider your neighbours
It is widely accepted that intruder alarms are an effective deterrent against burglars, thereby helping to reduce the likelihood of your home being targeted. However, it is important to understand that an intruder alarm is not a replacement for good physical security. It should, rather, be regarded as a back-up to good physical and other security measures and precautions employed to protect your home.
All installed alarms should comply with the European Standard EN 50131. All alarm installers and installation companies must now be licensed by the Private Security Authority. A list of all licensed installers is available on their website. It is important to understand how your alarm system operates. Your installer should explain the operation of the system to you and all other members of your family. Insist on a training session to demonstrate its features. Do not write alarm codes etc. on the instruction manual or on walls or doors near the control unit or keypad.
For more advice on how to protect your home see www.garda.ie