ALMOST HALF OF homeowners in Ireland do not have a burglar alarm installed in their homes and many are taking risks by leaving spare keys in obvious places outside, according to a new survey.
The survey of 900 people by insurance company 123.ie, found 47 per cent do not have an alarm, though burglary and related offences remain high. Between January and September last year there were alsmot 26,000 burglary offences, CSO figures show.
Despite the apparent risks of being burgled, one in four householders are leaving spare keys in an obvious place outside their home. Ironically, 25 per cent of people would not trust their neighbour with a key, though many are happy to leave them right outside their door under a rock or plant pot. Some 14 per cent would not even trust a close friend with their spare key.
Another cause of concern, according to the insurance company, is the fact that almost 27 per cent of those surveyed do not have a fire extinguisher in the home.
Perhaps even more dangerous still, 5 per cent of the survey’s respondents have not checked if their fire alarm was working in the last year while a further 6 per cent have checked just once in the past year.
“We would advise people to get into the habit of locking all doors and windows before leaving the house and to fit a deadbolt lock to their home’s main exterior doors,” said Padraig O’Neill. “The lock should be pick-resistant making it much harder for would-be burglars.”
O’Neill also said people should always leave a light or radio on “as even this simple measure could be enough of a deterrent to a passing burglar”.