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Safety

Are you 'inviting' burglars into your home?

An AA survey shows that people still leave their keys where burglars can find them – like in a garage or even in the porch.

YOU MIGHT THINK that your home is safe, but you could be inviting burglars in to make away with your valuables.

A new survey by the AA shows that some people are still leaving spare keys in very obvious places – like in a garage or garden shed.

Homes

Recent arrests by gardaí included several burglars who had stolen car keys from unsuspecting motorists by using an extendable rod through the victim’s letter box.

According to the Central Statistics office, there was a 9 per cent increase in burglaries and related offences between 2010 and 2012.

The latest AA Home Insurance poll of over 9,200 people shows that people still leave their spare house key where burglars can find it: under the mat or plant pot, in the porch or the letter box or on the door frame.

In fact, 542 of those polled said they left their spare key in a garage or garden shed.

Conor Faughnan, Director of Policy in the AA said that it is “really quite dangerous leaving your house key where it can be found by the wrong person”.

Many people polled admitted that they often had to leave out a key for their children who would be coming in late at night without one. Two of the people polled said they hid their key under the gravel of their driveway.

“I have a colleague whose German Shepherd was drugged during a burglary. You never know who might see you dig out that key from the plant pot or retrieve it from the garage, only to remember where it is when everyone is out of the house” said Faughnan. “It would be far safer to leave a spare key with a trusted friend, relative or neighbour.”

Advice

AA Home Insurance offers this advice for you to keep your home secure:

  • Get into a routine when locking your doors and windows before leaving the house or heading to bed
  • Make sure your house alarm is switched on. Many home insurance companies offer discounts to those with a house alarm
  • Make sure your outer doors are sturdy; made of solid wood or metal, a minimum of an inch thick. Your door frames should be equally as strong and should fit the door correctly
  • Fit a deadbolt lock to your home’s main exterior doors. It should be pick resistant; making it impossible for any would be burglars.
  • When no one is home, it’s worth considering leaving a light or radio on.
  • If you go on holiday remember to cancel your regular deliveries such as milk and newspapers and ask a neighbour or friend to collect any post.

Read: Guilty burglar repays stolen money after 30 years… with interest>

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