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Home Security

Motion detectors and leaving lights on: Protecting your home from burglars this Christmas

Gardaí have again this year issued advised on how to best protect you and your home from thieves.

WITH PEOPLE OUT and about meeting friends and family over the Christmas period, homes are often left vacant for hours or days on end. 

Unfortunately, there are some people out there who use the festive period to target and burglar homes. 

Gardaí have again this year issued advised on how to best protect you and your home from thieves. 

The winter phase of Operation Thor, the nationwide anti-burglary garda initiative, is once again being rolled out. The ongoing enforcement operation is aimed at preventing burglars from exploiting the reduced hours of daylight. 

  • Noteworthy want to examine if we are doing enough to protect communities from crime in rural Ireland.  Support this project here.

A total 4,595 burglaries were recorded during the last winter phase of the operation – a reduction of 4,118 from the same period in 2019.

Between April and August of this year, there were 2,230 reported residential burglaries nationwide. 

During the winter period, burglary on a premises or property is most likely to occur between 5pm to 9pm on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, according to gardaí. 

An Garda Síochána has said this is the case as the shorter days and longer, darker nights provide more cover and therefore make it easier to break-in unnoticed, and can also make it easier to see if a property is vacant. 

Gardaí have outlined a number of steps that you can take to help protect your home, whether you are at home or going out: 

  • Turn on some lights (LED bulbs are more energy efficient than traditional bulbs)
  • Use timer switches / motion detectors
  • Lock all doors and windows
  • Use a house alarm
  • Store keys away from windows
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash or jewellery in the house

People are also advised to be mindful of what they post on social media if they are going away or if their home is going to be vacant. 

Defensive planting 

In their general advice for securing your home, gardaí suggest people consider defensive planting. 

They say a barrier of prickly hedge along the boundary of a property or underneath a window will help deter thieves. 

It’s advised that hedges and shrubs in the front garden should be kept to a height of no more than three feet in order to avoid giving a burglar a screen behind which they can conceal themselves.

Other advice relating to gardens and landscaping includes: 

  • Don’t help the burglar; safely store away ladders, tools, etc
  • Use quality locks on garden sheds, chain valuable property, tools, bikes, etc. within
  • Property mark and photograph valuable possessions
  • Tidy up gardens and shrubbery, this improves visibility and creates the illusion of an occupied home

An Garda Síochána has also developed a Property App. The free mobile app is available to the public to index and record their personal property, such as jewellery, electronic equipment, bicycles, laptops, cameras and farm machinery.

In the circumstance that the person then has their property stolen, they can use the in-app reporting tool to easily report the theft of any of the items they have uploaded securely to gardaí.  

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