BY JOHN ELLIS, FINANCIAL ADVISOR
Our homes are our sanctuaries, where we should feel safe and secure. As we approach another winter season, it’s crucial to ensure our homes are not only warm and cozy but also well-protected. Unfortunately, data published in the past decade by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) reveals a concerning statistic – one in every 10 Irish homes has been burgled. In total, there have been 182,609 reported burglaries in this period.
A recent review of the latest statistics from the CSO and An Garda Siochana provides an overview of burglaries by Garda division and station for the first half of 2022 (Q1 and Q2, January to June). The CSO’s recorded crime index shows 5,047 burglaries and related offenscs occurred nationwide in this period. This represents a worrisome 33% increase compared to the same period in 2021. It’s an unwelcome spike that highlights the need for increased vigilance when it comes to home security.
Many Irish homeowners are concerned about the safety of their homes. In fact, three out of every four (72%) are worried about the possibility of a break-in, with over a third (39%) feeling uneasy when home alone. Seasonal factors significantly impact our sense of security, with more than half (58%) feeling least protected throughout the winter months and a staggering 64% expressing heightened anxiety at night.
Eoin Dunne, Managing Director of PhoneWatch, expresses his concern over the recent surge in burglary rates: “It’s worrying to see a 33% increase in the nationwide burglary rate, and an increase is noted across most counties in Ireland. If this rate continues until the end of the year, we might expect around 11,500 burglaries in 2022.”
While 80% of people have never experienced a home break-in, this doesn’t stop over 40% of us from regularly asking our neighbours to check on our homes when we are away. Unfortunately, this approach is not always effective, as burglars can be keenly aware that a home is unoccupied, and our neighbours cannot be expected to safeguard our homes 24/7.
To address these concerns all homeowners need to take the necessary preventative measures to protect their homes and valued possessions. The goal is not to scare or frighten people but to make homeowners aware of the realities of burglary so that they can take simple yet effective measures to prevent such incidents. Protecting your home during the winter and throughout the year involves the following common-sense practices.
Don’t forget to lock your doors and windows even when you’re at home. This simple step is often overlooked but can be a significant deterrent to potential burglars.
Use a timed lighting system like smart plugs and timers during the darker winter evenings, as leaving lights on can give the appearance that someone is home and hide your valuables as they are an open invitation to burglars.
Install a monitored alarm system as research consistently shows that people with monitored alarms are less likely to experience break-ins. Data indicates that monitored homes are 4.5 times less likely to be burgled. And if you have an alarm, use it. It’s crucial to remember to arm your alarm, not only at night but also when you’re briefly stepping out.
By taking these steps potential intruders are deterred and we can make our homes safer and more secure, allowing us to enjoy the warmth and comfort they provide without unnecessary worry. It’s time to take control of our home’s security and enjoy peace of mind this winter season.
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