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Home security tips

Break-ins and theft are unfortunately a part of everyday life, but according to research carried out by Zurich there are simple security measures you can take to protect yourself against potential burglary.

Sponsored by Zurich.

Research commissioned by Zurich Insurance was carried out by Empathy Research in November 2017 to gauge how secure Irish homes are. The Zurich Household Safety Research found some common security mistakes that could easily be avoided. Nearly half of Irish people do not have a house alarm installed, and of those that do, almost 40% of them sometimes leave the house without setting the alarm. In addition, one in ten fail to lock the doors when leaving the house.

Of those surveyed, 14% reported that their home had been broken into, yet despite this, they continue to put themselves at risk. One example of this is with the use of social media, and the report found that over 16% of people announce holiday plans publically on Facebook despite the potential home security threat.

The Zurich Household Safety Research looks at the public’s attitude towards home security to see what security measures they are taking to protect their home and its contents.

Interestingly, despite concerns regarding rural crime, rural homeowners significantly lag behind urban householders for home security. The report finds that 37% of people living in Connacht and Ulster, and a slightly improved 40% of people in Munster, were found to have home alarm systems installed, compared with a far higher proportion of 74% in Dublin. Similarly, just 12% of people in Connacht and Ulster, and 14% of people in Munster have panic alarms installed in their homes for emergency situations, versus 27% of people living in Dublin.

The survey found that 13% of people hide their presents in the garden shed or in a neighbour’s house, which can present its own risks, and 3% of people have had Christmas presents stolen in the lead up to Christmas.

Christmas can be a busy time of year and people can be forgetful when it comes to home security such as turning on the alarm if away, or timing lights to come on after dark. Only 27% use timed switches on their lights which could indicate that no one is home. With this in mind, Zurich is advising customers to be extra vigilant in protecting their homes against theft this Christmas.

Commenting on the research, Colm Blake, Marketing Manager at Zurich Insurance said that while most of us have a good understanding of the steps needed to keep a home safe and secure, people often fail to take simple yet necessary measures.

“Our research reveals that while Irish people place a high sentimental and financial value on items within their home, they could definitely be more careful when leaving their home unattended. Getting into the habit of taking simple security precautions before you leave the house is essential. Checking to see if you are adequately insured is also advisable,” Blake said.

The Zurich research report highlights security shortcomings, many of which could be avoided. For example installing a monitored alarm, garden lighting or home security cameras could greatly reduce the risk of being robbed.

The report finds that 25% of people leave the house without closing windows, so ensuring all windows are closed and locked is advisable. According to the household survey, nearly 15% of people do not hide their valuables, so another security tip is to hide keys and other valuables out of sight.

Most burglars are opportunists who will only rob houses when they spot a way to easily enter a home or when valuables are on display, so taking simple security measures could go a long way to keeping your home and contents secure from theft.

Security safeguards

Here are some tips to help keep your home secure and avoid break-ins:

  1. Alarm bells: Make your home alarm visible and noisy. Consider a monitored alarm and choose a wireless alarm as they will still work during a power outage.

  2. Hide not seek: Hide keys and valuables out of sight, and also hide proof of purchase of valuables.

  3. On time: Apply timed switches on lights so it looks like you are home.

  4. Lock & key: Install good quality locks such as levered deadlocks on your doors and windows.

  5. Light it up: Install garden lighting and keep valuable items such as bikes and power tools locked away securely.

  6. Candid camera: Installing home security cameras can act as a deterrent to would-be burglars.

  7. Home alone: If going on holiday ask a neighbour or friend to keep an eye on the house and make it appear as if you are at home.

  8. Keep quiet: Don’t share on social media that you will be away.

  9. Right cover: Make sure you have adequate insurance in place in the unfortunate eventuality of being burgled.

Zurich Insurance offers excellent cover, a fast and convenient service and help when you need it most. Get a quote online or call us in Wexford on 1890 400 300 or 053 915 7775. Read more about our home safety tips and all the preventative measures you can take to reduce the risk of damage or loss to your home or personal items.

Source: Research commissioned by Zurich Insurance, based on an online survey of nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults carried out by Empathy Research in November 2017.

Zurich Insurance plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.


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