In winter, burglaries increase by 25%, An Garda Siochana has advised homeowners and has drawn up a helpful list of checks people can do to help reduce the risk of a burglary.

Over 40% of burglaries in winter occur between 5pm and 11pm and the Gardai says that burglars like easy opportunities and if they have to make a lot of noise, spend a lot of time or risk being seen, the chances are they won’t bother.

Earlier this year, the Gardai issued a great infographic on burglary prevention tips over the winter.

It has compiled a check-list for homeowners over winter – how many have you ticked off?

  1. Are all your external doors properly fitted and equipped with appropriate secure locking systems? (i.e. 5-lever mortice locks for wooden doors, multi-point locking for uPVC doors etc.)
  2. Are your spare keys kept with a trusted neighbour and never left under an external mat, flower pot etc.
  3. Do you lock your external doors when away from home, no matter how short a time?
  4. Have you automatic timers on some lights when your house is vacant and does your home always look like someone is at home?
  5. Are your car/house keys kept in a location not visible from the outside?
  6. Is there sufficient external lighting outside every door to illuminate visitors?
  7. Have you a reliable neighbour whom you can notify of your travel plans and give a key to, with a request for a periodic house check?
  8. Do you have an intruder alarm system or CCTV system fitted and do you use it?
  9. Are machines, tools and other high value items stored in garages or sheds securely padlocked or chained to prevent removal?
  10. Have you trimmed all hedges and shrubs so they can’t hide a burglar at work on the windows and doors?