As part of Operation Thor, An Garda Siochana is advising people that simple steps can help protect their home this winter.

According to the Gardai in winter burglaries increase by 25%.

Over 40% of burglaries in winter occur between 5pm and 11pm and in 20% of burglaries, entry is through an unsecured door or window.

Jewellery and cash are the most common articles stolen during burglaries and in the past year there were over 200 cases where car keys were ‘fished’ through the letterbox.

Secure all doors and windows

Most intruders entering your property will either enter through a door or a window.

It is not uncommon for people to leave doors and windows open, unlocked or not properly secured.

Don’t leave implements lying outside of your home which could be used to gain entry.

Light up your home

When a home is vacant, it is important that an impression is generated to would-be intruders that the home is in fact occupied.

This can easily be achieved by leaving some lights switched on for long periods and others for short random periods.

As the evenings draw in this winter, use timer switches when you’re not at home.

Store keys safely and away from letterboxes

Don’t leave your keys inside the front door where they can be ‘fished‘ by a burglar.

Where letterboxes are fitted to a door they should be at least 400mm or 16 inches from any locking mechanism.

A letterbox cage or restrictor will also help prevent a thief from accessing the locks manually or fishing for car keys.

Record details of valuables

Don’t keep large cash amounts at home.

Don’t leave valuables in your home that can be easily seen by burglars from the outside.

Use your alarm

If you have an alarm on your home, use it this winter.

Here is a breakdown of the main entry points that burglars use:

  • 29% are through the front door.
  • 26% are through the rear window.
  • 22% are through the rear door.
  • 9% are through a front window.
  • 4% are through a side window.
  • 2% are through a side door.
  • 1.5% are other entry points.