Protect your home against burglaries

Research carried out for Zurich Insurance found that 85% of homeowners are unaware of the most common time that burglaries are likely to occur and a quarter of Irish homeowners are not aware that burglary rates tend to rise during the winter months.

The majority of homeowners are not aware of the most common time that burglars strike, with the majority, 43% believing the main hours that burglaries are likely to occur is between 9pm-8am, which according to research is not the case. 85% are unaware of the likely time with only 15% of homeowners identifying the time correctly, between 5-9pm, which is when most burglaries occur.

This is according to new research carried out for Zurich Insurance, which found that on top of this, a quarter of Irish homeowners (25%) are not aware that burglary rates tend to rise during the winter months.

According to the survey of over 1,000 Irish homeowners, a quarter (24%) of respondents are too busy at this time of year to have home safety top of mind or they have simply not thought about it.

This is despite recent findings, which revealed that homeowners are still at a higher risk of experiencing break-ins during the winter months when burglaries traditionally tend to rise on account of the reduced daylight hours. Thankfully, burglary and related offences have dropped from 8,713 during the winter season (October-March) in 2019-2020 to 4,595 in 2022-2023*, which will hopefully be a trajectory that is followed if homeowners remain vigilant.

Chris Goold, interim Chief Claims Officer at Zurich Insurance commented on the findings: “At Zurich, we are under no illusions that Irish homeowners have a lot on their plate around the winter period, without having the additional stress of considering their homes’ safety. From open windows, to having valuables lying around the house, there are lots of things that homeowners may not give a second thought to, as found in our survey. Small steps taken by homeowners however, can make the difference in ensuring a safe winter period, free from accidents or break-ins."

Follow these tips from Zurich Insurance to protect your property:

  • Use levered deadlocks: Fitting and using good quality locks such as levered deadlocks on your doors will make it harder for burglars to barge through them. You should also ensure all ground floor windows have locks.
  • Hide keys out of sight: Remove keys from locked doors and windows and keep them out of sight.
  • Hide valuables out of sight: Valuables (cash, jewellery, etc.), which can be seen from outside, are tempting targets for burglars, so keep them out of sight.
  • Apply timed switches on lights: Put timer switches on your lights so it looks like you’re at home when you’re out.
  • Candles: If you have candles, keep them away from anything flammable. Always blow out candles if you are not in the room and especially at night-time if you are going to bed.
  • Install home security cameras: They can act as a deterrent and may ward off burglars.

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