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More than half (53pc) of Irish homeowners ask their neighbour to keep an eye on their home when they’re away

More than half (53pc) of Irish homeowners ask their neighbour to keep an eye on their home when they’re away

More than one in ten (12pc) leave clothes hanging on the line

Men more likely than women to move valuables to the attic

Top 10 Irish tricks for keeping burglars at bay revealed

The traditional practice of relying on a neighbour to keep an eye on a home while it is vacant is still alive and well: four in ten (40pc) homeowners get a neighbour to check in on their property and collect the post while they’re on holiday while about one in eight (13pc) ask their neighbour to open and draw the curtains and blinds.

This is according to the findings of a new survey[1] by Peopl Insurance which examined the tactics used by Irish people to keep their home safe from burglars when they’re on vacation. The survey also found that almost one in two homeowners (49pc) light up their home when away on holiday in the hope that doing so will prevent a break-in.

The research found that the Top Ten tricks used by homeowners to keep burglars at bay while a home is vacant are:

  1. Leave the lights on, or use time switches (49pc of homeowners said they did this)
  2. Get a neighbour to check in and collect the post (40pc)
  3. Switch on an intruder alarm (36pc)
  4. Turn on CCTV cameras (22pc)
  5. Use top-of-the-range mortice locks (19pc)
  6. Get a neighbour to open and draw the curtains and blinds (13pc)
  7. Leave clothes hanging on the line (12pc)
  8. Move valuables up to the attic (11pc)
  9. Leave an ironing board up with a pile of clothes on it (4pc)
  10. Hide the calendar away (3pc).

Commenting on the research, Paul Walsh, spokesman for Peopl Insurance said:

“ It’s important that homeowners lock up and light up their homes, particularly whenever they are away from home. Our research shows that many homeowners are doing so – though with only one in five (19pc) using top-of-the range mortice locks, and only one in three (36pc) switching on an intruder alarm, homeowners could certainly be more proactive in this regard. It can be devastating to arrive home to find your house broken into  – so any extra measures homeowners can take to prevent this happening are worthwhile.”

 Other highlights from the research include:

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  • Men are more inclined than women to rely on CCTV cameras (25pc versus 18pc) in a bid to deter burglars while they’re on vacation. Men are also more likely than women to move valuables up to the attic (12pc versus 9pc), to hide the calendar away (7pc versus 2pc) and to use top-of-the-range mortice locks (23pc versus 15pc).
  • Women are more inclined than men to ask a neighbour to check in on their home while they’re away (45pc v 35pc) and to turn on an intruder alarm (40pc versus 31pc).
  • Those over 55 are more inclined than other age cohorts to take steps to protect their home from burglars while they’re away, with almost six in ten (56pc) of this age group saying they turn on lights or use timer switches while on holiday and almost half (48pc) saying they get a neighbour to check in. This age group were also more inclined than others to turn their alarm on and to have top-of-the-range mortice locks.
  • There were some interesting geographical differences around the precautions taken by homeowners. For example, those living in Ulster (RoI[2]) were more than twice as likely as those living in other provinces to turn on their CCTV camera on when away from their home, as well as being at least three times more likely to leave their clothes hanging on the line.

Peopl Insurance is reminding homeowners that while taking preventative steps is hugely important when in comes to keeping your home safe from burglars, having adequate home insurance in place is also crucial.

Mr Walsh explained:

“With the first bank holiday of the summer approaching, many people will be heading away then – and over the summer months. Burglars will be aware that many homes will be vacant over the summer. So homeowners should be sure to check they have adequate contents insurance included in their home insurance policies.  Failing to insure home contents for the correct amount could result in a fraction of the payout expected from the insurer if a burglary occurs. You may have underinsured your contents if you weren’t fully aware of the true value of those possessions when initially getting home insurance – or you may have not adjusted your contents cover over the years to take account of any new contents you have in your home.

 Those heading away on extended holidays this summer should check the number of days that their property is allowed to be unoccupied for before cover expires. Home insurance policies have an unoccupancy clause which means they typically won’t cover you for certain risks if your home has been left unoccupied for more than 30 days in a row. With some insurers, the unoccupancy limit is 60 days. So in the event that your trip abroad is longer than this, contact your insurer or broker and come to an arrangement to ensure you are covered for the entire duration of your trip.

 Homeowners with particularly valuable items in their home – such as expensive jewellery or electronic items – should also be careful to let their insurer know as they may need to insure such items separately.”

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