Secure your home in the summer months

WHILE statistics show a drop in residential burglaries during summer months, many burglaries tend to be opportunistic so it should never be taken for granted that your property is safe. For example, 25% of the overall burglaries in 2010 happened during the summer months. In Q1 of this year alone 6,679 burglaries have been reported which represents an increase of 8.5% in comparison to Q1 2010.

WHILE statistics show a drop in residential burglaries during summer months, many burglaries tend to be opportunistic so it should never be taken for granted that your property is safe. For example, 25% of the overall burglaries in 2010 happened during the summer months. In Q1 of this year alone 6,679 burglaries have been reported which represents an increase of 8.5% in comparison to Q1 2010.

Maurice Buckley, CEO, NSAI said, “It’s important to remind Offaly and Laois locals to take precautions regarding their home security, especially before heading away. It is a shocking fact that in a quarter of all burglaries, the burglars don’t even have to use force, as most houses are not adequately secured. NSAI wants to ensure that you enjoy your summer holiday, worry free, by adopting the following home security tips.”

1. Common Sense Tips: Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, letterboxes or other “secret” hiding places. Burglars know where to look for hidden keys. Ensure that all valuables are kept out of sight, both upstairs and downstairs. Make sure to leave your keys with trusted neighbours and ask them to regularly check on your house. Inform your local Garda station that you will be heading away and leave them your contact details. Call the local Post Office and ask them to hold your mail for collection and postpone all other deliveries until your return, including milk.

2. Certified Alarm Installer: If you have an alarm or are thinking about installing one, make sure it is installed by a certified company and that you have a maintenance contract in place so that it is serviced annually and continues to function correctly. NSAI operates a certification scheme based on the Irish Standard I.S. EN 50131‑1:2006 - Alarm systems intrusion and hold‑up systems. Consumers can check if a company or alarm installer is NSAI certified by logging onto www.nsai.ie.

3. Alarm Monitoring Company: If you have a monitored alarm system which, when triggered, transmits a signal or message to a monitoring station, ensure that company is licensed by the Private Security Authority.

4. CCTV: A significant number of Laois and Offaly home owners are now installing CCTV systems as part of their home security. NSAI also operate a certification scheme for CCTV installers, based on the EN 50132 series of standards. This European wide standard for systems, customers and security personnel will insure that not only all events are monitored, recorded and indicated but also the system’s reliability, proper functionality and tamper protection, are taken care of. NSAI also recommends that the digital recorder system is in a secure location in your home and that it has been serviced before you leave on holidays.

5. Light Timers: If heading out for a long period of time, make sure the house looks like it is being occupied by installing light timers. Timers can be pre-set to turn lighting on and off at predetermined times.