These Are The Most Common Security Lapses That Lead To Break-Ins

Caeva O'Callaghan | August 14th, 2023

Only one thing causes burglaries: and that’s burglars. There will always be unscrupulous individuals who feel entitled to your possessions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.

In this article, we’ll cover the following questions:

  • What are some common causes of burglaries?
  • How can I prevent break-ins?
  • What can I do to make my home more secure?

Forewarned is forearmed, so read on to discover the most common causes of break-ins in Ireland. Once you do, you’ll be better informed on how to keep your family and home safe.

Not installing a home alarm

According to the CSO Recorded Crime Statistics in 2019, homes with a monitored burglar alarm are four times safer than those without.

A monitored home alarm is different to a standard one. It means your home security system communicates with staff employed by your security provider. If your control panel registers an emergency event, it will send a signal to the central monitoring station. They can then notify the authorities and send help out to your home.

Monitored systems come with an installation fee, as well as a monthly subscription. If a monitored alarm isn’t in your budget, there are plenty of home alarm options out there. Any of them will give you peace of mind, but you may get a discount on your home insurance with some, and not others.

Leaving spare keys outside

If you were a burglar, where’s the first place you’d check for easy entry? You don’t have to be a seasoned gangster to know there might be a spare key lurking under the mat.

In 2014, UK police figures showed more than 6,000 burglaries involving intruders using keys, as opposed to breaking and entering. A survey by LV from that year revealed that 29% of people admitted leaving a spare key on their property, despite the security risks.

If you have a spare hidden, it won’t be worth the risk as burglars know where to look. The most common places to hide a key? Under a plant pot or behind a bin, rock or stone, under the front mat, or in a garden gnome or ornament.

If you have a spare key for emergencies or so that friends and family can get into your house while you’re on holiday, consider giving it to a trusted neighbour instead.

And speaking of the outdoors, make sure there’s no ladders or tools lying around your garden. Burglars can use these for easy access. Keep tools in a shed, and lock it securely.

Leaving a window open

A 2016 crime survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics found that around 7% of burglaries occurred when a window was left open or could be pushed open.

You might think nothing of leaving the window open a crack when you leave for work, but this leaves a home vulnerable. Opportunistic thieves think nothing of scaling a trellis: career criminals may even bring equipment to make the break-in easier.

The Irish weather is notoriously unpredictable, and a hot summer may increase your risk of a break-in if you sleep better with the window open.

If you have a climbable rainwater pipe close to a window that you leave open at night, you can secure the pipe with anti-climb drainpipe covers. You should also fit window restrictors so thieves cannot open windows any wider.

Always use 5-lever mortice locks on windows for extra security. These are harder to force open.

Keeping your home in the dark

In 2019, John Lewis Home Insurance asked a group of ex-offenders for their advice on how people could prevent burglary. They revealed that keeping lights on – and switching them off – creates the illusion that someone is at home.

According to the ex-cons, the best room in the house to leave lights on when you go out for the evening or for longer is the hallway. Close all curtains, and leave a couple of other rooms lit up for extra security. If you’re away for a while, the best option is to still have multiple lights on a timer.

You can automate this security measure with smart lights, which you can control from your smartphone wherever you roam. If you prefer an analog option, consider buying timer plugs for your favourite lamps.

Letting holiday post pile up

The same research by John Lewis also found that burglars see unattended parcels left on doorsteps as a good indicator that people weren’t home. As more people order online, this is becoming a real issue.

Apps from couriers like Hermes and DPD let you reroute delivery to a neighbour if you’re running late. You can also specify a safe place for drivers to leave your parcel. Make sure you change it often to prevent savvy criminals finding out where to look.

Beware glass panelled doors, and post piling up in plain view while you’re on holiday. If you’ll be away for any length of time, simply call the post office to suspend delivery. Or, you can invest in a cheap letterbox cage to catch your bills and junk mail.

Concerned about local robberies? You can check for statistics on crime in your area.

Talk to us in with any of your home insurance queries.

One of the main benefits of using a broker for your home insurance is that we can answer all the questions you may have. If you have any questions about how to secure your property and grounds, pick up the phone and call us.  We provide immediate professional advice from certified and trained insurance agents. Please, never hesitate to call on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

You can also get an immediate home insurance quote online with us. We compare home insurance in the Irish market from 12 insurers to get you the right cover for your individual circumstances.  We look forward to hearing from you soon.

All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.