Survey reveals a fearful but pro-active Irish public when it comes to possible danger to their homes
A new online poll of 400 homeowners has found that one-in-five people have either been burgled or know of someone who has been in the last two years.
Meanwhile, there were 292 burglaries in Donegal in 2017 and 395 domestic fires in 2016, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The shock crime rate has prompted online home insurance broker insuremyhouse.ie to issue a home protection guide.
A survey spokesman said: "The Insuremyhouse.ie survey revealed that 89 per cent of people have checked their smoke alarm in the last few months, suggesting that many have a genuine fear of a fire in their home, while 78 per cent reported that they have never allowed their home insurance cover to lapse.
"Some 21 per cent say they know someone who has been burgled in the last 24 months.
"This comes just weeks after the CSO have released their updated crime statistics for 2017 – revealing a 3.3 per cent increase in burglaries nationwide, from 18,478 in 2016 to 19,092 in 2017.
"There has been a very significant increase of almost 35 per cent in county Donegal alone, with a worrying jump from 217 incidences in 2016, to 292 in 2017."
Speaking of the findings Deirdre McCarthy of Insuremyhouse.ie said: “While our findings are strong, there’s always going to be a cohort of people who, for one reason or another, might not take action when they should – or who might not even know that there are some things they need to do."
Top tips to safeguard your home:
- Lock doors & windows whenever the house is vacant and when going to bed.
- If you have a house alarm - use it.
- Take care when installing smoke alarms – and ensure you have the correct number to service your home.
- Never leave open flames or fires unattended.
- Clear gutters and drains periodically.
- Have your gas and electrical heating systems checked regularly by a qualified expert.
- If the house is going to be vacant for a period of time, for example, you are going on holidays, if at all possible, give a friend or neighbour a key so they can do things like pull up or down blinds, remove mail from the letterbox, if there is a period of cold weather they may need to run the taps to prevent them from freezing etc.
- Take a home inventory periodically so, if you do need to make a claim for whatever reason, you can easily identify the items that have been damaged or stolen.
- Invest in some of the smart home apps that are now available on the market.
- Invest in security lights to light up the outside area of the property and to keep potential burglars from entering the property.
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