Friday 6 December 2019

Homeowners' anxiety about being burgled rising year-on-year in run-up to festive period

AA Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan
AA Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan

Over half of homeowners are more anxious about being burgled today than they were even a year ago, a new survey has found.

Of those surveyed, 20.9pc said they were "significantly more concerned" of a break-in this year while 30.59pc stated they were "somewhat more concerned" than at this time last year.

More than 5,000 were asked their views in the AA Home Insurance survey.

The study also showed a fear factor among homeowners for their friends and families. Some 19.67pc of respondents said they were "significantly more concerned" a friend or family member could be burgled this year.

Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs, said: "While statistics from An Garda Siochana show the number of reported residential burglaries fell by over 50pc between 2014 and 2018, the risk of a home break-in does unfortunately rise during the winter months and particularly in the build-up to Christmas.

"Opportunistic burglars will try to take advantage of the fact people are out at Christmas parties, visiting friends and family, or doing some shopping, so it's important to be safety aware."

Gardai reported over a quarter of burglars enter via the front door, with 28pc entering through an unsecure rear window.

Valuable

"Ahead of the holidays, put yourself in the burglar's shoes and check the locks on all doors and windows are in working condition and always lock up before you leave," Mr Faughnan said.

"As we move closer to the Christmas season, the potential that you may have valuable gifts will act as an extra enticement to would-be burglars.

"We would encourage homeowners to think carefully about where they hide their presents, to avoid posting about gifts they receive on social media and, if you are fortunate enough to receive a higher value item, add it to your home contents insurance as soon as possible."

The AA has issued security information ahead of the holiday season, including recommendations on the installation of a burglar alarm, the use of automatic light timers and routine examination of the locks on doors and windows.

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