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We're stuck indoors - but fear of winter break-ins is greater

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Burglar (stock)

Burglar (stock)

Burglar (stock)

Nearly four out of 10 homeowners in Ireland are more concerned about the risk of burglary this winter than they were 12 months ago.

This is despite the Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions likely leading most people to spend more time at home.

The figures appear in a survey of more than 3,000 Irish homeowners carried out by AA Home Insurance.

The research shows 15pc of respondents strongly agreed they were more concerned about a home break-in this winter than they were last year.

Twenty-four per cent "somewhat agreed" their level of concern was higher this winter.

Alarm

With the onset of winter in mind, the AA is encouraging homeowners to ensure their property is secure against pot- ential break-ins and damaging weather events.

Along with checking that the burglar alarm is working, homeowners are encouraged to ensure that any potential entry points are secure to reduce the risk of someone gaining access.

"Over the coming weeks, many of us are likely to be spending more time at home than we ordinarily would, so it can be easy to think that home security isn't as important this year," said Conor Faughnan, the AA's director of consumer affairs.

"While the increased garda presence policing the Covid-19 restrictions may also put would-be burglars off, the risks of a break-in typically peak during the winter period.

"Even being away from your home for a short, essential trip could provide a burglar more than enough time.

"We're all hoping for some slice of normality and pre-Christmas festivities after the current restrictions are eased.

"But now is the time to double-check that your home is secure.

Valuable

"Check the alarm, check any potential points of entry and check that your home insurance policy is up to date and that you have added any valuable items you may have bought in the past year to your contents cover."

The survey also found that nearly half of us are more concerned about an elderly relative being the victim of a home break-in this winter.

When asked about a burglary affecting an older relative, 23pc of respondents strongly agreed they were more worried about such an event this winter than they were last year.

Twenty-six per cent "somewhat agreed" their level of concern was higher this year.

"Even if you can't visit isolated friends or relatives, now is the time to pick up the phone and make sure they and their home are ready for the risks that winter can bring," Mr Faughnan added.


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