Dispelling Home Burglary Myths

Published on 7 August 2014

Last month Liberty Insurance launched their Check, Lock, Leave campaign and highlighted some behaviours that Irish people are guilty of when leaving home. Now we look to some common misconceptions about burglaries.

Last year over 26,000 burglaries took place in Ireland, according to statistics by the CSO. That’s why it’s essential to secure your home and protect your family against break-ins. For a more secure home, read these common myths about burglaries and get the facts to protect your home.

Myth: You don’t need a home alarm system if you live in a safe area with a low crime rate.

Fact: Even if you live in a relatively safe neighbourhood, homes without security systems are more likely to be broken into. In an article with The Irish Times, a Garda spokesperson warned that homeowners need to be vigilant no matter where they live.

“Burglars will tend to go for what they view as easy targets – houses with no lights on, no alarm, or unsecured doors and windows. So it is critical for householders to secure all doors and windows, light up their homes even when out, and have an alarm and turn it on even when at home.”

Myth: Burglars break in through discreet areas, like the back of the house.

Fact: Securing the back of your house is important, as first floor windows and the back door are among the top targets for burglars. But surprisingly, another common point of entry for home burglaries happens to be through the front door. Garda analysis of reported crimes last year indicated that 28 per cent of burglars gained access through a rear window while 27 per cent went through the front door and 25 broke in through a back door. Install deadbolts on the front door and any exterior doors, as they are harder to pick. Put strong locks on glass doors and lock-up whenever you leave the house.

Myth: Most burglaries happen at night.

Fact: Most burglaries actually occur during the day while homeowners are away from the house. Burglaries can occur at any time throughout the day with over 30 per cent taking place between 5pm and 8pm and 15 per cent occurring overnight. Locking doors before you go to bed may be a common practice, but ensure your home is also secure during daylight hours too.

Myth: If you’re running out for a few minutes, it’s okay to leave your door unlocked – no burglar could get in and out that fast.

Fact: Burglars are faster than you think. The average burglar spends only a few minutes in your home. So, lock the door no matter how soon you’re planning to be back. Burglars can also work fast because they know common hiding places – the key under the doormat, the jewellery in the master bedroom. Leave your spare key with a neighbour and consider putting valuables in a safe.

Be sure to follow Liberty Insurance’s tip of Check, Lock, and Leave to keep your home secure. For more information, see our blog on Liberty Insurance’s home safety survey.