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An Garda Síochána’s Home Security Checklist Challenge

See How Secure Your Home is with An Garda Síochána’s Home Security Checklist Challenge

Gardaí ask how secure is your home. Take the Home Security Checklist Challenge on www.garda.ie

•         2013 to 2014 –  saw a 4% rise in reported residential burglaries

•         2 out of 3 burglaries are residential burglaries

•         The most likely entry point for a burglar is a door, front door 27% rear door 25%. The rear window accounts for 28%.

•         On average 1 in 5 intruders enter through an unsecured door or window; this rises to almost 1 in 3 in June. (16% through an unsecured door and 13% through an unsecured window)

•         Over 200 cases of car keys fished from letterboxes in 2014

•         Mid size cars (1400 cc to 160cc engines) more likely to be taken

Gardaí today (28/5/15) launched its Supporting Safer Communities
Campaign 2015 at Bloom in the Park in Dublin.

The focus of the campaign is on home security and Gardaí are encouraging the public to take the Home Security Checklist Challenge.
Figures from An Garda Síochána Analysis Service indicate a rise in the number of reported residential burglaries over the last year. They point out that two out of three burglaries are residential burglaries.

The analysis also shows that on average over 50% of burglars enter through the rear of the home and 20% enter through an unlocked door or window.  In June this number rises to 30%.

Sergeant Kelvin Courtney of the National Crime Prevention Unit said:

"Burglars like easy opportunities.  If they have to make a lot of noise, spend a lot of time or risk being seen, the chances are they won’t bother.  A good rule of thumb is the 3 minute delay test.  If you can deny entry for 3 minutes or more – chances are the burglars will go elsewhere.

Robust doors and windows, properly fitted with quality locking systems present a good physical barrier to the burglar. However, if a door or window has been left open, their security qualities won’t make any difference.

Good neighbours are priceless, particularly when you’re going away. Leave a key with a trusted neighbour. Get them to collect your post and your deliveries if you haven’t already cancelled them. They might even leave their spare car in your drive way when you’re away. Remember the burglar is looking for signs of an empty house so don’t give them any.
It’s always a good idea to join a community crime prevention programme like neighbourhood watch or community alert. There’s security in numbers.

The Home Security Checklist Challenge available on the Garda website is simple survey that takes only a few minutes to complete and shows householders just how secure their home is.”

An Garda Síochána recommends people take the following steps to reduce the chances of their home being burgled:

-           Secure all doors and windows

-           Light up your home and use timer switches on lights for when you are out

-           Store keys safely and away from windows and letterboxes

-           Record details of valuables and don’t keep large cash amounts at home

-           Use your alarm, even when you are at home

An infographic providing some of the information contained above is available via email from the Garda Press Office at pressoffice@garda.ie

A short video providing tips from the National Crime Prevention Unit on home security is available on the Garda Press Office YouTube channel - www.youtube.com/user/GardaPressOffice

Residential Burglary Facts

•         2013 to 2014 –  saw a 4% rise in reported residential burglaries

•         2 out of 3 burglaries are residential burglaries

•         The lowest count month last year (April) saw 1400 reported
 residential burglaries  compared to the 2100 in the highest count month (November)

Doors and Windows

Entry Points

•         The most likely entry point for a burglar is a door, front door 27% rear door 25%. The rear window accounts for 28%.

•         On average 1 in 5 intruders enter through an unsecured door or window; this rises to almost 1 in 3 in June. (16% through an unsecured door and 13% through an unsecured window)

As you leave your house take a moment to see if there is any way a burglar could enter your home and remedy this if needs be. Never leave keys outside. If replacing doors and windows look for the Standard PAS 24 or equivalent.  See www.garda.ie  for more information on doors and windows.

Car Keys

•         2014 – 218 car keys were fished from letterboxes, double since 2012
•         6% of burglaries involved the theft of a vehicle
•         Mid size cars (engines 1400 cc to 160cc) are more likely to be taken
Keep all keys away from letterboxes and windows, install a letterbox restrictor. Secure your car in a garage if you have one, lock gates on driveways, consider using steering wheel locks.
Distraction Burglaries and Rogue Trader Incidents
•         In 2014, there were 478 estimated incidents of distraction burglary or rogue trader offences. This was an increase of 24% on the 385 estimated incidents recorded in 2013.
Before opening your door use your wide angled viewer. If a stranger is at your door ensure your back door is locked, put on the door chain and ask for identification.  Call the Gardaí if you suspect they are rogue traders.
Inside Security


•         Residential burglaries can happen at any time, on any day throughout the year.
•         The number of residential burglaries occurring from midnight to 5am and from 12pm to 5pm is consistent throughout the year.
•         There is a variation throughout the year during the hours 5pm and 10pm. This variation is dependent on the time of sunset, i.e. in winter months there are more burglaries in the hours just after sunset compared to the same hours in summertime.
Houses that have the appearance of looking vacant are vulnerable to burglary. Use a timer switch to turn on lights and radios to create the impression that someone is at home. Use your house alarm, even when home.


•         Overall there was €27.6 million worth of goods stolen during residential burglaries in 2014.
•         Cash or Jewellery was stolen in 41% of residential burglaries in 2014.
•         Electronic goods including mobile phones, laptops and music players were stolen in 20% of residential burglaries in 2014.
•         Cash and Jewellery account for 72% of the total value of items stolen in residential burglaries.
•         Just under €14 million worth of jewellery was stolen in residential burglaries in 2014, €6 million worth of cash and around €3.9 million worth of electrical goods.
•         In terms of monetary value, cash, jewellery and electrical goods collectively account for over 86% of items stolen during residential burglaries
Photograph and record details of valuables, do not keep large cash amounts at home.


Clear views

•         Your house and house number should be clearly visible from the road. Neighbours and passersby should have a clear view of your home
Ensure your home and surrounds are well lit and maintain trees hedges and shrubs. The burglar should have no place to hide.
Garden Sheds

•         2014 saw a rise in the targeting of garden sheds. Lock these securely and remember to lock your side gates. 
Photograph and record serial numbers of machinery, tools or bicycles. Securely padlock these items if stored in sheds/garage. Do not leave ladders or tools outside for the burglar to use.


•         Vacant looking houses are vulnerable to burglaries
If holidaying, give the house key and alarm code to a trusted neighbour and ask them to collect post or deliveries. Cut your grass before you go. Use timer switches to switch on lights/radios.

Stay vigilant

•         Of all streets/roads where a burglary occurred, 32% had a burglary of a second property within 12 months
•         17% of apartment blocks/complexes where a burglary occurred experienced a second property being burgled within 12 months
•         Overall, victims were at greatest risk of being repeatedly targeted in the week following the initial offence with over 8% of repeat burglaries occurring in this period
Be a good neighbour, join or set up a Neighbourhood Watch, Community Alert and Text Alert scheme; there is safety in numbers.
Electronic Security

Intruder Alarms

•         House alarms must be installed by Private Security Authority approved installers
•         It should conform to the European Standard EN 50131
•         Have the alarm serviced regularly and ask the installer to show you how it works
•         A monitored alarm is recommended

Use your alarm even when home. Whilst alarms are a good deterrent to the burglar, good physical security will do more to stop the burglar. Remember to lock all doors and windows.

•         Home CCTV systems have come down in price in recent years and are a good addition to your home security
•         CCTV systems can be linked to your alarm system;  look for the European Standard EN 50131 -  CCTV surveillance systems for use in security applications
•         Ensure the system can capture clear images both day and night
•         Make sure date and time are correct 
•         Check your systems regularly, lighting, weather, plant growth, cob webs can all effect what your system is recording
As with alarms they will not physically prevent a burglar from entering your home.
Take the Checklist Challenge on www.garda.ie  to see how secure your home is.