Summer Home Safety Tips
from PhoneWatch

How to keep your home safe this summer

After spending months in the safety of our homes, now is the time to reunite with friends and family and begin to rebuild our daily routines. With the excitement of the new normal, can come anxiety and anticipation as we leave the comfort of our safety bubble, our home. With the latest statistics showing a burglary takes place every 31 minutes in Ireland, at PhoneWatch we want to share some simple tips that will ensure you feel confident and comfortable transitioning into the new way of living.

Nominate a neighbour

As the summer season kicks off, householders are being urged to nominate a ‘holiday housemate’ before leaving for an extended period of time.

According to Eoin Dunne, PhoneWatch Managing Director, the most important step to avoiding a holiday burglary is “maintaining an appearance that your home is occupied. Housing estates are often scouted in advance for signs that families are away. Families and neighbours can support each other by acting as a holiday housemates, and keeping your home looking occupied while empty.” A holiday housemate could spend as little as ten minutes a day minding your home and still make a huge difference. While it is not always possible to have a full time house sitter, there are a number of things your holiday housemate can do to make your house less attractive to a would-be burglar:

  • Keeping post clear from the letter box and front door
  • Watering plants at the front and back
  • Parking a car in the driveway for a few hours
  • Putting out the bins and taking them in on the same day
  • Acting as nominated key holder to your monitored alarm provider

These actions, coupled with a functioning monitored alarm system, ensure that your home does not stand out as an attractive target for burglars. Householders should also consider the fitting of smart plugs, allowing lights to be controlled remotely or by timers.”

Keep your home safe this Summer

See our other handy tips to keep your home safe this summer, whether you're at home or away!

  • Lock away sheds and bicycles: Sheds left open and bicycles left unsecured in gardens are easy targets for the burglar. Remind children to lock their bicycles when not in use.
  • Keep windows closed when not at home: One in four burglars enter through an open door or window in the summer, so lock up and light up.
  • Don’t update Social media or Facebook about your plans when you are going away on holiday. Instead, wait till you are back to upload your holiday pics.
  • If you're going away: Contact a trusted neighbor and let them know your travel plans. Your neighbor can keep an eye out around your house. Make it look like someone is home. Put timers on lights inside and outside, and leave a car parked in the driveway.
  • Alarm your HomeGardaí advise you to turn on your house alarm, even when you are home. With a large number of break-ins occurring in the middle of the night, it’s important you get protection even when you’re in the home.
  • If you're barbecuing in warmer weather don't forget to take basic safety precautions. Don't forget to keep your bbq at least 10 feet away from your house! It's also important to to keep decorations like hanging baskets, pillows and umbrellas away, while they look pretty they provide fuel for a fire.

Garden security tips

Homeowners are being warned to take extra measures to protect their gardens over the summer months, as new figures show over €1.8m worth of garden property was stolen in the last 12 months (Garda Siochana, June 2018). Tools, gardening equipment and bicycles are some of the most commonly stolen items from garden sheds over the summer season. Garden tips are below:

  • Lock away sheds and bicycles: Sheds left open and bicycles left unsecured in gardens are easy targets for the burglar. Remind children to lock their bicycles when not in use. 
  • Cut the grass before you go away on holidays, overgrown grass can make a house look empty!
  • Prune trees and shrubs that may grown more quickly in the summer for clearer views, large bushes can also act as a hiding place for thieves.
  • Install security lighting in the garden: Good security lighting may act as a deterrent to potential burglars.