Advice for vacant houses over the summer months
Kilkenny Gardai are running a National Supporting Safer Communities Week from June 1 to June 8.
The theme of this campaign is securing homes during holiday periods, focusing on providing advice to the community and practical crime prevention advice to the public on securing domestic dwellings during this summer season.
The primary aim of the ‘Summertime Home Security’ campaign is to raise awareness amongst the community on ways to prevent home burglaries this summer. This includes general home and garden security advice and advice on securing vacant homes during the holiday period.
It is hoped that the readers of the Kilkenny People will note the advices contained, to make their homes safe and secure during the holiday period. For more information and advices log on to www.garda.ie
1. Whether at home or going out, turn on some lights, use timer switches
2. Lock all doors and windows, almost 1 in 4 Summer time burglaries involve entry through an unsecured access point
3. Use your house alarm
4. Store keys safely; away from windows and letterboxes
5. Record details of valuables and don’t keep large cash amounts at home
If your home is going to be vacant during the summer period;
1. Ask a trusted neighbour or family member to conduct frequent checks of the property at different times of the day to note any signs of trespassing or interference
2. Ensure the house alarm is set
3. Check all doors and windows are secure. (Use deadbolt locks if property is to be vacant for long periods)
4. Install timers on internal lights and motion detectors on external lights to make the house appear occupied and offer natural surveillance of the property
5. Ensure that the building doesn't look neglected. Cut the grass, trim hedges etc.
6. Ask a neighbour to collect post or if you are going to be away for longer periods arrange a ‘mail minder’ service with An Post to retain post for collection and place a ‘No Junk Mail’ sign on letter-box
7. Inform the local Garda station about the premises being vacant to afford passing attention on patrols
If you are going on holiday and your home is going to be vacant, be mindful of what you post on social media. Even if you have enabled strict privacy settings, your holiday plans could be shared with unscrupulous people.
1. Don't post status updates about your holidays while you're still on vacation
2. Don't post pictures while you're away
3. Respect other people’s privacy, don't tag others while you and they are still on vacation
4. Avoid posting upcoming travel plans
5. Consider turning off the location sharing setting of your phone's camera app
1. Don’t help the burglar; safely store away ladders, tools etc
2. Use quality locks on Garden sheds, chain valuable property, tools, bikes, etc within
3. Property mark and photograph valuable possessions
4. Tidy up gardens and shrubbery, this improves visibility and creates the illusion of an occupied home
5. Consider defensive planting, e.g. thorny plants around the perimeter, for extra security
A barrier of prickly hedge along your boundary or underneath a window will help deter thieves. Hedges and shrubs in the front garden should be kept to a height of no more than 3 feet in order to avoid giving a burglar a screen behind which he can conceal himself.