Over the last couple of months we have seen a slight increase in attempted burglaries in the area and while we are still in a very safe area, it is worth reminding ourselves of some actions that we can take to secure our properties.
Front and rear garden:
- If access points to your home are visible from the road and to your neighbours, you give less cover to potential intruders as they try to enter. Consider whether cutting back some trees / planting would reduce potential cover without losing your privacy in your home.
- Sensor lights front and back – reduces cover of darkness for potential intruders.
- Keep your vehicles locked and do not leave coats / bags visible in them
- Side gates – tall enough to make access difficult – locked and avoid leaving bins or other potential steps close to the gates.
- Sheds – contain valuables and several tools that can be used to facilitate a burglary – keep sheds locked with a sturdy padlock or similar. There has also been a noted increase in thefts of tools from sheds over the last 12 months in the greater Dublin area.
- Bikes – keep locked and secured. Take note of serial numbers and take photos of bikes in case of loss.
- Secure locks and chubb type locks on doors. Many cylinder locks are prone to what is known as lock snapping which allows an intruder use a vice grip or similar implement to attach to the lock and snap the cylinder within seconds. There are anti-snap cylinders available which are very reasonable to install and which reduce this risk significantly. Some detail on lock snapping is available on this UK locksmiths website
- Patio doors can be particularly vulnerable to being forced open. There are a number of innovative lock products (Patlock is one) that addresses this vulnerability.
- Windows – an open window is very attractive for your opportunistic burglar. Even upstairs windows – particularly if over a balcony or a low roof – present an opportunity. Window locks are also available and alarm sensors on windows will also detect any attempts to break a window.
- It may be stating the obvious but Alarms are at their most effective when they are switched on. The best advise is to keep your alarm on when you are in the home and especially at night. Do some research on your alarm ‘Zones’ as this will give you an indication in the case of an alarm activation.
- Monitored alarms will send alerts to nominated keyholders in the case of activation. Neighbours are also asked to pay attention to alarm activations and to alert authorities if they see something suspicious.
- If alarms are faulty and frequently activate it becomes less likely that people will pay attention to the activation it is in your interest to keep the alarm serviced and working well.
- There are many CCTV options available and most reputable alarm companies will provide advice on what would be most suitable for your needs.
- With the advances in technology there is an increasing range of options available including video doorbell CCTV cameras from companies such as Ring and Nest that link to the cloud via your broadband connection.
- In all cases with CCTV it is important to respect the privacy of neighbours in positioning cameras and coverage.
- Do not store keys close to your front door as ‘fishing’ for keys through letterboxes is a common way to gain access.
- As noted in previous updates – keep keyless fobs for modern cars in a tin box to prevent signals being captured and boosted.
- Do not engage with unknown tradespeople, clothes collectors or charity collectors that call to your door. Engaging with them:
- Gives them access to your home directly or through the use of distraction burglaries.
- Gives them license to be in our area and gives them visibility into which homes are empty.
- Risks being caught up with uninsured or unprofessional trades.
- We have found several times over the last 48 months that within a week of door to door trades people entering our area, we have had attempted thefts from cars and from houses.
- We have compiled a list of trusted trades that have been recommended by our neighbours for our neighbours. This list is available here.
- As you are considering your security requirements, give some thought to engaging with these trades to advise you on what is best for your needs. Many will offer a free – no obligations consultation.
- Alarms: / CCTV:
- Security Lights
- Castleknock Electric (www.castleknockelectric.ie) 01 8216358
With cooperation from our neighbours, we can make the area less attractive for criminals and the most effective way to do that is to keep an eye out for each other and to report any items that are suspicious to the Gardaí and our neighbourhood watch.
If you do see something suspicious, the first point of contact should be the Gardaí on 999 or 01 6667000.