The evenings are becoming darker, earlier, so take action to protect your home. Here are 10 ways to make your property safer.

1. Set timers
There’s no bigger give away to burglars that you’re not at home than all the lights being off in the early evening.  Set timers on any plug-in lamps you have so that they can go on intermittently while you’re not there, making it look as though you’re at home.

2. Conceal valuables
Don’t leave valuable items on display so that they can be easily seen by anyone walking past your window.  Keep them where they aren’t on view so burglars won’t be tempted to break in.

3. Fit an alarm of course!
Install an alarm system.  This will be a major deterrent to burglars and many alarm systems contact the Gardaí and Keyholders automatically in the event of an intrusion.  Many home insurers offer a discount on premiums if you have an alarm too.

4. Lock up
Always lock windows and doors before you go out, and at night when you go to bed. If any of your locks are insecure, it’s worth investing in better ones to protect your property.

5. Talk to the local Gardai
Gardai are often happy to advise on home security measures and may even be prepared to visit your property to offer tips.

6. Join Neighbourhood Watch
Sign up to your Neighbourhood  Watch scheme if you have one.  This means neighbours keep an eye out for each other’s properties and any suspicious activity.
Display the scheme sticker in your window to show burglars you’re a member and that others living nearby will be watching your home.

7. Improve boundaries
As well as ensuring your actual property is secure, check the boundaries around your home. Are fences and hedges secure, or are there any gaps a burglar could squeeze through? Put in a gate if necessary – the more obstacles a burglar faces, the less appealing your property will be.

8. Keeps shrubs and hedges trimmed
Overgrown hedges can help to ensure burglars aren’t spotted while they gain access to your property.  Make sure hedges are trimmed regularly so they can’t provide a hiding place.

9. Install security lights
Outside lighting is another deterrent to burglars. Fit sensor lights that detect movement and will turn on if someone is near your property.

10. Have comprehensive cover in place
Make sure you have comprehensive home insurance in place to protect you if the worst happens. While it won’t make the fact you’ve been burgled any less upsetting, it will ensure you don’t lose out financially.