Avoid Making It Easy For Burglars Ahead Of Christmas, AA Warns

Motorists and homeowners are being encouraged to be security-aware in the weeks leading up to Christmas to help reduce their risk of a car break-in or home burglary.

With both the shopping and Christmas party seasons in mind, the AA is encouraging people to be careful when leaving their car or home unattended ahead of the Christmas season as opportunistic thieves could be looking to capitalise on security lapses.

The warning comes after a recent survey of over 7,000 motorists by the AA found that less than a third of motorists are very likely to take steps to avoid leaving their car unoccupied while shopping this year. 33.19% of those surveyed stated they would avoid leaving their car unoccupied where possible while shopping or when they had Christmas presents in the booth, with a further 15.19% somewhat likely to take this precaution.

“When it comes to the Christmas period, security in the home tends to be on many of our minds but it’s also important that you are taking steps to protect your gifts while you’re shopping and they’re stored in your car,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated. “Of course it may not always be possible to avoid leaving your car unoccupied, but there are still things you can do to reduce your risk. Wherever possible park in a secure car park and get into the habit of physically checking the car has locked before you walk away from it.”

The survey also found that almost half of Irish homeowners (48.55%) plan on taking additional precautions to help reduce their risk of a burglary over the Christmas period. Among the steps recommended by the AA to protect your home are the use of a burglar alarm, checking all external locks before leaving your home, and leaving a light on when your home in unattended to give the appearance that someone is home.

“Everyone wants to have an enjoyable Christmas, but unfortunately every year our AA Home Insurance team comes across cases of heartless thieves breaking into homes when the owner is out and stealing gifts they have either received or intended to give to people,” Faughnan added. “You may not be able to completely eliminate the risk of a break-in, but you can at least make it tougher for a burglar to enter your home by making sure all potential entry points are locked and secure. We would also encourage people to think carefully when hiding presents from their family members or children this year as obvious locations, such as a bedroom wardrobe, will be among the first places a burglar will check.”

To help keep your home safe this year, the AA recommended thinking of the Christmas ANGEL when leaving your home unoccupied over the Christmas period.

A – Make sure your ALARM is functioning and turn it on before you leave.

N – Tell a NEIGHBOUR, if you’re leaving for a long period, so they can keep an eye on your home.

G – GLASS; check that all your windows are closed and locked before you leave.

E – EXITS; make sure all your external doors are locked.

L – Leave some LIGHTS on so that it looks like someone is home.

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