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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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How to make sure only the tooth fairy gets in without a key!

In this article, Manguard Plus provides readers with some timely home security tips.

We may have become used to limiting our movements for the past fourteen months, but we are all eagerly looking ahead to brighter and better days, enjoying time out and about with the lifting of restrictions.

With our homes the safest places to be for the past 14 months, it is crucial they remain safe as our country reopens.

Safe from burglars, that is.

While we delight and revel in our renewed freedoms, others are delighted that many homes will be unoccupied for large parts of the Summer leading to lots of potential opportunities for break-ins.

Chief Operations Officer, Leo Harris, says that the basic tenants of security remain the same, be they aimed at large corporates or householders.

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“While we at Manguard Plus have very large corporate clients whose security needs are undoubtedly very specific, there is a common thread that runs across all professional security advice; that is, awareness and prevention – simple things done well are hugely effective.”

“For example, is your house alarm monitored? An alarm that continually rings is a sign to would-be thieves that your home or premises is not monitored.”

“While at home, do not forget to turn on your alarm. A surprising number of burglaries occur when householders are at home.”

“If you have valuables at home, consider installing two safes that might make it more difficult for burglars to steal. It is all about forward-thinking and being prepared.”

“Burglars want to get in and out of your home easily, quickly, and unnoticed. Thieves want to be able to get their hands on your money without being noticed. At Manguard Plus, we specialise in trying to make it so difficult for them that they simply give up.”

Statistics show that if a burglar cannot access your property within 3 to 5 minutes, he/she will leave and go elsewhere. So sometimes the simplest and easiest measures can be the most effective.

So, what can you do?

Here are some home security tips: 

  • Go outside your home and try and think about how you would get in if you were locked out. This has the effect of getting you to think about how others see your home and how easy it is to access it;
  • Is there a window open, a tree you could climb, keys under the mat, a ladder lying around? Are overgrown bushes giving coverage to intruders? Are leaflets and other printed materials littering your porch? A few minutes doing a simple reconnaissance can protect you and what’s precious to you;
  • You should fit your home with an intruder alarm which a recognised monitoring station should monitor. Recognised Private Security Alarm (PSA) installers can assist in identifying a reputable monitoring station for you, or Manguard Plus can assist if required. Furthermore, you should fit your home with alarm sensors on the front and back doors with Passive Infra-Red (PIR) Motion Detectors in the hall and main downstairs rooms at a minimum. If your budget allows, all ground floor windows should have contacts fitted. If a PIR does not cover an area, then the windows must have a contact/ vibration detector fitted;
  • Apartments are more secure than houses, but they also need security; a home alarm is essential. Windows and balconies accessible from the outside need to be protected;
  • You should pay attention to any balcony or window near an adjoining roof;
  • Consult the management company if you have any concerns about your building’s security arrangements.
  • Leave on lights. This is very effective. Also, you can buy timers in any suitable hardware shops and time your lights to come on once darkness falls. Finally, ensure you have an external light in place, which is in working order. In particular, a porch light can illuminate any visitors calling to your home after dark.
    • Invest in motion sensor lights;
    • Simple locks are highly effective;
    • Ensure all doors are locked;
    • Draw curtains or blinds;
    • Leave on a radio;
    • Hide valuables; don’t have them on show;
    • Safes and lockboxes are well worth investing in, and you may save on insurance costs by having them installed;
    • Shred any documents containing your name and address, account details, PINs and bank account details.
  • Be very careful about your social media posts. Thieves can piece together the smallest nuggets of information.

Other home security tips:

  • Under no circumstances upload any social media posts announcing that you are going to be out for events or away on holidays. As well as advertising your absence, you could encounter problems with your insurance provider in the event of your home being broken into.
  • Neighbours are your eyes and ears. If you are going away, give a key to a neighbour and try to ensure there is no build-up of post or junk mail.
  • Never leave keys to your home under a mat or under a plant, for example. Also, when you’re at home, please don’t leave keys on a hall table near your door. This is too easy for thieves to steal them.
  • Consider your circumstances, and if required, you should consider having a panic alarm fitted as part of your alarm system. If you install panic alarms, they should be located in the bedrooms and perhaps in the kitchen area.
  • Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras are expensive, However, if you can afford them and feel you need them, they are an excellent deterrent and supplement the security you have in place. Remember, never open your door if you’re unsure or uneasy about any caller to your home. If it is a service person making a delivery or inspection on behalf of a utility company, ask for identification and if you are not completely happy, ask him/her to wait outside while you verify identification with the company he/she claims to be representing;
  • If you have an external camera, then review the monitor before opening the door;
  • All external doors should be solidly constructed with a fitted spy hole and should be secured to a secure frame. The lock should at least be a deadlock bolt;
  • When locking up for the night, never leave keys in the inside lock;
  • While at home, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security; ensure all doors and windows are locked. A surprisingly high number of break-ins occur when the householders are at home.
  • All windows should be secure and lockable from the inside while bearing in mind the safety requirements for your particular home.
  • Internal doors should be lockable.
  • Have a prepared safety drill in place; know your pre-planned escape routes in the event of a fire or gas leak.
  • Consider how you are going to alert the emergency services if required.
More information 

For more information or home security tips, please see here.

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