HALF of Irish homeowners do not have a burglar alarm installed in their home, despite rising burglary rates, a new study shows.
The survey found that 47pc do not have an alarm, even though early data suggests the number of burglaries in 2013 will significantly exceed 2012.
The findings, which were collected by the insurer 123.ie, also found that homeowners were making life easy for burglars by leaving spare keys in obvious places outside the home. One in four of us do this.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office for the period from January to September of 2013 show almost 26,000 burglaries during that period.
While figures for the final months of last year have yet to be released, it looks very likely that the total for 2013 will surpass 2012.
Gardai advise that intruder alarms are an effective deterrent against burglars, although they should be regarded as a 'back-up' and not a replacement for good physical security.
Simple steps like removing keys from obvious hiding places can also help to reduce vulnerability.
"We would advise people to get into the habit of locking all doors and windows before leaving the house and to fit a deadbolt lock to their home's main exterior doors," said 123.ie's Padraig O'Neill.
Locks, he said, should be pick-resistant, making it much harder for would-be burglars to break in.
"And while it may sound like common sense, when no one is at home people should always leave a light or a radio on, as even this could be enough of a deterrent to a passing burglar."