Liberty Insurance Research Reveals One In Six People Didn’t Lock Their Front Door The Last Time They Left Their Home

Research conducted by Liberty Insurance into home safety behaviour¹ has revealed that one in six Irish people (16%) and one in three (30%) 17-24 year-olds didn’t lock their front door when they last left their homes. Surprisingly, Dubliners were the most likely to leave their front door unlocked nationwide, at 19%. The research was commissioned by Liberty Insurance and carried out by Millward Brown for the launch of its home safety campaign, and encourages people to “Check, Lock and Leave” particularly over the summer holiday season.

The campaign is calling on people to be more vigilant with their home safety and take a few simple steps before they leave their homes to reduce the chance of burglary. The research also revealed that just over one in three people (35%) put on an alarm when they leave their home.   Liberty Insurance revealed that almost one in four home insurance claims in July 2013 (24%) were for home thefts, highlighting the need for increased vigilance over the summer months².

The Liberty Insurance research revealed 4% of Irish people left windows or a patio door open when they last left their home. This figure rose to over one in ten (12%) for 17-24 year olds, the least security conscious of all age groups, who were also the least likely to use an alarm (23%). 17-24 year olds were also the most likely to leave front doors unlocked at 30%, compared to just 7% of people aged 60+.

Home survey infographic

Annette Ni Dhathlaoi, Head of Marketing, Liberty Insurance said; “Our research has revealed some very interesting insights into the habits of the Irish public when they leave their homes. Surprisingly, a high percentage of people are not locking their front doors, particularly amongst the youth demographic. Indeed, only one in three are using alarms, a proven deterrent to burglars.”

Annette continued, “We are encouraging people to be more vigilant when leaving the house and inviting people to share their tips via Twitter and the Liberty Insurance Facebook page. It’s important that older family members help the younger people at home to recognise the need to lock up before they leave. Our own claims figures highlight the month of July particularly as a key period for extra vigilance so we wanted to reveal our findings and encourage people to review their habits to keep their homes safer.”

Burglaries tend to be opportunistic rather than planned, with homes with little or no visible security more likely to be targeted. Liberty Insurance is calling on people to be more vigilant about home safety checks when leaving their households, particularly when going on holidays. By taking simple steps before leaving their homes people can reduce their risk of burglaries e.g., don’t update your social media profile with your travel plans – instead wait until you get back from holidays to post your photos online.

People can visit the Liberty Ireland Facebook page or Tweet to share their tips on how they keep their homes safe. Liberty Insurance will also have a booklet and video with tips on Burglary Prevention in the Home available for consumers  .

Some quick and helpful tips from Liberty Insurance to keep your home safer when on holidays;

  • Make it look like someone is home with timer plugs
  • Ask your neighbours to keep an eye on your home; to remove any post not pushed fully through the letterbox, and encourage them to invite visitors to park in your driveway from time to time
  • Cancel milk or other deliveries if you will be away for days or weeks at a time
  • Check that all exterior doors and windows are fitted with a secure locking mechanism
  • Don’t leave valuables on view
  • Install a visible alarm with panic buttons upstairs and downstairs
  • Secure outside sheds with a padlock
  • Don’t leave wheelie bins close to access points – wheelie bins can make a good ladder for burglars if left near side gates or open windows
  • Consider installing security lighting – lights can be used in a variety of ways to deter burglars at night. Exterior lights will make it more difficult for burglars to stay undetected when they’re trying to break in.