One third of Northern Ireland householders leave their front door unlocked when out

One third of Northern Ireland householders leave their front door unlocked when out, according to new research.

A study, commissioned by home security firm Canary to mark National Home Security Month, found that Northern Ireland householders are very trusting with 77% insisting they trusted their neighbours and local community.

Young people aged 18-24 were most lax in regards to online security and were happy to share their location on social media when they are not at home, alerting thieves that the property is empty.

In numbers:

  • Almost a third of Northern Irish homeowners have let a tradesperson into their home without checking ID 
  • 44% have hidden a key outside their home
  • 28% leave their door unlocked at night while they sleep
  • One in three (34%) have left their front door unlocked when out
  • Almost one in six have told a stranger about their holiday plans (15%)
  • One in five of homeowners in Northern Ireland have not changed their locks after losing keys

Almost a quarter of Scottish residents frequently leave their windows open when they are out (24%) and a similar figure in the north east of England had been the victims of burglary.

Overall most households who had been burgled said thieves broke in by smashing a window (41%), one in ten said thieves had got in through an open window and 8% said it was via an open door.

Tips on keeping your home safe

  • Lock-up properly. It’s common for thieves to reach for a house key through an open window or a letterbox so ensure you do not leave it in the keyhole of your door or window
  • Don’t hide a spare key. Even if you think it is hidden in a foolproof place, it still leaves you vulnerable to theft. And don't leave keys under doormats or plant pots – thieves know these classic hiding spots
  • Hide your valuables. With Christmas approaching make sure to keep new items of high value out of sight 
  • Get a home security system
  • Pretend you’re home by setting up automated lights as the evenings get darker. Thieves know Christmas time is prime time for properties to be empty with people visiting family and friends



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