first_imgGARDAI are warning that criminal gangs are now targeting Donegal – and not just because our nights are getting longer.Crime Prevention Officer Sgt Paul Wallace says thieves can also strike during daylight hours.And the Halloween break which begins next weekend gives crooks loads of opportunities. Here are 14 simple steps to making you and your family more secure during mid-term and on Halloween night:1) Lock before you leave – before you leave the house to go trick or treating, lock all doors and windows, even the upstairs ones. Fit restrictors on windows if possible as thieves can wriggle through any gap larger than a human head. Fit locks at the top and bottom of patio doors.2) Be alarmed – don’t forget to set your burglar alarm. In the excitement of Halloween activity, it is not uncommon for people to forget to do the obvious! Visible alarms make burglars think twice and make sure to get your system serviced regularly.3) Make your home look occupied – try to put burglars off by giving the impression that there is still someone in the house. Leave the lights on in living areas and draw the curtains. If you’re out of town on a Halloween break, maybe fit a timer to lamps around the house, so that they will automatically switch on at dusk. 4) Keep your car secure – use your car alarm or steering lock and don’t leave items in your car that could be tempting to burglars, like Sat Nav or stereo systems, CDs or bags. Always put your car in the garage if you have one and make sure the garage is locked. If you have a gate – CLOSE IT!5) Don’t advertise the fact that you’re out – If you’re going away for a Halloween or mid-term break, be careful about who you tell and what information you post on social networking sites. Check your social media settings to see who has access to your personal details and try to limit to friends only – otherwise strangers (and potential burglars) can see everything you post and will know your house is currently empty.6) That’s bogus dude – to hamper bogus callers, fit a security chain to your front (and back) doors. If a stranger knocks on your door, stop, check the chain is on and verify the caller’s identification before opening your door.7) Protect your pets – don’t leave pets outside on dark evenings and when you are not at home. Pet theft is on the increase in Donegal and even crossbreeds and mongrels can be of value to unscrupulous people.8) See the light – make sure your outdoor lighting is working and is on a sensor. Visible alarms that light up at night will also make burglars think twice about targeting your house. 9) Gnome sweet gnome – never leave ornaments or garden items or ornaments outside during the winter months – they can be used to break windows and doors or cause general damage to cars and property.10) Inspect your gadgets – ensure that mobiles, laptops and other gadgets are hidden from view. Use an ultraviolet pen to mark items of value, such as televisions and DVD players, with your postcode and house number. This will help gardaí to identify your property more easily if it’s stolen. Try to make sure that larger valuable items, such as guitars, TVs and stereos, can’t easily be seen through windows. Leaving valuable items, including car and house keys, on show gives burglars an incentive to break into your home.11) Shed your fears – make sure that outbuildings such as sheds and garages are locked and alarmed, and securely store any ladders, tools or ornaments that could be used to break windows and doors and help burglars break into to your home. Don’t leave shed or garage keys in view as windows can easily be smashed to reach them and gain entry.12) Everybody needs good neighbours – neighbours should stick together so ask people living close by to keep an eye on the house while you’re out. If you’re out of town, give someone key so they can come in, draw the curtains and help make the house look like it’s lived in. It’s a good idea to leave your keys with someone you trust along with details of how to contact you in the event of an emergency. 13) Ensure you’re insured – check your household insurance cover. Opening up your home to visitors, even if they are just trick-or-treaters on the front porch, can expose you to potential insurance claims and lawsuits.14) Text Alert – join your local scheme and get warnings out to neighbours instantly. If you are not in a scheme, you can help set one up at your nearest garda station.CRIME ALERT: SIMPLE STEPS TO PROTECT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY was last modified: October 16th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:AdvicecrimedonegalHalloweenMid-Term breaklast_img read more