More than half (52%) of Brits don’t have an alarm system installed in their home, reveals a new study into how we are protecting ourselves against theft this Christmas. Of those who do have an alarm installed, 12% admit to it being either fake, faulty or broken – leaving only 36% of homes protected.
With homes set to be unoccupied for an average of six nights during the festive period, the study carried out by Together Mutual Insurance found that those in the East of England (66%) are the worst for failing to install home security.
This news comes despite the latest Crime Survey figures for England and Wales revealing that there were over 650,000 incidents of domestic burglary last year.
Being burgled ahead of the festive period is every homeowner’s worst nightmare, and yet one in ten of those who do have alarms confessed to simply being too lazy to switch it on. Meanwhile, one fifth of Brits admitted to forgetting to switch their alarms on, with women (22%) being more forgetful than men (18%).
On average Brits forget to switch on their alarms twice a week, while 18% of homeowners in Northern Ireland admit to never switching their alarms on – the highest rate in the UK. Another region at risk is the North East with 12% confessing to having either broken or bogus alarms in the hopes of deterring burglars.
Main reasons given by those who don’t switch their alarms on:
- 20% – I forget to switch on the burglar alarm
- 19% – I find it too complicated to use the system
- 19% – I have pets and don’t want them to set off the alarm
- 14% – I don’t know the pin/log-in details for the system
- 10% – I’m too lazy to switch on the burglar alarm
The old adage of ‘do onto your neighbour as you’d have them do onto you’, also doesn’t quite run true with a fifth of neighbours saying they would ignore their neighbour’s house alarm sounding off while only 23% would spring into action and call the police.
Neighbours in Edinburgh proved to be most vigilant and compassionate as 32% would inform the authorities unlike those in Leeds (21%) who would do nothing. Additionally, 45% of neighbours in Britain would keep an eye on the house from a safe distance to make sure it wasn’t being broken into.
Jon Craven, CEO of Together Mutual Insurance, said: “From the shopping sprees to the overindulgence, Christmas is known as the season to be jolly. But with the nights lasting longer and homes filled with gifts, it’s also an attractive time of year for burglars. With so many Brits planning to leave their homes empty it’s shocking to find out there’s a staggering amount of people who don’t have burglar alarms, and even those who aren’t using them.
“Furthermore, the study shows that even with burglar alarms activated crafty intruders aren’t deterred as 14% of those surveyed still fell prey to attempted and actual burglaries, this only goes to highlight the need for homeowners to get additional home insurance this winter.”