Crime Prevention: Guarding your vacant property

An Garda Síochána highlight the issue of Home Security, focusing on houses advertised for Sale and Vacant Premises.

In the current housing market, many regions have been victim to thieves cleaning out unoccupied homes, stripping them of copper pipe and tanks. The increase in the value of copper and lead has increased the incidents of theft of these and other metals.


An Garda Síochána has identified an emerging crime trend showing that vacant buildings, whether empty for a short or long term, and properties advertised for sale are being targeted for burglary, especially in isolated areas. Empty buildings contain a lot of valuable fixtures and fittings and invite opportunities for theft of building fixtures, such as plumbing and electrical cabling. Organised gangs and opportunistic thieves are suspected of being involved in this activity and all geographic areas are potential targets. The Garda National Crime Prevention Unit advises the following security measures:

  • Conduct frequent checks of the property at different times of the day to note any signs of trespassing or interference.
  • Install a burglar alarm and set it.
  • Secure all doors and windows with deadbolt locks.
  • Install timers on internal lights and motion detectors on external lights to make the house appear occupied and offer natural surveillance of the property.
  • Ensure that the building doesn't look neglected. Cut the grass and hedges regularly.
  • Remove rubbish from inside the building and around the perimeter.
  • Report any suspicious activity to the local Gardaí.
  • Inform the local Garda station about the premises being vacant to afford passing attention on patrols.
  • Put measures in place to protect empty buildings against arson, theft and vandalism.
  • Avoid the build up of post and unsolicited mail by arranging ‘mail minder’ service with An Post to retain post for collection and place a ‘No Junk Mail’ sign on letter-box.

This list is not exhaustive. For additional Crime Prevention and Reduction Advice, check out the Crime Prevention Tab on the Garda website where you will find contact details for the local Divisional Crime Prevention Officer.

Call Aidan on 0879318253 or text the word alarm and location to 51444 and we will be in touch with you within 24 hours.