CROOKS are cashing in on an increase in home break-ins in the county – by installing dodgy alarm systems against the law, an expert warned today.
All home security companies must be licensed by the Private Security Authority.
And today one legitimate expert Jimmy Melly, from the North West Alarm Systems, warned: “Unfortunately there are a large number of illegal operators in County Donegal at the moment.
“It is very very strict. We are inspected at least once a year. We were the first company to be licensed when the legislation was introduced. People should know that it is illegal for anyone to install an alarm without a licence.
“There are people out there who are telling home owners that they are installing alarms to certain standards and they’re not. The bottom line is this; you have to be very careful who you let into your house. All of our staff carry official ID cards and are fully vetted.”
Mr Melly said he was standing up for legitimate operators in the county, adding: “I have no qualms with a home owner choosing to use a company other than us for their alarm system; I just want the public to know that they should hire a fully qualified licensed operator. Otherwise they are using someone who is operating illegally and there is no comeback whatsoever for the homeowner.
“And they should get proper itemised quotes which details the National Standards Authority of Ireland standards which will be used.
“The fact is that unless you are using a licensed operator with properly trained and vetted staff, you don’t know who you are letting into your home. These people could be criminals.”
The home and business security expert – with offices in Donegal Town and Letterkenny – revealed demand had soared in recent weeks for home alarms.
Said Mr Melly: “We have been flat out with people seeking security assessments for their homes. There is a lot of fear out there.
“It’s the nature of the break-ins as well with creeper burglars stealing from homes while people are sleeping in their homes at night.”
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