Categories
Security

Should I Invest In a Burglar Alarm?

If you’re looking to strengthen your home security, you might very well consider the benefits of a burglar alarm. With the wide range of burglar alarms to choose from, it’s easy to find an effective solution for any property.

Whatever your security setup, a burglar alarm is always a wise investment, and this article takes a look at some of the reasons why.

Deterrent

Many burglaries are opportunistic, carried out by thieves who spot vulnerable properties. A burglar alarm on your home immediately tells burglars that you have considered and taken positive action towards your home security. Criminals do not want to draw attention to themselves, and a burglar alarm presents an effective obstacle to achieving this.

Some people opt for dummy alarm boxes – non-functional boxes which resemble real alarms. They can be effective for lower risk areas, but many burglars will be able to spot the difference between dummy alarms and the real deal. Having a functional burglar alarm installed is both a reliable deterrent and an effective response should a break-in occur.

A burglar alarm could save you money

Homeowners could benefit from reduced insurance premiums if they install a burglar alarm on their property. Homes with an operational burglar alarm are seen as a lower liability than those without. Lack of a burglar alarm suggests to your insurance company that your home is fundamentally less secure, and thus more prone to unlawful entry.

A burglar alarm could be a quick and easy way to lower your premiums due to the added layer of security. To see if you can get a discount on your policy, check with your home insurance provider.

Secure your valuables

The heart of any security system is the protection of your belongings. We all have things we need to keep safe, whether we live in a small cottage out in the countryside or Buckingham Palace in London. A burglar alarm system is designed to safeguard your valuables. If a burglar does gain access into your home, by breaking a window or kicking a door down, for example, the burglar alarm will offer an immediate response.

Burglars thrive on going about their business undetected. A burglar alarm sounding off alerts you, your neighbours and, depending on the system, the police, to a break-in. This eliminates the element of surprise and forces the intruder to react. The typical response is to flee the scene, thus keeping your belongings safe and sound inside your home.

A burglar alarm communicates to thieves that they have been identified, taking control of the situation out of their hands. Not having an alarm means they have no reason to prematurely flee, leaving them with much more time to examine, locate and steal your most prized possessions.

A range of home alarms to suit your needs

Technology and security have seen rapid development over the years, and now there are a range of alarm systems available to cater to all kinds of requirements.

Bells-only alarms are usually installed on homes which are lower risk. These systems will sound the alarm as soon as a break-in occurs, but are not monitored.

Monitored alarms benefit from constant connection to an outside security company. When the alarm goes off, someone from the company will contact you to make sure everything is in check and to ask for a password which you would have set up when the system was installed. In cases where there is no response or password given, the authorities are called in to deal with the potential break-in.

Wireless systems and wired systems are the two main choices for home security. Wireless systems make it easy to accommodate extra sensors and are typically cheaper overall compared to a wired alarm. Wireless alarms can also be taken to a new home should you move house, and are much quicker and easier to install.

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Security

Advantages of CCTV in your home

CCTV has always been a security measure that is commonly reserved for businesses such as shops, manufacturers and various stores. However, what people often fail to realise is the numerous benefits of having CCTV installed in and around your home.

Icamn this day and age we are seemingly having to pay insurance for everything and with premiums increasing every year people look for more ways to reduce what they pay. Installing a CCTV system in your home is a great way of reducing what you pay each month and any insurance company will agree. The more advanced the system, the more secure your home is in the eyes of insurers so as a result will lower what you have to pay. CCTV can be quite costly initially but you have to think of it as a long term one off investment that will provide your home with security for years to come as well as saving you more money than it cost to install.

That being said, not all CCTV systems are that expensive so you do not have to worry about being bankrupt in doing so. In the past it would have been costly to install but recent technological advances now mean that more affordable systems are available.

Home security has never been more important but with modern CCTV recording equipment you are able to not only record but transmit the footage as it happens. This footage can be streamed to anywhere in the world to any device of your choosing whether it be a laptop, portable tablet or even your mobile phone. You can either monitor it yourself and be sent alerts to your device when movement occurs or even have a specialised security monitoring company do it for you.

For some, even opening the front door can be a frightening process even if you have a peephole. If it is night time and you don’t have a well-lit porch then you never know who you’re answering your door to. CCTV placed above your door can help you see who is there at all times and who has been there. It could even be to see if a delivery attempt was made to your home or if a friend stopped by whilst you were out.

cam2Finally, if your home does happen to be broken into, vandalised or even if you are being harassed, CCTV will provide you with a concrete source of evidence. The authorities and courts will accept this when prosecuting so you no longer have to be worried if you are away from home.

These are just a few of the benefits that come with having CCTV installed in your home. Once you have it you will realise how advantageous it can be whilst providing you with peace of mind.

Categories
Security

Keeping your home secure when on holiday

Heading off on holiday this year? You’ve probably already renewed your passport, bought more sun cream than you need and double checked the tickets a thousand times. However, home security is often overlooked and left to the last minute — despite 60% of burglaries occurring when properties are empty.

Ensuring your property is secure for the duration of your trip is crucial regardless of how long you’re away for. From weekend breaks to extended vacations, security systems specialist GPS Installations shows how to keep your home safe this summer.

Lock it up

Locking up your property may seem obvious, but it can be easy to forget about an open window or exterior building. Before your holiday, examine the current locks on your property to make sure they are completely secure. Carry out repairs and replacements where necessary.

Check all windows and doors are shut and locked before you leave. In addition, make sure sheds, garages and outside storage are locked up too, to keep your belongings safe.

Make it look occupied

If it looks like your home is occupied, the property will become less of a target, as the high risk could deter potential thieves. There are a number of ways you can make your property look lived in, including:

  • Cancelling deliveries — a build-up of milk or newspapers on your doorstep is a clear sign that your property is empty. Cancel the deliveries before you leave.
  • Ask a trusted neighbour, friend or family member to call round — if your curtains haven’t been opened in the best part of a week, suspicions may start to arise that your property is empty. To give the appearance of someone living there, give your keys to a trusted neighbour, friend or family member and ask them to pop in every day to open/shut the curtains and clear the mail. Don’t forget to give them your house alarm pin too, if you have one.
  • Consider light timers — invest in timer switches to turn lights on and off at certain times, creating the illusion that somebody is inside your home.

Consider deterrents

Deterrents like house alarms and CCTV systems can help prevent break in’s from happening all together. Dummy systems are available and, while they are intended to deter, criminals are often able to spot the difference between a dummy and the real thing.

In addition, you’ll actually benefit more by having a real system installed. For example, a working alarm system will alert your neighbour to an intruder and potentially scare them off. Likewise, CCTV systems can capture criminals in the act, which could help lead to a prosecution.

Deterrents can benefit virtually any property, so they’re always worth considering.

Check your home insurance policy

Should the worst happen and your property is broken into, you’ll want the peace of mind that you’re covered for the items taken and the damage caused. Before you set off on holiday, check that your home insurance policy is still valid and make sure it offers the correct cover for your needs. Don’t leave anything to chance just to keep costs down — it could cost you a lot more in the long run.

Categories
Security

Easy Lock Upgrades For Home Security

Mortice-Lock-ForendHome security is often overlooked until the worst happens, however the protection of your loved ones and possessions should be at the forefront of all home owners minds.

Simple actions can be taken to increase the security of your home, you should start by inspecting your current locks to see if they are not only working properly but are secure enough.

Door Locks

External doors can be placed into 2 separate categories, wooden solid doors and plastic UPVC doors, these two types of doors are both locked and secured in very different ways.  Mortice locks, with more traditional larger mortice keys are typically found on solid wooden doors, a hole is cut into the side of the door to accept the mortice lock case, the only visible part of these locks are the forend which can be seen on the edge of the door.  Often the forend will give details about the lock and its security level, on this example, we can see the lock brand at the top, number of levers in the middle and BS Kite Mark at the bottom, showing this lock has been accredited with BS3621:2004.  When checking your existing locks, look out for these stamps, ideally locks fitted to external door should be at least 5 Lever British Standard, if you do not have a lock to this standard, then consideration should be taken to upgrade the lock, checks should also be made with your home insurance details, often a minimum security level for locks is specified.  Replacement mortice locks can easily be sourced and fitted to match your current lock size, simply remove the lock from the door and measure the lock case and forend length / width, a suitable alternative can then be easily sourced.

Euro-CylinderUPVC plastic doors are normally much thinner than wooden doors and therefore can not accept a mortice lock.  Multipoint locking mechanisms have been developed to offer excellent protection for PVC doors, they use a mixture of bolts and hooks to provide locking security, often engaged by lifting the door handle.  UPVC lock cases will be operated by a simple Euro or Oval barrel lock, these cylinders fit through the door and lock case and once the key is turned, it will lock the multipoint lock and secure the door.  The locking cylinders are available in many sizes to suit all door types and thickness and also differing security levels.  5 pin cylinders are the most common, however these have proved weak against various types of attack, including lock picking, bumping and snapping.  Higher security levels can be achieved by replacing these less secure lock barrels with Kite Marker alternatives, look out for cylinders that have Anti Snap, bump and pick protection.

Window Locks

All windows should be secured with a key operated lock, this can be a locking window handle, however, as the price of replacement windows fall, so does the quality of the handles and locks.  Extra window locks can be fitted to compliment any existing locks.  Sash stoppers are one of the most popular types of secondary lock for windows, as they are easy to fit, cheap to buy and simple to operate.  Also known as their brand name of Sash Jammers, they can be purchased in a colour to suit existing windows with locking and non locking options, the simple nature of these locks means they are more likely to be used when securing and leaving a house.

Other locks

Patio doors are vulnerable to attack as their locking systems are often weaker than front or back doors and often not overlooked by neighbours or from the street, this could allow an intruder to spend more time trying to gain entry.  Simple push to lock patio door locks can be fitted to add extra security and strength and also provide anti lift protection.

Front doors can be further protection with security items such as, door chains to allow caller identification before a door is fully opened, door bars to provide extra strength to door frames and thus restrict a force attack and hinge bolts again to offer defence for a force attack but also essential for doors that open outwards with exposed hinge plates.

Categories
Security

Access Control Devices to lookout for in 2014

Locksonline are a security retailers, hailing from the UK and have been in the business for over 15 years. Their MD Darrel Walters is a locksmith and has 25 years experience himself.

In this article, we are going to go over some access control devices for your business that would of been deemed futurism just a few years back. These devices maintain a nice balance between high security and convenience. We have a lot of enquirys as to the best type of locking solution in this catagory so we have compiled a list of what we think are some of the best.

 

GSM Switch

These have been designed and manufactered by GM techtronics/Daitem. They provide an excellent and convinient form of access control that works in conjunction with your mobile phone. During installation you are able to set up trusted numbers, then when a call or text is placed from a trusted number a signal is sent to the GSM switch which opens your door for a period of time set by you. Extra kudos for combining this with Siris voice application, saving your number as door, allowing you to voice operate access to your home of office! RRP £125 + VAT

 

Wireless Door Intercom

This model is also a GM techtronic/Daitem access control device. These kits allow you to install up to 4 intercoms per office or home, which allows communcation between the system. The main feature of these intercoms are its ability to send open and close or on/off signals to doors and lights. This allows you to remotely provide access control to restricted areas or simply front doors as well as being extremely convinient. RRP £444.30 + VAT

 

Electrical locks

Electric locks such as the Yale Digital Keyless lock give you keypad combination security functions on main doors. It has a massive range of features and is very user friendly, installation is very simple and of course, due to it not needing mains power, there is no mile long trail of cables. You are able to add a number of different passcodes that can range of 6-12 digits.This model takes batterys that can withstand 100,000 uses and has low battery warnings well in advance of them running out on you. This model is also BS3621 rated, so it is covered by british insurance requirements. £109.49 + VAT

 

Mechanical combination locks

Locksonlines favourate range of mechanical locks are the KABA simplex unican 1000 series. These locks are heavy duty peices of equipment that are used in high priority buildings across europe such as hospitals and banks. These models do not require power to function so there is no reason they can’t be used under emergancy circumstances. Keypad entry faces the exterior and the interior has a quick and easy to use knob turn that allows a quick exit. These kits include, keypad/KABA lock, latch, strike plate and code changing tool. RRP £209.95 + VAT

I hope this article has been informative to you. Access control devices can sometimes be confusing as there are quite a wide range of different types available. If you have any questions please direct them here or enquires@locksonline.co.uk. We are also available to live chat and by phone on 08452300201.

Warm Regards

Lee Donoghue

www.locksonline.co.uk

Categories
Fire Protection Security

Wireless or mains smoke alarms: which to choose?

London Fire ProtectionWhen it comes to choosing a smoke alarm for their home, the majority of people are aware of the importance of their decision. Not only could the alarm potentially save the lives of themselves and their family members by alerting them to a fire or the beginnings of one, but they could also rescue their property and possessions as a result of the early warning.

In addition, it is a legal requirement for rented buildings and commercial properties to be fitted with a smoke alarm.

Therefore, whether the decision is a common sense one or a legally binding one, the focus comes to which sort of smoke alarm to choose.

There are a number of different types of domestic smoke detectors with a variety of capabilities. However, in most cases, the decision comes between battery smoke detectors and mains smoke alarms.

There are a number of reasons for choosing each and in many cases, the decision will come down to a personal preference, especially as all smoke alarms have to be produced in accordance with British safety and quality standards.

Therefore, when choosing the right alarm, it is necessary to look at what makes each individual and why they may be more appropriate for a certain setting:

Wireless smoke alarms

In many cases, wireless smoke detectors are chosen for the fact that they are wireless. This, in the eyes of many makes them fast, simple and effective. Many people see the word wireless and think high-tech. Therefore, they reason if everything else in their lives is wireless, why not their smoke alarm.

However, a further advantage to choosing wireless is the lack of fuss and mess which comes with them. These can be instantly installed with little mess, no drilling and an instant guarantee of safety. There is also the fact that many people would prefer a home or business with as few wires cluttering up their working or living area as possible.

A lack of fuss when installing the Kidde smoke detectors also means that the home or business is allowed to go without disruption, which is often not the case when a device has to be wired or professionally fitted. Finally there is the consideration that for many listed and historical buildings where an alarm is highly necessary, wiring is forbidden. Therefore, a wireless smoke detector is the only available option.

Wired smoke detectors

Despite the many advantages of wireless smoke detectors, they are still seen by some people as being “new fangled” and as a result, many people prefer to have a system hard-wired into their home or business because of real or imagined quality over the wireless alternative. However, whilst much of this thinking is put down to people simply being unable or unwilling to move forward technologically, there is some evidence to support the idea. Not only is it proven that wired smoke alarms are more reliable but with no maximum distance between detector and control panel there is less chance of something going wrong in the event of an emergency.

There is also the convenience of not having to check the batteries on a regular basis which makes a wired in smoke alarm a more attractive idea.

If you are looking for smoke detectors or security products for your home visit Alarm traders Direct.

Categories
Security

Use a home alarm to improve the security of your home

siren on wallThe daily pressures of work and family life make it easy to overlook the importance of home security.  However, with summer here, the peak holiday season is now in full swing, making the security of your home something that should not be overlooked

Burglars are opportunistic, they look for easy ways to get in to a home that won’t take long or arouse attention.   Summer holidays mean families are often away from their property for a substantial duration of time, and therefore homeowners must be increasingly diligent at this time of year.

A home alarm system can be a highly effective deterrent; 60% of burglars say they would be discouraged from targeting a house if they knew it had a home alarm system.

With all this in mind, Yale has developed range of alarms for all properties.  The Yale Easy Fit Alarm can be fitted by anyone with a basic DIY competence and the SmartHome Alarm system must be fitted by a professional.

Here are some useful statistics that really highlight the benefits of installing a home alarm:

  • Burglars will tend to bypass houses that require effort
  • A house without an alarm is 2-3 times more likely to be burgled
  • 60% of burglaries on homes with alarm systems failed
  • 85% of police officials surveyed believe alarms deter burglars

The benefits of a home alarm are obvious, but what else can homeowners do to improve the security of their property:

Don’t leave valuables in easy view of passers by

78% of homeowners leave valuables in easy view of passers by.  This will attract potential burglars to your home as they know there it something valuable to be stolen.  The most commonly stolen goods in burglaries include money, electrical products, computers, jewellery and mobile phones.

Don’t hide a spare key in doorways

52% of homeowners make the common mistake of hiding keys by doorways.  Burglars will always think to check in places such as under plant pots or doormats, so make sure any spare keys are well hidden, or avoid this at all if possible.

Don’t post your whereabouts on social media

54% of homeowners will post their whereabouts on social media.  This can draw attention to the fact that your property will be empty, and this could make it a target for potential burglars.

These are all simple tips, but if you would like more information on keeping your property safe, visit the Yale website – the UK’s most trusted home security experts.

Categories
Security

Is Your Home As Secure As You Thought It Was?

It is easy to sit inside a warm, comfortable house and believe that all is well with the world. If you have taken a lot of time and care in furnishing your home then you no doubt feel better there than anywhere else.

However, this feeling of comfort can lead to a false sense of security. Even if your home is attractive inside this is no guarantee that it is as secure as you hope. Let’s see what you can do to make it a tougher prospect for thieves.

Increase the Security

There are quite a few things you can do now to increase your levels of home security. This includes adding better locks; fitting a modern burglar alarm and making sure that you never leave doors unlocked. Your first step should be to assess the standard of the protection your property currently has. If the locks, for example, are of a low standard than this is something which burglars will be able to exploit easily.  As regards a burglar alarm; a big name, reputable firm such as ADT will give you an extensive selection to choose from.

Cut Out the Weak Points

Most homes have vulnerable spots but in the majority of cases the homeowner isn’t even aware of them. The starting point is therefore to identify these weak areas. The simplest way to do this is by viewing your home as a burglar might do. This means walking around it at night and seeing what possible points of entry are on offer. You might be shocked at what you find but that it far better than being shocked by an intruder entering your home. You should be able to solve most issues reasonably simple, either by fixing something, adding more lights or choosing better security such as that mentioned in the previous point.

Be Aware

No matter how good your home’s security is, you will still need to be aware of potential dangers. This doesn’t mean that you need to live behind a twitching curtain but it does mean being vigilant and knowing when there is suspicious activity in the neighbourhood. Setting up a neighbourhood watch scheme is a great idea, and you might find that there are plenty of other people in the street who have been thinking about the same thing. Another great idea is to look at fitting a CCTV system. These let you monitor goings on in your property without any hassle and are now easy to install and reasonably priced.

Categories
Security

Home Security Mistakes That Attract Intruders [Guest Post]

Intruders are always on the lookout for an easy nights work. They don’t want a tough time entering a home and stealing your precious belongings, so they are always keeping an eye out for homes with poor security in place or signs of weakness in their location or quality of fittings. Here are a few mistakes that homeowners make that could cost them dearly if intruders were to spot them and target them:

Poor Quality Windows and Doors

You could have the best locks in the world on your door, but if they are not fitted well or not very strong, all it will take is applying the right amount of pressure in the right place and an intruder will be inside your home. The same goes for windows. Windows and doors to the front and back of a property should be double glazed and fitted by industry professionals so that you are guaranteed the job has been done to a high standard. If an intruder sees that your windows and doors are going to be a long, hard task, chances are they will be deterred.

Poor Quality Garage

If your garage needs maintenance of replacing, don’t put off the job. The garage is the first thing an intruder sees when he looks at your house as a possible score. If he’s looking for a weakness, and you have a poor quality garage door, there’s a very good chance he’ll be back to see just how weak it is. You can get great quality garage doors on the market that are solid and secure and last for years. It’s a very good investment and an even better thief deterrent.

No Security Systems in Place

Your home is sacred to you, so you should be doing all you can to keep it free from the eyes of burglars and thieves. Fitting a security camera and/or a top quality alarm system is likely to put off most thieves. If you are going to go through the trouble of having them fitted though, make sure you are using them properly and not just hoping that their presence will be enough to scare off intruders. You may need that CCTV footage in the future.

A Cluttered or Overgrown Garden

A garden is a good vantage point for intruders, especially if your garden is cluttered, overgrown or has a shed that is easy to gain access to. Leaving a shed open or in poor condition can give intruders plenty of ways to get into your property by smashing a window or using a ladder to gain access to a higher point. Keep your shed locked and your hedges and trees well maintained and an intruder will likely leave your home well alone.

Daley is a homeowner who works with SGG to ensure that all homes are safe and secure and protected with the best security products around.