Category Archives: Domestic Security

Blogs related to domestic security issues

Alarms

ALARMS

It has been a while since we have blogged about alarms.  We are still of the firm belief that as a layer of security, a decent alarm system not only offers you peace of mind but also does make your premises less likely to be subject of a burglary.

Since we last blogged, we have installed many more systems far and wide we have systems as far North as Baschurch in Shropshire and as far East as Much Wenlock, Shropshire.  We also have commercial and domestic systems in Shrewsbury, Newtown, Powys, Welshpool, Powys and all places in between.  Every one of our customers are totally satisfied with their systems.  Not one of our customers to our knowledge has been subject to a burglary or attempted burglary since having an alarm system installed.

The systems that we recommend are extremely reliable, false alarms are very rare and thankfully faults and problems just as rare and usually easily resolved.

All of our systems are bespoke design using a vast range of detectors available to enable you to integrate the security around your use of the building and available budget.

If you choose to have a system connected to the internet, not only does it allow you to receive push notifications to most mobile phones and tablets of alarms and any other issues.  It also allows you to set and unset the system and check the detectors from anywhere in the world offering extra reassurance.  Furthermore it allows us remote access to undertake many maintenance functions, if we are able to resolve an issue remotely, rather than having to come out, currently we make no charge for this service.

In addition to burglary prevention and detection, our alarm systems offer various “panic” facilities that can be operated in or around the outside of the premises.  Additionally you can add bespoke safety detectors as you wish for smoke, heat and smoke, flood, carbon monoxide.

Over the past year, we have also been putting some outdoor intruder detectors through their paces these are able to detect intruders outside a premises and/or send pictures to you of what caused them to activate.  In the past year through many extreme weather and light conditions, swaying plants and trees in the wind and passing animals, we’ve not had a single false alarm and the system has activated 100% of times when the zone has been entered by a person.

The outdoor detectors are absolutely ideal for secure or any other outdoor areas where nobody should be present during certain hours  or where you require notification if not a full alarm when somebody is present there.

There are many other ways our systems can be used for example to oversee an elderly or vulnerable person, as a hotel or B&B wishing to monitor rooms for customers breaking no-smoking rules.

If you are considering an alarm system, feel free to peruse our main website or new and expanding alarm websites below for more information or cal us any time for general advice or a free quote.

http://www.safeandsecure247.co.uk/wireless-alarms-cctv/wireless-intruder-alarms.html

http://alarms.safeandsecure247.co.uk

Areas we Cover

In the last couple of weeks, we have travelled widely throughout the areas we cover.  Here are a few examples of where we have been and what we have been doing.

We had a customer with a broken key in Guilsfield, Powys.  It is worth noting that if you snap a key in a lock, providing it was the correct key and you don’t damage the key or lock trying to remove it yourself, we can usually remove it without damaging the lock to save the cost of having to buy a new lock and we can even cut extra keys on site if you don’t have enough spares for that lock.

In Fordham, Powys we assisted a customer with a new set of handles to replace the broken ones on their UPVC Door.

We had a customer who was unable to shut and lock their UPVC door in Trefeglwys.

In Carno, we had a customer who snapped the only key they had in their UPVC door cylinder and were unable to lock it, we were able to change it for a new one with three keys.

We had a person locked out in the cold in Llanidloes.  It is worth saying that we always try to gain entry without damaging the locks wherever possible in order to keep your costs to a minimum.  If this is not possible, we will always talk you through the options, explain them fully including costs etc.

We have undertaken numerous jobs in Newtown and Welshpool, including Lock changes, persons locked out, security upgrades, CCTV and Alarm quotes.

We upgraded some old locks in Kerry,  to new more secure locks.

In Montgomery we had a customer with a snapped key.

In Shrewsbury, we did a security survey and quote for a wireless intruder alarm system.

In Llanfair Caerinion we had a person locked out, for whom we gained entry.

Next week we already have work booked in Newtown, Welshpool, Clun, Bishops Castle and Church Stretton.

These are a few examples of where we have been and what we have been doing, Have a look at the website for our full range of services Safe and Secure/247 Website

For alarms there are pages on the website above and we are we are developing a new website  Safe and Secure 24/7 Alarms 

Feel free to call any time on 01686 640869

Alarming an Outdoor Area

ALARMING AN OUTDOOR AREA

Over the past few years we have tried alarming outdoor areas with a number of different types of alarm and alert system.  Many of these were inexpensive and the main problem was always far too many false alarms particularly at dawn when the birds became active.

Over the past month we have been trialling this new system which offers a whole new level of reliability if properly installed.

DETECTORS

This particular detector is an outdoor PIR detector packed with tech to help minimise false alarms, this one also has a camera that when it detects movement, takes a short video burst of whatever activated it which can be viewed remotely from anywhere in the world via its accompanying app.

The detector above is a slightly cheaper version of the first one, it has identical tech but just doesn’t have a camera.

In the month we have been putting this system through its paces, it hasn’t given a single false alarm but has reliably detected each test scenario we put it through.

These detectors don’t require a power source as they have a long life battery, they are tamper resistant and will detect and notify all forms of physical tampering including attempts to mask them.

These detectors can be included as part of our bespoke comprehensive internal alarm system as additional detours on the system covering the interior of your premises or they can be installed as a standalone independent outdoor system.

These are ideal for external parts of commercial premises, such as garden centres, secured car parks or to protect particular valuable assets outside any domestic or commercial premises such as overnight protection of your vehicles.  They are also ideally suited to outbuildings where they should minimise false alarms caused by animals.

We can also add magnetic sensors for external doors or gates into these systems.

NOTIFICATIONS

Detections can be handled in a number of flexible ways, the system can dial up to four mobile or landline numbers via traditional phone line or mobile GSM network of your choice.  It can be linked to professional 24 hour alarm monitoring services (currently offered free for the first year).  If connected via a broadband router, it can also be monitored and controlled and send notifications via an app on our phone or tablet.

For more information give us a call or visit our website at www.alarms.safeandsecure247.co.uk

Have a look also at the alarms page of our main website www.safeandsecure247.co.uk

No Two Alarm Systems Are the Same

External Siren

All of our alarm systems are bespoke and no two alarm systems are the same.  Why is that we hear you asking?

There are a number of reasons for this, we design each alarm system in such a way that it is best able to protect your home or commercial premises.  There are a wide range of detectors to choose from depending on the building architecture and user requirements.

A good example of user requirements within a home was a system we designed for a person who suffers insomnia, often gets up in the night to make a cup of tea and watch some TV but they wanted to be able to do this within a fully alarmed home without having to unset the alarm system.

One type of detector we used to achieve this was a  curtain motion detector deployed to protect the external perimeter of the relevant rooms with what are known as curtain motion detectors.  This has the effect that the external doors and windows are protected whilst the room can still be used.

A curtain motion detector is a detector whose detection pattern differs from traditional motions in that it is thin and not expansive. … Like a curtain hangs down as a thin veil on a window, the curtain motion detector only detects movement that is directly in its thin line of site.

The changes in types of system based on customer lifestyle or use of the building add many variants. it is possible for example to protect external areas in addition to internal rooms.

Each alarm also differs due to customer choices for example currently we are able to offer free professional monitoring for 12 months which means upon activation the alarm is handled 24/7 by a professional monitoring service who takes all necessary action on behalf of the alarm owner.

This means if you or the other 3 people the alarm would ordinarily contact are not available, ell necessary actions are taken on your behalf by the monitoring centre.

Whilst we are talking about professional monitoring, if a customer has a system that includes smoke detectors, this means in the event of a fire at that building, in your absence, rather than having to rely on a passer by or neighbour hearing your current smoke detectors or noticing the problem and then calling emergency services.  with professional monitoring, as soon as the smoke detector activates, it notifies the monitoring station who can take early action to call emergency services on your behalf.

Other variations are through customer choice around the addition or not of safety detectors such as smoke, smoke and heat, temperature, flood, etc

There are also several choices to be made about how you arm and disarm the system with a choice of a simple key fob, or pushbutton or LCD keypads some of which can be armed and disarmed simply by presenting your small pox card to the keypad, without need to remember numbers.

for more information, take a look at our websites or give us a call:

http://alarms.safeandsecure247.co.uk

http://www.safeandsecure247.co.uk/wireless-alarms-cctv/wireless-intruder-alarms.html

 

Another Customer Feeling Reassured

External Siren

Don’t wait until you have been a victim of burglary!

Todays customer in Baschurch just north of Shrewsbury is feeling reassured and is now less likely to become the victim of burglary than they were yesterday.

They can check this alarm system on their phone app even arm and disarm it from anywhere in the world. 

This system is monitored meaning that in the event of an activation 365 days a year, 24/7 a professional will deal with the activation on the owners behalf ensuring the correct response to the alarm activation.

It’s also possible to add safety detectors such as smoke, heat, Co2 etc so that issues such as smoke will be caught and responded to at the earliest opportunity in the owner’s absence.  

Clearly far better than standard smoke detectors that in your absence rely on someone hearing them and calling emergency services.

Whether you are considering installing the smallest domestic system through to large commercial systems, we can help. Give us a call or visit http://alarms.safeandsecure247.co.uk/

We are situated in Berriew, ideal for Newtown, Welshpool, Shrewsbury, North Powys and Shropshire.

Why It’s Important that All Your Ground Floor Windows Can Be Locked

Why Being Able to Lock Ground Floor Windows is Important

You may not realise why it’s important that all ground floor and easily accessible windows can be locked.

Apart from the added security of course, most insurers, domestic and commercial insist upon it as a minimum condition of your insurance.

This means in the event of a burglary,  no matter how they gained entry to your premises, if you are unable to demonstrate that your windows lock, your insurer may refuse to pay out as you have not met their insurance minimum security requirements.

If you have no locks at all, we can supply them for all window types.  If you have locks but have lost the keys, we can usually replace them same day.  If you have broken locks or locking handles we can replace them too.

If you are unsure whether your premises meet the minimum security standards set by your insurer will will gladly undertake a security survey that will include checking against insurer requirements.

If you live in the Shrewsbury / Shropshire area you might find our piece here of interest – Shrewsbury Burglary Statistics

If you are interesting in finding out more about suitable door and window locks take a look at our locks for the home page.

Take a look at our website for more details http://www.safeandsecure247.co.uk/services.html

Locking Window Handle
Locking Window Handle

Make Your Home Less Vulnerable to Burglary

Burglar Image

Traditionally, burglary tends to increase as the dark evenings come upon us so as the clocks have recently gone back and as it’s coming to the end of Home Security Month, we thought it a good time to offer you advice on a few simple steps you can take to make your home less vulnerable to burglary.

Security is like many things in life, you tend to get what you are prepared to pay for and sometimes cheap security offers little or no security or may let you down in some way just when it is needed, however with a little knowledge you needn’t pay the earth and most expensive is not always best.

The vast majority of residential burglaries are opportunist, what we mean by that is that with minimal planning, a burglar will walk or drive along any random street and look at the houses. Their aim is to get in and out as quickly and quietly as possible without being seen or heard and therefore minimise the chance of being caught red handed.  Mostly they will tend to be attracted to what they consider to be the “softer” targets.

Every little thing that you add that will cause a burglar to make more noise, take more time or be more visual getting in will put them off. The chances are that if you have sufficient security they will in all likelihood burgle a house nearby that presents them less of a challenge.

  • Consider the perimeter of your property and the approach, do you shut/lock access gates.
  • Preventing unwanted visitors entering your property is what you  need to achieve, but nobody wants their home looking like a prison surrounded by high walls and barbed wire, and that is not necessary.
  • Mother nature provides an environmentally friendly, attractive and particularly effective alternative – the prickly bush, these can be extremely effective when planted around perimeter areas. Don’t go for height particularly at the front as this could hide unwanted visitors on your property from sight.  A high hedge can be great for an opportunist theft as they are confident of not being seen while they are up to no good.
  • There are many forms of driveway alert that sound in the house when someone enters your drive these start from as little as £30.
  • Consider motion sensitive outdoor lighting. During the hours of darkness lighting is not only be a comfort factor for the occupant, it is an excellent deterrent for would be opportunist burglars who clearly do not want to be seen.  Be sure to fit them out of reach so they cannot be tampered with and if they are bright halogen or cost saving LED lights, not pointing directly at neighbours houses so as to cause a nuisance.
  • Many of the more “professional” burglars don’t carry obvious tools on them for gaining entry incase they are stopped by police, instead they rely on their target victim(s) leaving them out. Ensure your garden is tidy, that ladders and tools that may be used to gain entry are locked away.
  • Ensure your sheds and outbuildings are properly secured (both windows and doors) using the best quality locks that you can afford and consider lighting around these areas and a shed alarm. (basic shed alarms start at around £20)
  • Secure any particularly valuable items within your shed or outbuilding with padlocks and chains to ground or wall anchors. If you install high quality security it would necessitate a thief having to use a noisy angle grinder rather than relatively silent bolt croppers.
  • Consider locking other smaller valuable tools items such as chainsaws etc to the same ground or wall anchors at least locking lots of items together to make them very difficult to move.
  • We have already mentioned outdoor motion detector lights and the same applies around the house itself.
  • Always read you insurance company’s minimum requirements for security (Usually they will require at least 5 lever British Standard lock or equivalent on the final exit point for example) and similar locks or additional locking bolts on all other external doors plus key operated window lacks on all windows accessible from the ground floor.  IF YOU DON’T COMPLY WITH THESE REQUIREMENTS, THEY MAY NOT PAY OUT IN THE EVENT OF BURGLARY, NO MATTER HOW THEY BROKE IN.
  • There are a vast range of locks and additional security for doors and windows on the market, your local reputable locksmith is the best point of advice on upgrading your locks and additional security.
  • Once you have good quality locks on doors and windows make sure you lock them when you are out, at night and when you are in the garden in the summer.
  • If you leave windows open at night in the summer, consider fitting security restraints to prevent them from opening wide enough to climb through.
  • You may also not be aware that if someone enters your house using a key, most insurers will not pay out. It is always sound advice to change the locks when you move house so you can account for all of the keys.

Hear are a few more tips

  • Don’t leave valuables on display through windows or advertise them with social media photographs.
  • Beware of what you put on social media when you are away from home, it could be as simple as commenting on a picture of your animals at kennels which demonstrates you are away from home.
  • Install a safe for your valuables; Everybody has items that they would be devastated if they were stolen or destroyed in a fire.
  • Install a burglar alarm; If you already have an alarm, make sure you use it, It is not an ornament, and is only fully effective if properly serviced and always used.
  • Install CCTV cameras; If you have them, ensure they are regularly serviced, that your DVR is recording and that the time is accurate and changed with British Summer Time.
  • Security Grilles or mesh can add an extra layer of protection for windows and doors;
  • Holiday tips will be subject to a separate blog.
  • Consider UV marking or DNA based marking systems to mark your property which may increase the chances of you getting it back in the worst case scenario.
  • Photograph and catalogue valuable items and keep receipts in a safe place.

REMEMBER:  There is no such thing as 100% security but, every little thing that you add that will cause a burglar to make more noise, take more time or be more visual getting in will put them off. The chances are that if you have sufficient security they will in all likelihood burgle a house nearby that presents them less of a challenge.

If you want to deter a burglar you need to think like a burglar. A burglar wants to enter your building as quickly and quietly as possible and easily remove tools and other items, place them in their vehicle and leave without being caught.

Just incase the worst does happen despite your best efforts, check that you have sufficient insurance cover for your house, sheds and outbuildings and that tools and equipment of significant value is covered.

Ensure you comply with your insurers minimum requirements, such as locking ATVs to ground anchors as otherwise your insurance may not pay out.

Make a note of the serial numbers of valuable tools and equipment, Mark them in someway either with a property marketing solution or by putting your postcode in a way that cannot be easily removed.

If you would like help or guidance regarding the security of your home then please do not hesitate to call Safe and Secure 24/7 Locksmiths and Security on 01686 640 869 or Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ for more security tips, or subscribe to our RSS feed for regular blog updates.

Safe and Secure 24/7 Locksmiths and Security are based in between Welshpool and Newtown in Powys and we cover,  Mid- Wales and Shropshire.  We are local Locksmiths, we can give expert security advice and undertake security upgrades and Alarm and CCTV installations.  Give us a call today for a friendly chat.

We are happy to undertake a security review for you or quote for upgrades, alarm systems, safes, CCTV etc.

 

 

 

Lock Snapping Fact or Hype?

LOCK SNAPPING, is it Fact or Hype?

We are aware that lock cylinder snapping has become an issue within the areas we cover over the last couple of months when it never used to be a real issue locally so we have reviewed this blog for anyone that may be concerned.

Please be assured that we never seek to scaremonger for the sake of making sales, this blog is intended to just present the facts to enable you to make better informed decisions.

There has been lots of media attention about lock snapping over recent months, is it fact or mere hype?  I have decided to try and set out the facts and give some advice to those who may be vulnerable.

Typical euro profile cylinder
Typical euro profile cylinder

 

This in the main applies to euro profile cylinders as shown.  These are usually found on UPVC and composite doors although can be used in mortice locks on timber doors.

 

SO WHAT IS THE ISSUE AND HOW VULNERABLE ARE YOU?

The original design of these cylinders means that most of them have an inherent weakness enabling the possibility of them being quickly snapped and pulled out of your door. This enables enables a burglar to open the door in very short time.  In my experience,  the vast majority of doors locally are fitted with the most basic types of cylinder which can be vulnerable.

In order to snap a cylinder, a potential burglar has to be able to grip the cylinder end with an implement or tool, so if your cylinder is protruding beyond a few millimeters,  it could be vulnerable,  the best fitted cylinder will always be flush (or within a couple of mm) with the external handle face plate.

If your cylinder is flush or as near as damn it to the face plate that is a good start and makes life a little more difficult for the potential burglar, however you are not out of the woods because many handle sets can be easily broken of the door, exposing your cylinder and making it easy to snap.

ANTI-SNAP CYLINDERS

We stock, a range of  anti-snap cylinders.  If anyone attempts to snap these cylinders they will snap at a sacrificial  point making unauthorised entry extremely difficult for anyone other than a trained locksmith.

When you return to the property with a key however, you will be still be able to open the door easily with your key.

HOW CAN YOU MAKE YOUR DOOR MORE SECURE

As I have highlighted there are two potential areas of weakness, the cylinder itself and the handle set.  I would always advise that to get the best advice you ought to consult your local locksmith as this is a developing area with many new products coming onto the market.

A good locksmith can also offer other services that you cannot achieve elsewhere for example if you are going to upgrade your lock cylinders anyway wouldn’t it be good to have just 1 key to fit all of your locks rather than a big bunch? If you are a landlord, bed and breakfast or other establishment that temporarily give out keys, you could have patented restricted profile cylinders and padlocks that prevent the person to whom you have issued a key from getting a copy cut meaning you have much better security control.

Fell free to visit our Safe and Secure 24/7 Website for more information and see what our customers say

 

Crimestoppers Burglary Advice

Burglary can affect victims in a number of ways; not only do they lose items of value, some of which are personal or irreplaceable, but the emotional shock of having your property invaded can be deeply upsetting. Read Crimestoppers our advice to help keep your property safe: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/keeping-safe/burglary/