Tag Archives: Shropshire

CCTV

Today we installed a CCTV system for commercial customer who chose to add an extra layer of protection to their physical building security.   

All of our systems are bespoke and designed taking into account the design of the building and the customer’s specific wishes and budget.   The CCTV world is awash with choices and we help to simplify the choices for customers to get the best system they can that meets their needs and budget.

Our CCTV and Alarm systems are equally suited to domestic and commercial customers

There are a number of options to consider around, most suitable CCTV format, i.e., analogue, high definition analogue or IP.  There are different camera types to consider with various lens types and infra Red night vision intensity.

All of our systems enable live remote viewing on mobile devices and tablets from anywhere in the world (subject to internet access through 3G, 4G or wifi)

If you are considering enhancing your security by adding CCTV, an alarm system, or newer modern stronger locks or additional security give us a call or browse our websites for more information.

http://Www.safeandsecure247.co.uk   And http//:alarms.safeandsecure247.co.uk

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

 

It’s Been a While

It’s been a while since our last blog but we are back!  Blogging is one of those things that you are never sure if anyone actually reads it and finds it useful or whether it just attracts all the really annoying spam.

Anyway, our blog is back in business, if anyone does read it and has a locksmith or security related topic you’d like us to blog about, then please contact us and let us know.

 

New Generation Visonic PowerG Range of Alarm Systems

We are now installing the new generation Visonic PowerG range of alarm systems which laughably is one of the best wireless systems currently on the market

These are suitable for domestic and commercial applications and come with a vast range of optional wireless detectors in addition to the extensive intruder options such as smoke, gas, Carbon monoxide, temperature high or low, flood.

For gadgety people, there is a neat LCD arming station option enabling users to swipe in and out with prox tags as well as oversea the system.

KP_160_product_img_green_family_New
This system can include silent alerts and non alarm chimes (driveway alert etc)

There are also outdoor and outbuilding suitable detectors.

There is an option of 365 24/7 professional monitoring otherwise the system can phone or text up to 4 numbers.

For more details call us for a chat or drop us an email.

http://www.visonic.com/Products/PowerG-Wireless-Property-Protection

Questions To Ask When You Phone A Locksmith

There are a few questions you ought to consider asking when you phone a locksmith;  Why? because it could save you lots of money and some locksmiths are simply better than others.

So,  questions you should ask when you phone a locksmith whether it is an emergency lock out or for some routine work.

WHAT WILL IT COST?

Ask for an estimate of how much the work will cost,  personally, I always give callers an estimate of how much any given job is likely to cost them and will if at all possible give either a fixed price or maximum cost;  always ask if any estimate quoted includes VAT.

I am surprised that the vast majority of people never ask about cost, don’t ever by too shy to ask because any reputable locksmith will provide an estimate based on the average time it takes to do a particular job.

Most locksmiths charge by the hour and will estimate how long the job is likely to take, if you are given the hourly rate check that if they run into a new hour whether they will charge the whole hour or just the actual time taken.

Depending on they type of job, they may in some circumstances be able to provide a fixed quote although this could work out slightly more costly than the hourly rate as it is necessary to allow for unknown variables that might lengthen the time taken.

Clearly any estimate is just that, based on a customers’s telephone description it is impossible to determine all the variables that could cause delay but when the locksmith is working on site they regularly update you, explaining any issues and also provide you options based on what they find to enable you to make properly informed decisions.

WHERE IS THE ACTUAL ATTENDING LOCKSMITH BASED?

There are many so called locksmiths that advertise National coverage.  Whilst I can’t comment on their actual coverage they do not cover all areas and some sub-contract to anyone they can get, others might travel large distance which of course adds to the costs. Many of these companies charge considerably more than your local reputable locksmith some considerably more.

If possible check out the website which should have the address from which the locksmith operates.

HOW WILL THEY GO ABOUT THE JOB

If you are telephoning a local reputable locksmith, you are likely to speak to the locksmith that will be attending, if this is not the case then ask to speak to them.  You don’t need to know the full technical details but they ought to be able to reassure you they are not going to just get the drill straight out and cause damage that might not be necessary.  Drilling locks is usually the last resort.

WHAT ASSOCIATIONS DOES THE LOCKSMITH BELONG TO

Anyone can become a locksmith with no training, whilst some very good locksmiths choose not to belong to any of the associations, you have to be wary of potential “cowboys” too.  There are a number of locksmith associations for example the Master Locksmiths Association which ensure a level of good workmanship and reasonable charges etc, check out the association webpages if you have time and the locksmith attending should have identification or certification proving their membership.

IS YOUR LOCKSMITH CRB CHECKED?

As previously stated, anyone can set up as a locksmith, and you are going to trust them with keys to your property, or safe etc etc, if they are CRB checked this ought to prove they have no previous criminal convictions for dishonesty, once agin they ought to be able to show you documentation ort certification proving the CRB check.

WHAT DO OTHER CUSTOMERS SAY

If you are able to do so, have a look at the website, and see if there are any customer testimonials.  (Be slightly wary because some unscrupulous individuals can just make these up)  Have a good look at the website to see if it seems genuine and that your locksmith is a member of the local community if possible

SECURITY ADVICE

Many local reputable locksmiths over time become security experts, some have other previous security expertise to add weight to that expertise an can offer other services for example free no obligation security surveys so that you can be made aware of any security vulnerabilities you may have.

You have to put a lot of of trust in any locksmith you employ so don’t be afraid to ask the necessary questions including price estimates to help build that trust.

If you don’t ask a few questions, you might end up paying far too much or having a door that looks like this:

65002_10152197191128906_700641551_n

Ten Simple Tips To Make your Shed or Outbuilding More Secure

Shed and Outbuilding burglary is a continuing to be a problem in the areas we cover on the whole, they tend to make easy targets and it needn’t cost the earth to make them more secure.

Below are ten simple tips to make your shed or outbuilding more secure. There are a couple of issues with sheds and outdoor buildings that many people may not realise; the total value of everything they contain is likely to be far higher than you might at first think and secondly, it is likely to contain many tools and implements that an opportunist burglar could use to enter your home.

1. Consider the approach to your shed or outbuilding, do you shut/lock access gates?

2. 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.

3. There are many forms of driveway alert that sound in the house when someone enters your drive these start from as little as £30.

4. Consider motion sensitive outdoor lighting. During the hours of darkness lighting can 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 lights, not pointing directly at neighbours houses so as to cause a nuisance.

5. Starting with the outside of each shed or building, ensure the walls are as secure as they can be, mend any holes that someone could crawl through or make bigger etc.

6. Install the best security locking devices possible, ensure that padlocks and fittings are sturdy and function properly, and if an outbuilding leads directly into your home make sure that the connecting door is especially secure. Replace and properly secure any cracked windows, and consider adding wire mesh or grilles.

7. Secure any particularly valuable items with padlocks and chains to ground or wall anchors. If you use high quality security it would necessitate a thief having to use a noisy angle grinder rather than relatively silent bolt croppers.

8. 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.

9. Consider CCTV or if that is beyond your budget, you could consider a high quality dummy CCTV camera.

10. Consider an alarm, these can range from a simple shed alarm which sell for less than £10 through to a properly installed alarm system either as part of or separate to the house alarm.

 

Just in case the worst does happen despite your best efforts, check that you have sufficient insurance cover for your 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 some way either with a property marketing solution or by putting your postcode in a way that cannot be easily removed. Always consider asking the advice of your local reputable locksmith who should be able to assist with general security advice as well as product specific advice and will offer an installation service should you require it.

Specific Types of Lock

A lot of people are not aware of some specific types of locks that locksmiths can offer to suit certain situations; in this blog I have explained some of the specific types of lock that can be provided by your local reputable locksmith.

KEYED ALIKE

Most locks are keyed to differ which means you need a different key for each lock. Keyed alike means you can have any number of locks that open with a single key. This could include a combination of euro cylinders, rim cylinders (often referred to as Yale cylinders), screw in cylinders and/or padlocks. This option can reduce a huge bunch of keys to just 1 key that fits all.

MASTER KEYED

Master keying basically gives different keys different levels of access. The best way to describe this is to think of a hotel with 5 floors; The cleaner for each floor only requires access to rooms on that floor but no other floor. The cleaning supervisors key will access all rooms on all floors but not the offices. The managers key will open all offices and all rooms on all floors.

RESTRICTED PATENTED PROFILES

These types of locks have keys that cannot legally be copied by local key cutters etc, particularly useful for landlords, clubs, bed & breakfast etc when you hand a key to someone they should not be able to get copies

HOW PATENTED KEYS PROTECT

If keys can be borrowed a duplicate can be cut locally, then the borrower becomes an unauthorised master key holder.

Cylinder systems that rely on copyright protection can no longer be legally protected from others manufacturing and selling ‘pirate’ key blanks. Only cylinder systems that offer Patent protection for their keys can truly protect against illegal key blank duplication.

Patent protection prevents unauthorised duplication of the key
● Manufacturer can impose restrictions on key copying
● Manufacturer can control who has access to key cutting
● Keys cannot be cut at any high street shops without legal implications

CLUTCH RELEASE FUNCTION (euro cylinder with thumb turn)

● When the key is inserted into the cylinder, the thumbturn disengages by use of a clutch mechanism
● This allows the door to be unlocked even if the thumbturn is being held in the locked position from the inside – ideal for situations where a non key holder could hold the thumbturn in the locked position to prevent the door being unlocked

CLASSROOM FUNCTION (euro cylinder with thumb turn)

● Provides the same functionality as clutch release plus
● The thumbturn can be rotated in one direction only via a ratchet mechanism in the turn side of the cylinder
● Person can only unlock the door from inside – ensures that somebody inside the room cannot lock anybody out but can always escape in case of emergency

CONSTRUCTION KEYING

● Construction keying allows the contractor of a project full access during the construction period
● On first operation of the building owner’s key, the construction key will be permanently disabled.

Our New Boxer Dog

As it’s Christmas I thought I’d blog about something other than security for a change – our new boxer dog.

About 2 years ago, our son now aged 7 asked if he could have a dog. Thinking of all the negatives we said no, however over the past two years he has continued to ask. To be honest the negatives always outweighed the positives in my mind and I usually just put any decision off however it was clear that our son really wanted a dog.

When our son did his list for Father Christmas around October this year noticing he had not included “dog” I foolishly asked him why it was missing to which he replied “because you won’t let me have one” that really tugged at my heart strings.

My wife and I have spent considerably more time deciding whether to get a dog than we ever did about having kids. I have always loved the playful mischievous nature of Boxers. I remembered one of our old friend breeds them and had a few chats together with research and we decided to go ahead with a male puppy but for him not to be a Christmas present.

On 17th December we met “Scooby” as named by the kids for the first time he was as gorgeous as his pictures sent by the breeder had suggested.

We decided to crate train him as he won’t ever be left for long periods but we don’t want to endure his chewing stage. The first two nights he spent in a small box next to our bed and every time I took my hand away he cried. We spent lots of time introducing him to his crate and on night 3 he went in. We had been advised to ignore his crying and eventually he did stop.

Despite getting up and letting him out in the night his crate was a real mess in the morning. We had a huge one with bed one end and paper the other and although he head gone to toilet in right place he had trodden it everywhere. After 2 nights of mess and the fact that nights 1 and 2 were no problem in his small box, we invested in a much smaller crate with room for bed only and have had no problem since.

Two weeks on he loves his crate often goes in during day to escape the children and have a sleep.

Scooby is definitely full of character, extremely playful and already mischievous. He has fitted in really well with us all. House training over the wettest Christmas ever has not been easy as he doesn’t like the rain but I think we are making progress.

Having read up well we have been so careful with the kids and chocolate over Christmas but despite all the care somehow he got into our utility room on Boxing Night and in the minute he was there he managed to eat a piece of chocolate cake. Thankfully our new vet was wonderful, we were there within 30 minutes and poor Scooby was vomiting the contents of his stomach like someone at the end of a bad night out. He recovered really well and by next morning was back to his mischievous self.

We all have so much still to learn but despite the hard work house training in the winter etc, he is a gorgeous new addition to the family.

The problem with UPVC Doors

Reading this could save you lots of money – I have blogged about The problem with UPVC doors previously but it’s something I come across so often it’s worth repeating.

The locking mechanism of whatever type engages when you push up the handle; when you take the next step of turning the key it locks the mechanism in place.

The action of pushing the handle up usually turns a number of cogs which engage with he top and bottom sliders to slide the locking mechanism into place. This should be an easy smooth operation; if you are having to exert extra force something is not right (usually the door needs adjusting).

The teeth on these cogs are not strong and if you continue to use undue force on the handle the teeth will break off resulting in you being locked in or out and requiring the gearbox or in many cases whole locking mechanism replacing which can be expensive.

UPVC Door alignment problems can be heightened in extremes of cold and heat making the problem worse.

If you have to use extra force to push the handle up then having the door looked at ASAP cold save you lots of trouble and money later on.

10 Simple Things To Help Secure Your Home For Under £100

We were recently challenged to come up with 10 simple things to help secure your home for under £100.  At first it seemed an impossible task, however always up for a challenge we set out with shopping list in hand and were rather surprised myself to spend just £88.14 leaving £11.86 change out of the £100.

Security is like many things, on the whole 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.

We have assumed that you already have good sufficient locks on all of your ground floor doors.

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)

You may not be aware that if someone enters your house using a key, insurers may 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.

The vast majority of residential burglaries are opportunist, what I mean by that is a burglar will walk along a street and look at the houses. Their aim is to get in and out as quickly and quietly as possible without being seen and therefore minimise the chance of being caught red handed.

This means that although there is no such thing as 100% security (and anyone that sells you that is wrong), 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.

With regards the items we have selected below, some are very good purchases that will do what they are meant to do but others may not to withstand the test of time and could let you down just when you need them therefore some examples below we would usually recommend something of better quality but our challenge was to find ten things for less than £100.

Our advice is to find a local trustworthy locksmith who will undertake a security survey for you. They will offer sound advice some of which you can undertake yourself and some are best left to a professional to undertake.

We have not used anything found on auction sites such as EBay as that might be dammed as cheating all of the products were found from normal retailers that are easily found.

There are many things that can be done at no cost whatsoever which I will cover in another blog in the near future.

Padlock and Hasp – Approx £11

There are a couple of issues with sheds; you probably don’t realize the total value of everything it contains if it were to be broken into and secondly it is likely to contain many tools and implements that an opportunist burglar could use to enter your home.

Motion sensor shed alarm – £6.73

The cheapest I could find on the internet.  Following on from the link above this will add an additional layer of protection to you shed or garage.  Noisy alarms will often cause the opportunist burglar to leave rather quickly.

Window locks – £7.29 

Window locks are not normally this cheap but I struck lucky and found some in a sale. Most insurers insist as part of minimum security requirements that you have window locks on all ground floor windows and any accessible from the ground floor outside. If you do not have these and you are burgled, even if the window was not a point of entry, if an insurance assessor comes out they may refuse the claim.

 Crimestoppers Property Protector – £19.99

One of my more expensive purchases but nevertheless worthwhile, this enables you to mark about 200 of your valued possessions with a unique coded fingerprint registered to you.  Property coming into possession of police is scanned using special scanners.  This means if items of value to you are marked there is a much greater chance of you being reunited with them if they are ever stolen.

Outdoor Motion detector light – £10.34

During the hours of darkness lighting can 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 lights, not pointing directly at neighbors houses so as to cause a nuisance.

7 Day digital plug in timer – £7.33

During the hours of darkness at night time most opportunist burglars will move on to another premises rather than risk being caught where a home owner is indoors. Having one or two lights programmed to came on an off during the hours of darkness for instance the lounge during the evening followed by the bedroom a little later, can help to give the appearance that someone is at home,.  Some timers are able to vary the times slightly each day to increase the randomness a little.

Low Energy 15w Sensor Bulb – £10.34

If you have outdoor lights, these bulbs are not only energy saving, they automatically come on at dusk and go off at dawn so you don’t have to remember to switch them on and off all of the time.  They will always come on at dusk and go off at dawn whether you are home or away.  The light in itself can be a deterrent during darkness and the fact that they always come on at night makes it harder for a would be opportunist burglar to determine whether you are home or not.

Hawthorn Shrub – £1.29  

Preventing unwanted visitors entering your property is what one needs 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.

Pricky plants make very effective deterrent hedges. Don’t go for height particularly at the front of the house 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.

Suitable plants can also be positioned strategically in order to deter people climbing drainpipes or to protect vulnerable (e.g. ground floor) windows. Prickly plants act as a psychological and physical barrier intended to make your property a less suitable target to the opportunistic thief.

 Draper Hand operated Shredder – £6.84

Identity fraud has been well publicised in theUKand appears to still be growing.  I am extremely careful with my banking documents and just today have discovered someone has correctly entered all of my credit card details to make a purchase from a Chinese website.  Putting any financial or personal documents into the waste un-shredded is just inviting potential problems, therefore a shredder is on my absolute must list.

Basic Magnetic door/window alarm – 6.99

This very basic magnetic alarm can be fitted to doors or windows that may be vulnerable and has it’s own inbuilt siren when the contact is broken.  These devices might be a good idea to take on holiday if you are at all worried about hotel or villa security as they can be fixed in seconds with double sided tape.