Winter Home Security Tips

Making your home unappealing to a burglar is the key to preventing it from being burgled during the winter period and is one of the most effective forms of crime prevention. 

Darker and colder nights can mean ‘easy pickings’ for criminals, with an increase in burglaries during the winter months.
Typically the number of break-ins across the UK increases when it gets darker earlier (a burglary occurs every two minutes in the month of November).

 

Simple prevention can be taken to ensure your home stays secure this winter:

  • Make sure all doors are securely locked at all times.
  • If you are not going to be home leave a light on or on a timer to give the illusion that your home is occupied. A TV or Radio is a good alternative to leaving a light on.
  • Make sure all accessible windows are locked and have restrictors fitted for added security – intruders can wiggle through any gap that is larger than a human head.
  • Have a burglar alarm fitted. Some alarm systems can end up costing as much as £2000, if this is something you can’t afford have a dummy alarm fitted for as little as £14.99 a fraction of the price but equally as effective in deterring a burglar.
  • Lock all garages and sheds.
  • Check the perimeter of your home for weak spots.
  • Have motion sensing lights fitted to the outside of your home.
  • Mark any valuables with a UV pen and register them on www.immobilise.com
  • Keep your curtains or blinds closed at night.
  • Don’t leave any valuables where they can be seen by passersby on the street.
  • Don’t share any holiday plans on Social Media.
  • If you are going on a winter break leave a spare key with a trusted neighbour or relative so they can keep an eye on your home whilst you’re away.

Burglary Deterrents and Home Security

As the nights draw darker and colder, it is important to evaluate the security of your home and take measures to ensure your home isn’t an easy burglary target

November, the month you are most likely to be burgled!

During the winter period your home can be seen to be more vulnerable by an intruder, especially in the lead up to Christmas when you are more than likely to have unopened items of high value. According to the Daily Mail and home insurance provider LV=, November is the month you’re most likely to be burgled, with break-ins occurring an estimated every two minutes. Although the risk of burglary does differ according to the type of property and level of security that is already in place it is worth taking the necessary precautions in order to best protect yourself and your home from a break-in.

The majority of burglars are opportunists; in 3 out of 10 burglaries access was gained through an open window or door.

 

Follow these steps to ensure your home is protected this winter:

  • Alarm Systems – Alarms are a great deterrent but a complete home system can cost as much as £2000 with a yearly maintenance cost on top. If you don’t have this sort of money spare you can still give the impression of having an alarm system installed by purchasing a Dummy siren bell box for as little as £13.99.
  • Ensure your locks are British Standard – Home insurance companies will specify that your property must be fitted with British Standard locks on your doors and windows. After a break-in has occurred you may wish to claim on your home insurance in order to cover the costs of the damage caused by an intruder but by not meeting the requirements initially set by your home insurance provider you may run the risk of invalidating your insurance.
  • What are British Standard locks? – In order for any lock to be classed as a ‘British Standard’ lock they must have been through rigorous testing including strength, durability and of course security, these products are also re-assessed and re-tested to ensure you always have complete confidence in the safety, quality and reliability of the locks you have installed in your home. A higher quality lock such as a British Standard lock can act as a great deterrent against burglary as it will make it a lot harder for the intruder to gain entry.
  • Additional door security – When upgrading your home security you may want to consider having the following fitted to your door to help keep out any unwanted guests:
    • Door chain
    • Spy hole
    • Letterbox guard or cage – a letterbox can be used by an intruder to retrieve any keys stored on the inside of the house therefore these products will help to protect you from ‘keyfishing’.
  • Secure the perimeter – The type of fencing, hedging or walls around a property can attract or deter thieves. Check for weak spots where a burglar could get into your garden, for example, a low sagging fence or a back gate with a weak lock. A thorny hedge around your home can put burglars off but make sure passers-by can still see the front of your home so a burglar can’t work unnoticed. Think about laying gravel in your garden and driveway as this acts as a deterrent due to the noise created when being walked on.
  • Lights – Even though the majority of burglaries occur during daylight hours, a large number still occur during the hours of darkness. Burglars are in search of houses with no one home. To reduce your home’s risk of burglary at night, install motion lights on the front and on the rear of your house wherever possible. To be extra cautious, try to position the lights at the corners of your residence so the motion detectors can catch someone approaching from the side. Make sure the lights are positioned at a height that someone cannot disable them by easily reaching up and unscrewing the bulb.
  • Secure your shed – Your average garden shed is a treasure trove of valuables such as power tools, bicycles and garden equipment; therefore sheds will often provide easy pickings for opportunist thieves. The majority of sheds will not be strong enough to withstand an attempt to break into them therefore if possible store your valuables in an alternative secure location such as a garage or even your house.

See the steps below on how you can improve your shed security:

    • Upgrade your locks.
    • Have a shed alarm fitted.
    • Mark all valuables stored in your shed either using a UV pen or a DNA marker.
    • Grow prickly plants close to your shed window.
    • Have curtains or shades fitted to your shed window.
  • Protect your valuables – Don’t leave your valuables (Laptop, jewellery, mobiles etc.) where they can be seen from a window, consider drapes or blinds so that any view of the interior of your home is restricted.
  • The illusion of being home– If you work evenings or know you are going away on holiday for a number of weeks there are a number of cheaper options available that when used give the illusion that someone is still in the property.
    • Ask a friend or neighbour to open and close curtains.
    • Timer switches for lamps.
    • Fake TV – Simulates the light of a LED TV.
    • Pay for Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ Service to ensure any post you receive whilst you’re away doesn’t pile up; this can be a tell-tale sign that your property isn’t currently occupied.

By following these simple steps you will be helping to protect your home from an intruder.

 

 

Fundraising for Children in Need

This year the Keytek® Team will be holding a Charity day in aid of Children in Need on Friday 14thNovember!

This year we will be holding a variety of fundraising activities including ‘Breakfast at Your Desk’ team members will have the choice of a hot beverage and a breakfast treat to enjoy at their desk, ‘Kinect Sports Rivals’ where staff will use their sports skills against each other and a guess ‘Where is Pudsey baking?’ competition.

Fundraising events that ran as part of last year’s fundraising activities were very successful and included a Bake Sale, ‘Breakfast at Your Desk’ and Mario Kart Championship. The Bake Sale ran throughout the day, baked goods on sale included anything from ‘Cherry Bakewell Slices’ to ‘Cake Pops’ dipped in chocolate, with the ‘Cake Pops’ proving to be extremely popular! The Mario Kart Championship saw members of staff battling it out through several rounds of different race courses to win ‘Mario’s Gold Chocolate Coins’.

Last year’s efforts saw us raise an impressive £113.15, this year Keytek® are aiming to beat this by setting a target of £150.

Locked out of your house?

We all know that being locked out of your home can be an extremely stressful time especially in the colder months. Don’t worry, you are not alone, whether you are locked out during the day or even the middle of the night an emergency locksmith can help.

What to do when you’re locked out of your house

Do’s and Don’ts

Locked out of your house?Don’t try to break in to your own home as you may cause damage to your property and yourself by doing so.

Don’t call your local emergency services such as the police or fire brigade, they will charge you and may damage your door as they are not trained locksmiths by trade. These types of emergency call outs to these services are said to cost taxpayers more than 5 million pounds a year.

Don’t force the wooden or uPVC door. This could cause further damage to the door and incur costly repairs.

Do call your local emergency locksmith straight away on 0800 035 0451.

The emergency locksmith will ask you the following questions…

  • Where are your house keys? – Are they inside your property, stolen or lost? If your keys have been lost or stolen you will need to make your local Police Station aware and give the incident number to the locksmith.
  • What type of lock do you have on your door? – Is your door uPVC or wooden? Is the lock shoulder height or waist height?
  • Is your lock faulty? – If your lock is faulty the local locksmith will ask you to give a brief a description of what is happening when you are trying to unlock your door.

The majority of emergency locksmiths will recommend an average emergency response time of approximately 30 minutes* to ensure that you are not locked out of your property for too long.

Now relax knowing that a skilled locksmith is on their way…

*where possible