Stay Secure over the Easter Holidays

Stay secure over the Easter holidays

Don’t forget to be security conscious this Easter!

Last year Police across the UK urged members of the public to be more security conscious during the Easter break. This year we are doing the same by providing home security tips to staying secure whilst you enjoy the holidays.

Whilst enjoying any holiday period whether it be Easter, Summer or Christmas, the last thing on your mind will probably be the security of your home. However whatever time of year it is, it is still important to make sure your home security doesn’t lapse during these periods.

Don’t let a burglary ruin your Easter…

Many of us will be travelling or going on holiday during the Easter period which is why it can often be a prime time for a burglar to strike! Not all burglaries are opportunistic some are pre-planned where an intruder will watch your house so they know your daily patterns i.e. when you leave your house.

Don’t forget to lock up before you hop off

If you are going away during the Easter break don’t forget to do the following:

  • Lock your doors and windows! Whether you are popping out just for the day or going away for a week it is really important to lock all of your doors and windows as the majority of home insurance providers will not pay out for a claim where entry was made through an unlocked door or window.
  • If you are going on holiday for a long period of time ask a trusted neighbour or friend to keep an eye on your house.
  • Ask the Royal Mail to hold any post during your holiday. Through the Royal Mail’s Keepsafe® scheme your post and parcels can be held for up to 66 days. This will help to prevent post from piling up and alerting an intruder that your home is unoccupied.
  • Make your home appear occupied. Leave all blinds or curtains open and leave a light on (if possible) so it appears your home isn’t unoccupied.  If you can’t leave a light on it may be worth investing in a light with a timer, these can be purchased online.
  • Don’t share your holiday plans on any form of Social Media. Posting your plans could advertise that your home is unoccupied.
  • Lock your garage or shed.

How Safe Is Your Neighbourhood?

 

Are you aware of the levels of crime that has occurred in your local area? The UK’s largest National Locksmith has recently launched a ‘How Safe is Your Neighbourhood?’ widget on their website as part of the Company’s ongoing security awareness initiatives to bring to the attention of the public the possible security risks in their local area.

The ‘How Safe is Your Neighbourhood?’ widget will allow visitors to the Keytek® website to input their postcode into the search bar. This will then take them to a map hosted by Police.UK (www.police.uk) that highlights specific areas where different types and frequency of crime have occurred, from anti-social behaviour through to burglary. Further to this Keytek® have put together a dedicated ‘Security Tips’ page which can be found at keytek.co.uk/security-tips/. Security tips, news and advice can also be found on the emergency locksmith’s blog.

Eddie Wilkinson, Operations Director at Keytek® commented: “We have developed our ‘How Safe is Your Neighbourhood?’ widget as part as our ongoing security initiatives to help highlight the levels of crime and as well as helping to educate the public when it comes to the importance of the security of their homes. We are hoping our ongoing efforts will encourage homeowners across the UK to be more security conscious and feel safer in their own homes and places of work.”

Keytek® Locksmiths are also urging members of the public to join or start a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in their local area. The Company advises joining a scheme as part of their security advice. The Neighbourhood Watch works to bring neighbours together who want to look out for each other, creating strong, friendly, active communities where crime and antisocial behaviour are less likely to happen.

To find your local Neighbourhood Watch, or for information on how to start a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, please visit www.ourwatch.org.uk/

Follow Keytek® on Facebook www.facebook.com/keyteklocksmiths and Twitter www.twitter.com/Keytek_UK for up to date daily security tips, news and advice.

What Are British Standards?

What are British Standards?

British Standard LockYou may have noticed some products are branded with a certification known as the ‘Kitemark’ (pictured on the right), which is used to indicate certification by the British Standard Institution, but only where a Kitemark scheme has been set up around a particular standard.

So what are British Standards?

“In essence, a standard is an agreed way of doing something. It could be about making a product, managing a process, delivering a service or supplying materials – standards can cover a huge range of activities undertaken by organizations and used by their customers.” (BSI Group)

British Standards in the locksmith industry…  

A British Standard is the minimum standard that a product such as a cylinder must be manufactured in accordance with before it is recognized by the relevant authorities as a quality product.

For example Home Insurance providers will specify that all external wooden doors such as your front door are fitted with a British Standard deadlock.

British Standard and Home Security

When assessing the security of your home you may want to consider upgrading your cylinder to one that protects you against the five most common methods of attack:

  • Drilling
  • Picking
  • Snapping
  • Bumping
  • Plug Extraction

The majority of cylinders with a Kitemark such as ABS High Security cylinders will help to protect your door from these types of attack.

The Door and Hardware Federation strongly advise that in order to effectively protect your home from any type of attack to update your cylinder to one that is to the TS007 Kitemark standard.

TS007:2012 – What is it?

TS007:2012 is a Technical Specification that has been produced in the form of a document by the Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) and the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF). The DHF and GGF worked closely alongside Secured by Design (the Association of Chief Police Officer’s crime prevention initiative) to develop the TS007 Kitemark standard.

Meeting the TS007 standard…

The TS007 standard is characterized by a star rating and also uses a third party certification mark, typically the Kitemark. The star rating will also be imprinted on the cylinders and door furniture. It provides a mix and match approach with the ability to interchange cylinders and security hardware giving a flexible way to achieve the three star rating.

TS007 standard – How it works…


TS007 Star Rating System TS007 Star Rating System Explained

uPVC Specialists

Did you know that the majority of local locksmiths are also uPVC specialists?

Keytek locksmiths are uPVC specialistsWhatever situation you are in it can be extremely stressful to find that your uPVC door or window is not functioning correctly. This can not only be stressful but can be a high risk to the security of your home, especially if the uPVC door is jammed in the locked or unlocked position. This can be due to various factors, including the sudden change in the weather or basic wear and tear.

Any issues with a uPVC door should be rectified as quickly as possible as you may be subsequently vulnerable to a break in and failure to get the uPVC door repaired could result in invalidating your home insurance policy.

Here at Keytek® all our Locksmiths are fully trained and skilled in uPVC doors and windows. A quick call to Keytek® on 0800 035 0451 and we will have an engineer on site and nine times out of ten are able to resolve this issue on the first visit.

Here are some of the terms a local locksmith may use:

uPVC Doors:

British Standard/BS3621

– The BS3621 signifies that a lock has been tested by the British Standards Institute and has met all of the relevant standards. It is widely recognised by the public and the majority of UK insurers as a sign of quality.

Cylinder

– The key operated part of most locking systems. Available in many formats such as Euro profile, Rim type and Oval.

Anti Snap Cylinder

– A cylinder specifically designed to help prevent cylinder or lock snapping. The ABS High Security Euro Cylinder is the only security cylinder currently on the market which has a TS007 3 star rating, SS312 Sold Secure Diamond Accredited and Secured by Design Accreditation combined.

Deadbolt

– A solid bolt that protrudes from the Forend of the lock into the ‘Keep’ fitted on the door frame.

Double Locking

– A function that offers an extra locking facility on top of the standard operation.

Furniture

– Any hardware fitted to a door other than the lock itself. Handles, door knocker etc.

Hook Bolts

– Similar in principal to dead bolts, although for added security hook bolts pivot out of the case and swing up or down into the frame.

Latch

– Usually found used in conjunction with a number of other locking points (such as deadbolts).

Spindle

– A square bar that runs between two handles, passing through the lock body itself to allow the latch to be retracted when a handle is operated.

Thumb Turn

– A euro profile cylinder in place of the internal Key way to allow easy or quick egress.

Hinge Bolts

– Small round lugs that are drill into the spine of a door and engage into keeps in the frame when the door is closed. Designed to prevent a door being lifted from its hinges and removed unless open.

Suite (Locks)

– More than one lock manufactured in sequence or to a specific non-random pattern.

 

Master Key – A key that is designed to be able to open more than one lock.

Be Funny for Money!

Be funny for money!

On Friday 13th March everyone here at Keytek® will be taking part in Red Nose Day in aid of Comic Relief.

As part of the day each member of staff will be invited to take part in the following fundraising activities for a small donation. All monies raised on the day will be donated to Charity ‘Comic Relief’.

  • Breakfast at your desk – Always a popular choice here at Keytek® especially when it’s to raise money for charity. During the morning of Friday 13th March the Charity Team will serving up some real treats for members of staff in turn for a small donation. Treats include crumpets, tea cakes and waffles.
  • Red Nose dance off – Members of staff will be invited to take part in a virtual dance off for the chance to win a mystery prize. To make it a little bit harder contestants will have to keep a Red Nose on whilst they get their groove on… the contestant with the highest score and who has dropped their nose the least will be the winner! Stay tuned for the hilarious photos…

 

The final total raised for Comic Relief will be announced on Monday 16th March!

Most Common Items Stolen in Burglaries & Home Theft Deterrents Tips

Your belongings may mean a lot to you but to an intruder they’re just a way of making quick and easy cash. Organisation, The CSEW, provides information on most common valuables that are stolen during a burglary.

Most common items stolen in domestic burglaries – 2013/14 CSEW

 

  • Bag/briefcase
  • Jewellery
  • Vehicle/vehicle parts
  • Clothes
  • Mobile phones
  • Car keys
  • House keys
  • Children’s toys
  • Tools
  • Sports equipment
  • Confidential/personal documents
  • CDs/DVDs
  • Computers/laptops
  • Money

 

 

 

The CSEW survey showed that cash has consistently remained a major target for an intruder and continues to be the most commonly stolen item in crimes of burglary and theft, in just fewer than 50% of reported burglaries cash was the most commonly stolen item. However as more and more of us continue to invest in the latest gadgets such as smart phones and tablets these have become a more desirable item for an intruder to target.

Gadgets such as smart phones are being targeted more by burglars simply because they can be easily resold on the stolen goods market and are easier to move than say a TV or desktop computer.

“The targeting of high value items was also clear in domestic burglary in a dwelling where, after purses, wallets or money, the most commonly stolen items were computers/computer equipment and jewellery (stolen in nearly two fifths of domestic burglary incidents). Trends also show how as the value of items changes over time, their appeal as a target of theft also changes. For example, according to the 2013/14 CSEW items such as CDs and DVDs were stolen in just one in twenty domestic burglary incidents compared with around one in five a decade ago.” (ONS 2014)

Protect your home and your valuables

A burglar can strike at any time day or night but most burglaries can be prevented by taking steps to ensure your home and your valuables are safe and secure.

Most burglars are opportunists and in 3 out of 10 burglaries access is gained through an open door or window. Burglars love it when you make their job easier for them. The following steps will make it harder for them and in turn more likely that they will avoid your property.

      • Routine – Make it a nightly routine to check that all external entry points to your home are locked. In 3 out of 10 burglaries access is gained through an open door or window.

     

      • 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 – 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 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.

     

      • Protect yourself from lock snapping – Intruders will often use various methods and makeshift tools to snap locks in order to gain entry to a home. Euro profile locks (better known as Euro Cylinders) are found in the majority of uPVC doors and are the most likely targets for this type of forced entry. To protect yourself from lock snapping simply upgrade your cylinder to one that is specifically designed to prevent this method of attack, ideally one that meets the TS007 3 star standard, such as ABS High Security Cylinders.

     

    • 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:
          1. Door chain
          2. Spy hole
          3. 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.
    • 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:

        1. Upgrade your locks.
        2. Have a shed alarm fitted.
        3. Mark all valuables stored in your shed either using a UV pen or a DNA marker.
        4. Grow prickly plants close to your shed window.
        5. Have curtains or shades fitted to your shed window.

       

    • 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.
    • 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.
    1. Ask a friend or neighbour to open and close curtains.
    2. Timer switches for lamps.
    3. Fake TV – Simulates the light of a LED TV.
    4. 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.