Security for Flats, Apartments and Homes

Keep your flat and apartment secure with these handy home security tips!

Even though you are less likely to be burgled living in flats or in an apartment compared to a detached house it’s still important to stay on top of your home security. We’ve put together a list of flat and apartment security tips to take care of those weaknesses and help you take the appropriate measures to prevent burglars from infringing your apartment or flat security and damaging your property.

Flat and apartments home security tips

1.     Get the locks changed

Replacing your locks when you move in reduces the risk of unwanted people gaining access to your new flat. Don’t rely on your landlord to have changed them, but do ensure seek their permission before changing them. Neither you or the landlord know if any extra copies of the keys were made, so there could be many replica keys out there. Make sure you employ a professional locksmith to change your locks, as if you attempt it yourself, you could invalidate your insurance

2. Fire and Communal doors

When improving the security of the communal entry to your flat or apartment building, always make sure that fire regulations take precedence. If you are in any doubt regarding this, the Police advice contacting your local Fire Officer and your local police Crime Prevention Officer. You will also need the permission of the landlord or business owner if you are planning to make any changes.

There is most likely going to be a robust looking communal door that everyone has to go through to get into your flat or apartment building. These are normally operated by fob, key card or biometric reader, meaning only a person with the right access to gain entry to the property. This gives you another level of safety, as a burglar will have to get through two doors before they reach the inside of your home. However, with the amount of people coming in and out of the door, they are likely to need a lot of maintenance, so you need to let your landlord or building manager know if it needs repairing. They are also susceptible to tampering, by placing something over the magnet in the mechanism of the door, meaning the door can simply be pushed open. If you are worried about the security of your front door or believe it to be tampered with, you should contact maintenance or your landlord immediately.

3. Get a smart home system

It is always a good idea to think about what additional home security can be fitted to ensure you are taking the necessary precautions to protect your home and equally as important yourself. As part of the ‘Easy Fit’ range, Yale has developed an alarm specifically designed for those living in a flat or apartment. The Yale Easy Fit Apartment Alarm is a keypad operated system that when triggered a loud internal siren will sound and alert others of an intrusion.

If you want to install a more complicated wired home alarm system, then you may need permission from your landlord or building owner. That why it’s easier to get a Wi-Fi alarm system, which gives your flat or apartment the cover its needs. Yale isn’t the only company that do Wi-Fi alarms.

Samsung have released their ‘Smart Things home security system’ which has been made to link with lots of third party smart home systems, such as Sonos, Phillips Hue and Yale systems. If you are looking to get a ‘smart home’ then Samsung is the way to go; based around the Hub, you get a Multi Sensor, for doors and windows, a Motion Sensor, Presence Sensor that lets you know people arrive or leave home and a Power Outlet plug that controls anything plugged into it.

Panasonic also do a home security system, and it’s better for those who are less technologically minded. The starter kit contains a smart hub, Indoor siren, motion sensor and a door and window sensor. It boasts a ‘one button’ set up, so you want be struggling to get it working, and it’s also one of the cheapest home security systems out there.

There are plenty more smart home systems on the market, so it’s worth doing some research about which one would be best for your flat or apartment.

4. Fit a door viewer and door chain

Have a door viewer fitted so you can see who is calling before opening the door which helps you to keep out any unwanted visitors. If you aren’t expecting anyone or do not recognise the person on the other side of the door, we would recommend that you didn’t answer the door. A door chain also gives you a little bit of extra security if you are concerned when opening the door, so we would recommend having this fitted also. Again, you would need your landlords permission to have these fitted.

6. Rental Insurance

Yes! You probably do need it! If you are renting through an agency then it’s more than likely that it will be a requirement of the contract. Your landlords will have specific landlord insurance, but that’s for fixing any broken windows or doors after a break in. They’re not going to replace any personal items that have been taken, such as TV’s or laptops. Even if it’s not a requirement of your landlords, its good practice to have rental insurance, if you are burgled then you’re probably not going to be able to afford to replace lots of valuable items.

 

https://www.banham.co.uk/burglar-alarms/home/alarm-system-for-flathttps://

www.idealhome.co.uk/buying-guide-reviews/best-home-security-systems-smart-wireless-195818

 

Top Five Home Security Products

Protect your home with these handy home security products.

1. Philips Hue Wireless Bulbs Starter Kit (£179)

The Philips Hue Wireless Bulbs Starter Kit contains everything you would need to control the lighting in your home from a device such as a smart phone or table.

Hue lights, bulbs and LED strips allow homeowners to control the lighting in their home via the Hue app (Free). The Hue app allows the user to turn the lights on and off, adjust brightness and change the colour all from your smart phone and tablet. Lights can even be automated to turn on and off at times that suit you which acts as a great burglary deterrent.

Philips Hue Wireless Bulbs Starter Kit

2. Yale Easy Fit Alarm Range (ranges from around £150 – £500 dependent on model)

Yale has designed a range of alarms called the ‘Easy Fit Range’ which allows homeowners to easily install a DIY home alarm system. Each product in the range harnesses pre-programmed wirefree technology.  The range is available in four different kits, alongside a range of accessories so that you can tailor it to suit the security of your home.

3. Ring Video Doorbell ($199)

The Ring Video Doorbell is a wireless doorbell that allows you to answer your door from your iOS or Android phone by connecting to your WiFi. A wide angled HD camera with motion detection allows users to see who is at their door and sends an instant alert to your smart phone.

4. Fake TV (£19.99)

Fake TV is a home security product which gives the illusion that someone is at home watching TV. The home security product is programmed to automatically turn on when it is dark outside to act as a burglary deterrent.

Fake TV

5. iSmartAlarm Home Security System (£199.95)

The wireless iSmartAlarm Home Security System puts you in control—thanks to do-it-yourself in-home installation and self-monitoring and control from the iSmartAlarm app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Even better, there are no monthly fees or contracts.

iSmart home alarm system

Keytek’s Top Tips!

You can also view the Keytek Youtube Channel for Home Security Tips clicking here

Doors

– The favourite method of entry for burglars, so a BS five-lever mortice lock or nightlatch is essential for all external doors. Further peace of mind can be gained from fitting security bolts, a chain and spy hole. Fitting hinge bolts helps prevent the door being ripped off it’s hinges.

Windows

– Fit locking devices, particularly to ground floor windows or those with balconies. Never leave a window open when you’re out, even if this is for a short period of time.

External Buildings

– Heavy-duty padlocks should be used for sheds and garages. Don’t forget that ladders and other tools could even help a burglar break into your house.

Front of House

– Keeping the front garden as open as possible will give the would-be thieves no place to hide and a gravel drive will be a further deterrent, as anyone approaching can be heard.

Rear of House

– All access points through gates should be made secure with a good quality padlock.

Rear Garden

– Hedges, trees and shrubs should be kept to a height that do not allow intruders to work away unseen. Fencing should not have any climbing aids on the outside and don’t forget that prickly shrubs at the base will be an additional deterrent.

Keys

– Don’t leave spare sets of house or car keys easily accessible. This will provide a burglar with an easy opportunity to re-visit your home.

Alarms and Lights

– Lighting that activates through heat sensitivity or movement will act as a deterrent and an intruder alrm will enhance home safety.

Valuables

– Mark items such as TVs and other high value possessions with an Ultra Violet pento aid identification. For irreplaceable items such as jewellery or antiques consider taking a photograph and note down an accurate description.

Away from home

– Make your home look occupied. Avoid the things that burglars look for – the milk left out, post left in the hall. Think about using time switches to switch on lights or a radio.

Burglaries Increasing

The figures show burglaries in England and Wales have increased 4% compared to the year before. Drugs crime also increased 6% which could be because police are giving more cannabis warnings.

According to the BBC, the risk of crime is at a historically low level. It is the second time burglaries have increased since the credit crunch began.

The figures came from the Home Office which uses both police figures and the British Crime Survey.

The figures also show:

  1. Since 1997, crime has fallen 39%
  2. Violent crime decreased by 6%
  3. Knife burglaries increased, but the number of deaths from knives decreased

Information sourced from Crimestopper-uk.org

Don’t forget if you are in the unfortunate situation of being burgled and need to secure your property quickly a Keytek Locksmith is only a few minutes away.

If you need an Emergency Locksmith fast call us on 0800 035 0463. Our lines are open 24 hours a day.

Top Five Home Security Apps

Be one step ahead with the security of your home by downloading these handy home security apps for iOS and Android.

AtHome Camera home security app

1. AtHome Camera (Free)

The AtHome Camera is an application for iOS and Android which allows the user to remotely turn a PC, smart TV/set-top box, smart phone and tablet into a home monitoring system, enabling you to keep an eye on your property through live streaming when you aren’t at home. The handy app will alert you wherever you are if motion is detected within your home whilst you’re away.

 

AtHome Camera home security app

Manything Home Security Webcam

2. Manything Home Security Webcam (Free)

The Manything application allows you to turn any iOS device into a free home monitoring camera. The app features live streaming, motion alerts, remote control and cloud recording. Similar to the AtHome Camera this application will allow you to keep tabs on your home when you’re not there or in another room.

 

Manything Home Security Webcam application

Yale crimewatcher app

3. Yale Crime Watcher (Free)

Find out more about the burglaries that have occurred in your local area with the Yale Crime Watcher application. Simply input your postcode for current burglary statistics within a mile of your home (during a one month period). All statistics are powered by the Police API system which means all the information given is up to date and accurate. The app also gives you tips and advice on how you can secure your home using Yale products.

 

Using home security app Yale Crime Watcher

Tile App

4. Tile App (Free)

The Tile application is not only a handy app but is also a fantastic product which allows you to locate anything that you affix the tile (approx £20) to such as keys and valuables, what’s more if your stuff is lost or stolen as long as the tile is still with it you can ask other Tile users for help locating it!

 

Tile App

Yale Home Security App

5. Yale Home System (Free)

To use this app you must have a Yale ‘Easy Fit Smartphone Alarm System’ installed in your home. This handy app allows users to control their Yale alarm from their smart phone.

 

Users are able to control the following remotely:

  • Arm and disarm
  • Activate accessories
  • Show event reports
  • View camera captures
  • System programming

 

Protect Your Home from Being Hacked

Over the last few years technology has advanced to encompass applications that allow you to control every aspect of your home including the security such as the locks on your doors and windows, making homes literally smarter. Whilst this Smart Home technology may give you more control of your home in one simple application or device, it can also give hackers the key to your home and personal life.

Protect your home and your devices from being hacked with these handy tips:

1. Secure your WiFi

When you have your WiFi installed by your provider it is advisable to change the default login name and passwords and turn on WPA or WPA2 encryption (if you haven’t already done so it is worth doing this now). Instructions for your router may vary; so visit the manufacturer’s website to find out how.

2. Ensure the firmware for your router is up to date

Again this varies according to the make and model of your router. The manufacturer’s website will have information on the best practice for updating any firmware; some may even allow you to set an automatic update.

3. Register your new router

Register your router with the manufacturer, either online or via post so that you will be notified when a security update is available.

4. Install antivirus software

Any PCs, Macs, tablets or smart phones in your home should be protected using antivirus software. Some providers offer a multi-device package such as Norton’s ‘360 Multi-Device’ that will protect all the gadgets in your home.

Although malware that targets smart phones and tablets is rare, it is still worth ensuring that you are protected if the worse was to happen. Browse through the top iPhone security apps or alternatively browse the top Android security apps to find one that suits your device.

Make sure that any antivirus software you do install is up to date.

5. Use strong passwords

The majority of devices can only be protected through a password which is why it is important to ensure that the one you are using is strong and secure.

Learn how to create a strong password with Google…

6. Secure the security inside your home

Whilst it is still very important to protect your online security it is also just as important to think beyond the internet and think about how you can protect your home. Cameras are a great way to protect your home but if they are operated via your WiFi or through an IP address it is definitely worth taking the above steps to ensure they are secure. By not ensuring these are secure you could be allowing a burglar to use your own security equipment to spy on you.

Remember any technology you use to secure your home can be hacked so make sure you take the necessary steps for not only your home security but also your peace of mind.