Rental Property Security

Rental Property Security Keytek

Are you looking to move into a rented property? We at Keytek® have put together some handy hints and tips to help make your time in rental property hassle free!

  • Have you checked the property over to make sure that all of the doors and windows have sufficient locks? Check the standards of the locks; firstly look out for a Kitemark, many insurance policies will stipulate that locks must be British Standard.
  • Has your landlord changed the locks since the previous tenant/s have moved out? You never know who could still have a key!
  • Is your deposit protected by a scheme? From 2007 it is a requirement for private landlords and letting agents to use a government approved tenancy deposit scheme*
  • Have you read the tenancy agreement a few times and are you sure that you understand the small print? Does it include bills? Can you have pets? Guests?*
  • Check the inventory thoroughly! At the end of your tenancy you wouldn’t want to be liable for damage that you didn’t cause.
  • Before making any changes or improvements to the property, remember to obtain the landlord or letting agent’s permission – this includes changing the locks!
  • If you’re thinking of installing an alarm system, easy fit domestic alarms are a great option if you are renting as they can be installed easily and can be moved easily from property to property – you can get one here! https://www.keytekshop.co.uk/product/yale-easy-fit-standard-alarm
  • If you’re moving to a new area talk with your neighbours and introduce yourself. It’s always good to know people nearby in case anything is happening in the area.
  • UV mark your items, if you did have the unfortunate event of a break in, your property can be identified as yours.

*Information sourced from: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2012/aug/31/top-10-renting-tips-happy-tenant

University Security Advice!

 

Now that September is here, are you or is someone close to you leaving home to go to University??

Whether you’re getting packed and ready to go, or are all ready moved in and preparing for lectures, have you given any thought to the security of your new student house or halls of residence?

The National Union of Students has the following questions to ask yourself about your student accommodation!

Does the house seem secure from the outside?

Think about how you would get in if you lost your keys, if it’s easy for you then think how easy it is for a potential intruder.

Does the property have an alarm?

If not, could you/the landlord install one? Alarms act as an excellent form of deterrent, with research showing 84% of imprisoned burglars would avoid a home with a working alarm.

Does the front/back door look solid and secure?

Typically, burglars spend just sixty seconds breaking into a home and that’s not surprising considering how easy it often is. In 73% of cases they gained entry via a door, and in 3% of these cases the door was left open. Ideally doors should be secured using a mortice lock and / or nightlatch that meets British Standard BS3621.

Are the windows secure?

Check to see if all the windows are fitted with secure locks and that the handles are in good working order, particularly on the ground floor.

Is there adequate outside lighting?

Ask yourself would you feel secure entering your house at any time of day. It’s important to feel safe and secure so you can enjoy your time at university.

According to the National Union of Students, the average break in costs students around £900 to replace belongings and repair any damage.

With this in mind they have provided some fantastic crime prevention tips for your time at University:

Don’t give burglars an open invitation

Opportunist thieves often target student halls and houses, as bedroom and flat doors are often left unlocked or ajar, making it a quick in-and-out job for a burglar. Avoid any unwanted visitors making their way into your home by remembering to close and lock all doors and windows whenever you’re not in – even if you’re only popping out for five minutes.

Another tip is to avoid leaving notes on your door saying you’re away or ‘back soon’ – instead tell your friends face-to-face so they can act as an unofficial student watch while you’re out

Protect your valuables

Computers, cash, electrical goods and jewelry are among the most commonly stolen items in domestic burglaries and, as a result of the nation’s love for gadgets, the average cost of a burglary has risen by 40 per cent over the last three years. However, 21 per cent of people say they never hide valuables when leaving the house, with 37 per cent leaving portable gadgets such as e-books or tablets easily accessible.
To protect smaller valuable items and reduce the risk of fraud, use a home safe. This can be used for items such as jewelry, small electronic gadgets and important documents. The safe should be bolted securely to a floor or wall so it can’t be stolen but remember to check with your landlord before making any alterations to your property.

Cycling to lectures?

Bikes are an ideal way to get around campus or student towns. They are convenient and great exercise but, unfortunately, thieves like them too. To keep your bike safe and secure it’s advisable to invest in a sturdy bike lock. For maximum protection, use two different locks simultaneously (a D-lock and robust chain and padlock is ideal).

Hitting the town

Personal safety also needs to be high on the agenda. After evenings out sampling the local nightlife try to travel home with friends or in a reputable, licensed taxi – remember, there is safety in numbers! If you do walk home, try to stick to main roads and avoid poorly lit areas – especially dodgy looking shortcuts and dingy alleyways. For additional security and peace of mind it’s also a good idea to carry a personal attack alarm.

Social security

In this age of social media, many of us are used to posting all manner of details online without a second thought. ‘Checking in’ at places online can alert burglars to the fact you are not at home, and posting images of new and expensive items can also be risky.
In any other capacity you wouldn’t dream of alerting a burglar to the fact your house is empty and you certainly wouldn’t tell them that you have a brand new laptop sat in your bedroom. Be careful about what you are sharing online and check your settings to ensure that you are only sharing status updates with people you know and trust.

By remembering these great hints and tips, you can relax and enjoy your time at University, knowing you have done all that you can to stay secure!

Source:

https://www.nus.org.uk/en/advice/student-safety/top-five-crime-prevention-tips/

https://www.nus.org.uk/en/advice/student-safety/five-questions-you-need-ask-about-your-accommodation/

Do your locks meet your insurance requirements?

You should always check your home insurance to see what the minimum security requirements are however, most insurance companies will specify that your property must be fitted with British Standard locks on your doors and windows.

If your locks do not meet your insurance requirements and you are unfortunate enough to experience a burglary, your insurance could then be invalid and your claim may be refused.

British Standard locks

For a lock to be classed as ‘British Standard’ minimum standards must be met – this is done through rigorous testing including strength, durability and security.  A higher quality lock such as a British Standard can act as deterrent for burglars as it is a lot harder to gain entry through, so all the more reason to upgrade your locks if they are not already British Standard.

To read more about British Standard locks read our British Standard page

Checking to see if a lock is British Standard can be simple – all you have to do is look out for the Kitemark shown below, which should be on any lock that is British Standard.

British Standard

Do your locks measure up?

If not don’t worry, our trained and skilled Locksmiths are more than happy to help and to upgrade your locks.  Call 0800 0345 0451 now to book in an appointment with us!

Over 20% of Britons still leave a spare key hidden outside of their property

More than 20% of people are keeping up the old tradition of leaving a spare key hidden outdoors, a new survey by Keytek® Locksmiths has revealed. The survey asked people across the UK where they keep a spare key, and the results showed that despite years of police and government advice warning against it, many people are still leaving their keys in easily discovered hiding places.

Of those interviewed, 2% said they kept a key under a plant pot, 6% under a mat, 7% elsewhere in the garden, and 6% in the garage or shed. These figures will come as a surprise to many, as having a key in any one of these places is almost certain to invalidate your home insurance, should an intruder find it and use it to gain entry. This is something that the majority of home insurers advertently advise against. The AA insurance website warns homeowners “Don’t hide a spare key outside as burglars know where to look.”

As well as a significant proportion of people with keys hidden in the garden, the survey also showed that 44% of people actually keep a spare key with a neighbour, which offers an interesting new angle on the debate about how familiar modern Britons are with their neighbours.
Eddie Wilkinson, Operations Director at Keytek®, said:  “Although Britons on the whole are more security conscious than they used to be, these results show that many people are still taking big risks with the safety of their homes, by leaving keys in obvious hiding places that experienced burglars will be well aware of.”

He continued: “For a relatively small cost you can have a Key Safe fitted to the outside of your home by an experienced locksmith, this secure box can store your spare set of keys safely without you having to rely on a neighbour or family member to look after them.”

For more information about the domestic locksmith services provided by Keytek® or to make an appointment for a Key Safe to be fitted please call 0800 035 0451.

Get Smart This September

We want everyone to GET SMART this September! Take a look at some of the great hints & tips below on how to help keep your home and belongings safe.

1. Lights on Timer

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 act as a great burglary deterrent.

Philips Hue Wireless Bulbs Starter Kit

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 tablet.

You can get these online at… https://amzn.to/1iwYHGk

2. Royal Mail

Keepsafe

Going away? Don’t advertise your absence with a pile of mail building up on the doormat. With Keepsafe, you can enjoy a carefree break. The Royal Mail team will hold on to your letters and parcels for up to 66 days and deliver them once you’re safely home again. Keepsafe:

• set up within 5 days
• helps prevent identity fraud
• delivers your letters and parcels the first available day after your return

“The Home Office Identity Fraud Steering Committee supports the use of Royal Mail’s Keepsafe to reduce risk of identity fraud when you go away as it ensures you do not leave any obvious clues such as a heap of mail on your doormat.”

Source – Royal Mail

3. Fake TV

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 and will create a flicker effect giving the illusion that the TV is on and therefore acting as a deterrent to any potential intruders.
These can be found online at…
https://www.maplin.co.uk/p/response-faketv-tv-simulating-anti-burglar-and-theft-deterrent-a65lq

Below are a few things to keep in mind that you should not do…

1. Never hide keys under a door mat or plant pot! A key safe is the most secure way to leave a spare by the front door, but the only way you can be sure only a family member will use it.

2. Don’t just shut the windows “lock them “
“According to the office of national statistics over 40% of unauthorised entries are through an open or unlocked door or window.”
Source – TalkTalk

3. Keep valuable items out of street view – This may seem like a simple one, but why would you set up your living room like a shop window to any potential intruders.

4. Break down and bag up boxes from expensive items, rather than leaving them outside – you don’t want people to know what you’ve just bought – You could even store them in the house or shed until the day of your rubbish collection.

5. Always have your parcels delivered to the post office if you’re not in, or alternatively ask a trusted neighbour to sign for them.

Is your Nutella Safe?! Lock created as a joke sells well on eBay!

Daniel from Germany had enough of heading to his cupboards to make a snack with his favourite spread only to find his kids had beaten him to it and used all his Nutella! So as a joke the inventor created an acrylic lock as a simple solution to keep the chocolate spread thieves out. The lock consists of a small acrylic box that can be clamped down over the lid which is then held in place with a padlock, meaning the only person that can get in to the jar is the person that holds the key.

 

When people started to hear about his Nutella gizmo, orders started to roll in – he said: ‘As the demand continued to grow we decided to offer the device on eBay’. The lock has been a huge success with parents wanting to keep their children’s mitts out of the chocolaty spread, so much so that Daniel has now sold over 1000 units. Due to be being made from acrylic the gadget can be easily broken so whilst the lock may not keep out every crazy Nuttella fiend it shows that no idea is ever too crazy!

Read the full story here… https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-3217138/New-German-gadget-clamps-Nutella-thieves-customised-jar-lock.html

Keytek Personal Security Advice

Personal Security

We may often discuss home security, but it is important not to overlook the importance of personal security. So whether you’re out and about, or surfing the net, personal security should always be carefully considered and never far from your mind.

According to the Daily Mail, 2,000 mobile phones are stolen each day, and in some of these cases the personal information on phones is harvested and passed on to others, who may use it for identity theft and fraud. With this in mind, we suggest keeping your mobile out of accessible pockets, and especially out of your back pocket.

For more of our personal security tips, visit Keytek security tips where we have put together some great tips and advice to help you stay safe both out and about and online! Dorset Police also have an excellent campaign running about cyber safety that’s worth checking out! Visit the Dorset Police Website

 

Source:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2747294/Call-alarm-2-000-mobiles-stolen-day-iPhone-target.html