Driving in the Snow

Snow safety tips

We have put together some safety tips to keep you safe on the road while we are being affected by the ‘Beast from the East’

 

1. Accelerate and decelerate slowly, pushing the accelerator slowly is the best way for regaining traction and avoiding skids. It takes much longer to slow down on icy roads, so give yourself plenty of time when approaching a red light.

2. Everything takes longer when there is snow on the roads, stopping, turning and acceleration. So, give yourself time get where you need to go, the more you rush in icy conditions the more likely you are to crash.

3. Hills are extremely tricky to navigate in the snow, do not try and zoom up them, apply extra pressure on the accelerator will just cause your wheels to spin. Best practice is to reduce your speed as you reach the top of the hill, then move down the hill as slowly as possible. It is very important that you do not stop going up a hill in snowy/icy conditions, it will be very hard to regain any movement once you are stopped.

 

4.Make sure your exhaust pipe is not blocked with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust pipe can cause carbon monoxide to leak into the interior of the car

 

5. Prepare for the worst. Make sure you have your phone, a blanket, a bottle of water and anything else you think you may need if you get stranded in the snow for a length of time, such as a torch, first aid kit or de-icer etc.

 

6. Make sure you have the number for your breakdown cover provider, in case you need assistance on your journey.

 

7. Keep your fuel tank at least half full, to stop a fuel line freeze up.

 

8. Always check your wipers, make sure your wipers are switched off before you start the engine, if they are frozen to your screen then this can cause damage.

 

9. If you skid whilst driving in snowy/icy conditions, steer gently into it, do not take your hands off the steering wheel and you must NEVER slam on the brakes.

10. Snow chains can only be used if there is a layer of compacted snow and will need to be removed if you reach a clear section of road. You will damage the road and your car if you try to drive on a clear road with snow chains on.

 

 

It is very important that you change the way you drive when driving in snowy or icy conditions. One of the most important things you can do is plan your journey and try to use main roads, as they are more likely to be clear or gritted. When the weather is very bad, it is a good idea to stay home and try not to make any unnecessary journeys. Stay safe!!

For more winter safety tips visit our ‘Winter Safety Tips’ Page

 

Info from:

https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/winter-driving/driving-in-snow/

 

 

How to Stay Safe When Dating Online

Using online dating platforms can be both exciting and intimidating at the same time. You want to be forward and put yourself out there, but you do not want to expose personal details risking your safety or privacy. As online dating becomes increasingly popular, the possibility of being involved in an unfortunate incident also increases, however this should not hinder your chances of meeting someone special online. Follow our tips to stay safe when using online dating services.

Safety Tips:

Don’t Sign Up to Any Website!

It is important to make sure a dating website is reputable before signing up and sending over personal information.  Only use websites you trust, this can be determined by the information included within the privacy policy. Whilst signing up to a dating website isn’t quite the same as applying for a credit card, these websites collect a huge amount of user data which is valuable to hackers.

Beware of Catfishes!

Scam artists can pose online as the perfect date, while they lure you into a relationship in order to steal your personal information and money. Here are some warning signs which could indicate the person you’re talking to isn’t who they say they are;

Unbelievably Beautiful – If their profile photo looks like something out of Vogue magazine, proceed with caution.

A Life of Tragedies and Traumas –Many false profiles will entice people by pulling on their heart strings and making them feel guilt.

Sudden Cancellations –If you make plans to meet up but something unexpected always arises, perhaps the person you are talking to has something to hide.

No Camera? – If a person cannot send impromptu selfies of them, or video chat when requested in this day and age, this is a huge warning sign. It is rare for someone to have a computer but not a phone without a camera these days.

Moving Too Quickly? – Instant attraction and sudden proclamations of love can be a way to lure a person into a relationship.

Asking for Money – A catfish could use many excuses to ask for money including; an injury, for a child, financial problems, a sudden illness, victim of a crime and many more.

Be Careful With Your Details

Be wary of the personal information you share on dating websites, avoid giving out your full name, address or phone number. It is vital to never disclose financial information with anyone on a dating website. For more information watch this video on over sharing –www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1NQPUk1CHo&feature=youtu.be

Share Photos Wisely

A picture definitely speaks 1000 words, so be careful when sharing your photos on dating websites, and online generally. Photo’s can often include identifiable details such street signs, house numbers or car license plates. Photos can often reveal your location, putting your security at risk.

Block and Report Suspicious People

If you believe a user is scammer or is acting suspiciously, use the services provided by the dating website to block and report them. Reporting a suspicious user could prevent them from scamming others as well as yourself.

Online dating can be fun and has helped many find love, however users should keep in mind that not everyone on these platforms are who they claim to be, or have good intentions. It is important to follow these tips and keep the risks in mind, in order to help spot a scammer before you lose money and become a statistic.

Check out some more of our blogs advising personal safety:

https://www.keytek.co.uk/blog/telephone-call-scams-security/

https://www.keytek.co.uk/blog/dont-update-burglar-stay-safe-social-media/

blog link to – Shopping safely and securely online

 

Sources:

https://blog.vodafone.co.uk/2017/02/06/okcupid-stats-online-dating-2017-valentines-day/

https://blogs.microsoft.com/microsoftsecure/2014/02/13/5-safety-tips-for-online-dating/

https://www.lifewire.com/online-dating-security-tips-2487806

 

What is the future of home security?

We seem to be living in an age of unlimited technological advancement. With big companies frequently releasing new gadgets and mobile phones becoming more powerful than a home computer, what does that mean for the future of home security?

Drone

Drones

These little flying machines started out a cool flying toy that most kids (and grownups) wanted for Christmas, however they are fast becoming a must have tool. Amazon is trialling delivery by drone and the army has used them for years. It looks like in the future drones can be used to protect your home. Using sensors that you place around your property, that can detect motion, vibration and sound meaning you can gain a 360 degree view of what’s going on around the house. So if one of the sensors goes off and you want to check whether it’s a fox or something more sinister, you can deploy the drone to investigate and it will send back a live video.

 

The drone can even ward away an unwanted visitor, like a fox or badger by using flashing lights and a warning noise. Or if you discover your partner has arrived home from work, the drone can guide them to the front door with a low level light. Sunflower Labs are working on this drone (see picture) Sunflowers know when people, animals, or cars come and go from your property. A network of sophisticated motion and vibration sensors make it possible to identify each type of activity. When something moves across your property, the Sunflower system tracks and categorizes it. When this hits the mainstream market, its going to be one of the best home security systems out there. for more info on the Sunflower system then visit the Sunflower Labs website.

 

 

Sound based A.I

There is a new burglar alarm in town! The Cocoon. The size of a cricket ball, the Cocoon listens to your home’s everyday sound patterns, to build a picture of your life. Cocoon can learn the difference between you coming home from work, your dog pottering around or if something unusual occurs, such as a break in.

This smart machine uses low-level sound waves (infrasound) that human ears cannot detect. Infrasound is caused by movement and travels through the walls and floors of your home, so by detecting it Cocoon could detect even very subtle activity, like a hand against the glass of your window. It’s based on the concept that you can tell who is coming through the front door without looking, or can tell which of your children is coming up the stairs just by the sound of their footsteps. To find out more about Cocoon visit https://cocoon.life/

 

 

Facial recognition software

A pilot scheme was run in 2011 in Rotterdam which trailed the use of facial recognition cameras in retail. A customer rings on the doorbell of a high-end jeweller and instantly, the camera scans his face and cross references his image with a list of known shoplifters from the local police department. The shopkeeper is told this man has a police record for shoplifting, so does not let him in. This was way back in 2011, so it would seem logical it would not be long before we employ the same technology to our own houses.

There is already camera doorbells linked to your phone, so you are able to see who is at your front door. But this would take it a step further by telling you if the man claiming to be from the gas board is actually a criminal. There may be a few kinks to iron out before you can buy a facial recognition doorbell on Amazon, data protection being one.

Info from- http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20151120-catching-a-thief-by-their-face

 

State of the art cameras

 

This one is not actually a device of the future, but one you can get now! The Nest is a smart camera device that is connected you your phone. You will receive a notification if the Nest suspects someone is either in your property or outside. You can check the feed and see if there is someone sneaking around. You can then speak into the app, directly to the intruder, scaring them away!  It will also help you catch the burglars, by giving you a clear image of their face.

The Nest will also make false alarms the thing of the past, the algorithms pick out the activity you care about. You can personalise your notifications by setting a special alert for when the Nest Cam Outdoor senses someone walking up the front steps, or a head appears in the frame. Or you can get an alert if something happens in a zone you have specified, around a doorway or a bike rack for example.
You can also connect the Nest to light bulbs and window blinds to make it seem as if you are home, even when you are not. Systems like this are the future, by connecting to apps on our phones and using relatively small devices within the home. For more info on the Nest visit-https://nest.com/uk/cameras/

 

Smart Door Locks

Coming seemingly from a sci-fi movie, the Yale Smart Door Lock is another item you can buy currently.  Yale gives you the freedom to secure your front door without the use of keys.

 

There are many ways you can open your door, including via a pin code, remote fob, or even with your Smartphone (using the app). Yale smart door locks allow you to unlock your door remotely, from anywhere. A feature that is useful for letting in guests, cleaners or carers. If a member of your family loses a key or forgets their code you can give them access all from your smart phone. A bonus is that you can keep track on who is going through your door and at what time.

While you wait for the newest technology to become available to the average household, then there are many things you can do to make your home safer. Visit our Security tips page, for simple, practical ways to deter intruders and secure your house.