Letterbox Security

With post theft on the rise in the UK due to more people receiving deliveries and gangs stealing bank details and personal letters to carry out identity theft, it is important to be vigilant when it comes to theft proofing the letterbox. Whether you have a wall mounted letterbox, a free standing letterbox or just your letter plate on the front door there are things you can do to protect your post!

 

Wall Mounted Letterbox

A wall mounted post box is fitted externally or internally onto your property wall and a secure letterbox option! They usually feature a letterbox plate at the top for the postman to deliver your letters which are secured in a lockable box underneath. Wall mounted letterboxes can be fitted as a single item or in multiples; which makes them great for people who live in shared occupancy or where there is a lobby for a block of flats.

Why use a Wall Mounted Letterbox?

A shocking 74% of burglaries take place through the front door, so it is vital homeowners do all that they can to prevent their home being an easy target for thieves. Wall mounted letterboxes are more secure than a letter plate on your front door and will help prevent your home being targeted for a number of reasons.

To prevent fishing: If there is no letter plate fixed onto your door there is no way a thief can peer into your home through the door and go ‘fishing’. Fishing is a technique used by burglars where they thread a long wire with a hook on the end to capture things in your home such as your house keys, car keys etc. giving them access to all of your valuables.

To prevent thieves from unlocking your door: If there is no letterbox for thieves to put their hands and tools inside there is a less chance of them gaining access to your property. Many thieves unfortunately have figured out that if they can access the interior lock, such as a thumb turn lock through the letterbox plate they can gain easy access to their victim’s home.

Energy efficient: As well as helping keep your home secure, wall mounted letterboxes help reduce heating bills as there will be no hole in the door from which the heat can escape!

 

Things to Consider when Purchasing a Wall Mounted Letterbox

If you are purchasing a new wall mounted letterbox it is important to consider these three things:

Size: Will your new postbox fit the usual post that you receive? Remember to include magazine subscriptions that are at least A4.

Lock: The more secure the lock the better, this helps prevent thieves gaining access to your private information. It is worth investing in an anti-snap lock, keep your eyes peeled for an anti-snap blog coming soon!

Finish: Ensure the postbox is made out of a durable, weatherproof material especially if your wall mounted post box is fitted to the exterior of the property.

 

Free Standing Letterbox

Free standing letterboxes are very similar to the wall mounted kind in terms of protecting your home and the things you should consider when purchasing one. They are preferred for those who have long drives or gated homes as this prevents the postman to have to walk right up to your property and they are often a very aesthetic addition to your home. As well as that, free standing letterboxes are often available in larger sizes for those who need it.

free standing letterbox security, secure letterbox, police approved post box, theft proof letterbox

Door Letterbox

If adding a wall mounted or freestanding letterbox isn’t an option there are a number of things you can do to protect your home as best you can.

Hide your Valuables: The simplest way you can improve your security is by hiding your valuables and keys out of sight. If a burglar cannot easily see or reach valuables in your home through the letterbox or the window they will most likely give up and carry on.

Letterbox Cowl or Guard: Adding a letterbox cowl to the internal side of your front door prevents burglars from being able to see inside your home and prevents them from sticking their arm inside. Burglars won’t be tempted to steal what they can’t see!

Letterbox Cage: This fits around your letterbox on the internal side of the door and prevents post from falling to the floor as well as preventing burglars arms or tools from sneaking in!

Letterbox Homeguard: Similar to the cage, a homeguard is a fire-retardant bag that fits around the letterbox on the interior side of the door. Unfortunately, there are reports of homeowners being attacked with lit objects and fireworks being posted through their letterboxes, a letterbox homeguard will help keep the home safe from these attacks.

 

Burglary Prevention

Letterboxes are found in the majority of houses, either in the door or mounted on the wall and it’s important to make sure they are secure.

Here are some points for you to consider when securing your letter box;

• If you are away for some time then leaflets and newspapers may be pushed through the door and build up. This will let potential burglars know that the house is unoccupied.

• If possible, install a letter box that has nylon bristles, this prevents drafts, but also stops burglars looking through into your home.

• It’s best to keep any keys, especially car keys, away from the front door. Burglars use a technique called fishing to reach them through the letter box.

• Install a restrictor or cowls to make your letterbox more secure. The design of these has improved over the years.

• You can purchase anti burglar plates that meet a TS008 compliance standards.

• If you’re worried about anti-social behaviour then you can install a fire-resistant self-extinguishing bag that will collect post as well as protecting your home.

• If you are really worried about your letterbox being a security weakness in your home, then consider getting rid of it and replacing it with a standalone letterbox.

 

Fishing

Fishing is technique used by burglars to retrieve your car keys, wallet or purse. They fish a long, hooked, metal rod through your letter box, swipe your keys and make off with your car or personal belongings. This means you need to install a letter plate that has added security features as well as an internal and external flap that can withstand thousands of openings without breaking. A weak plate is more likely to be broken or removed, giving burglars better access to your home.

 

Drop Boxes

The Covid-19 pandemic means less and less of us are going to the shops, the result of this means that we have turned to online shopping more and more. You might not always be in when your packages are delivered and some delivery firms will leave your package on the doorstep in full view. Even if the package is hidden, a chancing thief might have a search for an unattended parcel. Hopefully you’ve not had to deal with a pinched parcel, but there are a few choices for preventing package thefts; well-placed CCTV cameras, gates and package drop boxes. These parcel drop boxes are one of the most effective ways to stop someone stealing your deliveries.

There are a few things to consider when buying a drop box;

Space-

You need to be sure that whatever box you get works with the space you have. Some could be too big, or are fitted in a way that won’t work for your needs, or it could be that you just don’t find the shape or style attractive. Some are also installed to be permanent and hard to remove, which might put you off.

Effectiveness-

a drop box is useless unless your delivery person knows that; A) they need to use it and B) how to use it. All of the major delivery companies, UPS, Hermes, Fedex etc have the options to give instructions to delivery drivers, so it’s worth checking that a delivery service you use most can be told about your drop box.

Security-

how will the drop box lock? Some boxes will come with the traditional latch for a padlock, while padlocks are secure, it can be a hassle changing the code and once your delivery person knows the code, it could be insecure. More modern lock boxes may be fitted with Wi-Fi enabled locks that have a built in scanner that can be opened when the delivery person scans your packages.
For more information on how to secure your front door, take a look at our Front Door Security Guide here!

 

Police Approved Post Box?

The government has stated that it’s considering changing the law so that letter boxes on new builds can no longer be low level. The new rules are likely to be similar to European standards, which require letterboxes to be between 0.7m and 1.7m tall. It’s worth staying up to date to whether these new regulations will come into play to ensure that your letter box is a police approved post box!

Make sure you are compliant with all UK letterbox law by following the guidelines here!

 

Keytek® Locksmiths

Did you enjoy this blog? If so, why not take a look at our other blogs here! We cover everything you need to know about security from keeping your home secure to keeping yourself safe at events!

Hive Security Packs

Thinking about updating the security in your home but don’t know where to start? With various different products on the market right now it can be confusing and stressful. To put some simplicity back into your life Hive has created a range of security packs that include everything you need to keep your home secure. As an Easter treat Hive are offering a 25% discount on their Security Packs!

 

Who are Hive?

Hive is one of the world’s leading smart home providers who connect people to their home to bring them peace of mind. Using smart technologies that work together with other smart devices in your home, you can communicate with whoever is knocking on your door and turn off your lights with a tap of a button whilst you are relaxing on a beach a million miles away!

 

Hive Security Options

‘Taking the stress out of security’; that’s exactly what Hive aim to do with their Hive Home Security Packs! Not only are they functional but they are also designed to look sleek and modern in your home with a black and brushed copper or white and champagne gold design. Take a look at the complete security packs on offer below:

hive video doorbell, hive wireless doorbell, is ring doorbell compatible with hive, hive doorbell and camera, hive doorbell camera

Hive Indoor and Outdoor Camera Packs

The Hive Home Indoor and Outdoor Camera Packs include the following:

  1. 1x Hive View / Hive View Outdoor

The smart indoor camera is wireless so you can keep an eye on your family from any room in the house whilst you’re not at home. Never miss the opportunity to witness your child’s first steps or discover what the dog really gets up to all day with the Hive View Indoor camera.

The Hive View Outdoor Camera allows you to never miss who is at the front door or who may have sneaked into the garden when you’re not at home. Waiting on a delivery but not at home? No problem with two-way audio you can instruct the delivery driver to leave it in a safe place from your phone!

 

  1. 1x Hive Hub

The heart of your smart, connected home. The Hive Hub allows you to connect your Hive products and control them through the dedicated Hive app. Allowing you to keep your home safe ans secure no matter where you are.

 

  1. 1x Hive Light Dimmable

This light allows you to control the brightness of the room, a chilled evening in or a bright work day you can set the mood! It also allows you to personalise the lighting in each room and set schedules so they are never on when you’re not at home… unless you want them to be. The Hive Light Dimmable are long-lasting bulbs and are rated A+ for efficiency, saving you money so you can spend it where it matters most.

 

  1. 1x Hive Motion Sensor

The motion sensor sends alerts to your phone when it detects movement and for how long for. Hive’s top tip is to trigger your Hive lights when motion is detected, no more bumping into things on your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

 

  1. 1x Hive Window or Door Sensor

This sensor fits onto your door or window can alert you when the door or window is opened. The sensor can also tell you whether the door or window is open or closed through the app so you no longer have to worry if you left the window open when you left for work in a rush this morning.

 

  1. 1x Hive Video Playback

Included with these packs the Hive Video Playback allows you to see what the cameras have captured from the previous 30 days which is stored securely online. Another bonus to Hive Video Playback is that it provides you with an ongoing warranty for your Hive View Camera.

 

Mixed Camera Pack

Hive also offers a Mixed Camera Pack for those who want smart security for their whole home. The Mixed Camera Pack includes all of the above with the Hive View Outdoor camera, x2 Hive Door and Window Sensors and video playback for 2 cameras if you wish to add another camera to the pack.

 

Keytek® & Hive

Here at Keytek® we often talk about updating the security in your home with smart products and we were excited to come across Hive who allow you to do just that! Keep your eyes peeled for more Hive blogs coming soon!

How to be Insurance Compliant

One of the most important factors of home security is ensuring that you are compliant with the terms and conditions of your insurance policy. Having home and contents insurance is great way to protect your valuables should the worst happen, however what many don’t know is that you can actually invalidate your insurance by making a few small mistakes, making you potentially vulnerable.

 

What can Invalidate Insurance Policies?

There are a few ways in which you can invalidate your home insurance; here are the top 10 most common situations which could potentially leave you without your insurance cover:

 

  1. Leaving your home unoccupied for too long

A condition in most insurance policies is that your cover may be invalidated should the house in question be left unoccupied for 30 consecutive days (average), this is also known as the Vacancy Exclusion Clause.

Empty houses are more at risk, especially during bad weather, as would be burglars may have a lower chance of getting caught. This can increase your chances of becoming a target.

 

  1. Not making required repairs

If your house is not in good condition and you have not made necessary repairs that could effectively have knock on effects in the stability and security can invalidate your insurance.

As part of the terms and conditions of your insurance policy, you must keep your home and property maintained to a suitable standard, if not it could be investigated to determine if the condition of your home played a part in the situation that has created an issue.

 

  1. Not informing your insurance provider of any renovations

If you are planning any home renovations that will potentially add value to your home, you need to inform your insurance provider before the renovations start as this may change the terms of your insurance.

The price of your policy will be determined on a number of factors, so you’ll need to talk to your insurance in case it will change any factors in your insurance. For example, if you were adding an extension that would add value to your home but should something happen to your home the extension you have just built would not be insured.

Similarly if you carry out DIY work on your home and it goes wrong, you may not be able to claim. More insurance policies do not cover accidental damage, so be aware of your terms and conditions before starting anything.

 

  1. Not having the proper locks

Most insurance providers require a minimum requirement for locks to be a least British Standard, so ensure that if it is a requirement of your policy that they are up to standard!

 

  1. Not locking the doors and windows when you go out

This is one of the most common causes of policy invalidation. Even if you are just popping down to the shop, you need to lock all windows and doors. This is because most insurance providers won’t pay out if no forced entry is used to illegally gain access to your home.

 

  1. Not telling your insurance that you are renting out a room

You need to inform your insurance provider will changes that happen since taking out the policy, this includes renting out a room. As renting out a room is seen as a risk, you can invalidate your insurance if you do inform them and wish to make a claim.

 

  1. Hesitating to call 999

If the worst should happen you need to contact the police within 24 hours of finding the incident. The sooner the better. If you do not, it can be treated as suspicious and therefore have consequences onto your claim and policy.

 

  1. Not informing your provider about a minor incident

Should there be an incident but no damage or very little damage was made, you will need to tell your insurance. Even if you are not looking to claim you will need to tell them about it should it be relevant in the future.

 

  1. Using your home for business

Many home insurance policies do not cover business within the home, if you are running a business within your home ensure that your policy includes it or you might find a claim denied should you need to make one.

 

  1. Not using your burglar alarm

A burglar alarm is one of the best deterrents for avoiding intrusion and will often lower your insurance premiums. However, you need to be doing all possible to protect your home so not setting your burglar alarm when you have one can have knock on effects should the worst happen.

 

How to Avoid Invalidating Your Insurance Policies

Read the small print

Always read the terms and conditions of your insurance policy and what it covers or doesn’t cover. If you are ever unsure, always ask.

Check all doors and windows

Get into the habit of checking all your doors and windows before you leave, and also noting down if there is any visible damage on them.

Avoid leaving spare keys around

Under doormats, plant pots and rocks are the first place a burglar will look. Consider investing in a high quality key safe or leaving a key with a trusted neighbour or family member.

Activate burglar alarms

If you have it, use it. They can be your best defence against ill-wishers and will always add more security to your home.

Keep an inventory of your items

Keeping a detailed list of your valuables, with serial codes, pictures and descriptions to ensure that should you need to make a claim you can easily show what is missing and the value.

 

Read What Might Invalidate Your Home Insurance Policies

MoneySuperMarket 

AgeCo 

Admiral