What To Do If You Lose Your Car Keys

There is never a good time to lose your car keys or have them stolen. The likelihood is that it’s going to happen when you are off out somewhere or are out and about, this can be especially bad if you are in a rush or are on a time deadline like getting to work or the kids to school.

Would you know what to do if you came to leave the house and couldn’t find your keys or you got locked out of your car? We will break down your options for resolving the issue and the benefits and drawbacks of each.

 

Firstly, If Your Keys Are Stolen

If you discover your keys have been stolen, but you are still in possession of the car, then you will need to phone the police. Unless there is a threat to life, you should call 101 to report your keys as stolen. Once you have done that you will need to get a car key replacement, but also need to have the car’s engine control unit wiped, so that the stolen key cannot be used anymore. This is because the key will contain a chip that is unique to your car. It’s important that you do this as quickly as possible, to stop someone from stealing your car.

 

1.      See If You Have A Spare

Most people have a spare car key, whether it’s another remote key or just a manual one, you should always look to see if you can find it. Having the spare key can mean the difference between needing to call out an emergency service or being able to get another key created.

When you have lost your car keys you should always look to call out an auto Locksmith to deprogram any lost keys to ensure that your vehicle remains secure.

 

2.      Contact an Auto Locksmith

If you need the problem sorted out quickly then an auto Locksmith is your best bet. An auto Locksmith is a locksmith that has been specially trained in car keys and locks. Not all Locksmiths will have the training to be an auto Locksmith, so you need to be sure you are calling the correct Locksmith. Auto Locksmiths will carry blank keys and recoding machines in their vans, meaning they will be able to replace your lost or stolen key with ease.

 

Why Choose an Auto Locksmith?

Most auto Locksmiths are mobile, so should be able to come to you and cut you a new key. To get the situation resolved as quickly as possible, its best to have the following information to hand when you call the auto Locksmith:

  • Make and model of your vehicle
  • The registration number
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN number) you will find this in your V5C document
  • Picture ID, so you can confirm you own the vehicle
  • Your exact location

Using an auto Locksmith may also be your fastest option as most auto Locksmiths carry key programming equipment that will be able to replace keys for almost any make and model of car, without having to outsource the parts.

Hiring an auto Locksmith is often cheaper than sourcing a new key through the car dealership. If you order a new key from the car manufacturer, this can take days to arrive. So, if you are in desperate need for a car key replacement, then an auto Locksmith is your best bet. Most auto Locksmith should be able to cut you a new car key in one visit.

car key on car seat

 

3.      Go Through Your Insurance

If your car key is lost or stolen then you might be able to claim for the cost of the car key replacement through your car insurance. There are some car insurance companies that automatically cover the cost of replacing a car key in your policy, so you will need to check if this is part of your cover.

A comprehensive insurance policy can cover reprogramming the engine control unit and alarms, which you will need to have done if your keys have been stolen. Depending on your provider and level of cover, you may be provided with a taxi to retrieve a new set of keys, a curtesy car until you get new keys or they may even send out an auto Locksmith themselves. Depending on how your no claims bonus works, it might not be affected. However, if claiming for a new key causes your premium to go up, then you might be better off paying out of pocket for a new key, as it may save you money in the long run.

Find out more about your insurance in our Guide to Insurance.

 

4.      Call Your Breakdown Service

This might be the slowest option for you, so we don’t recommend this if you want to get back on the road as quickly as possible. A lot of breakdown services cannot guarantee a time that they will be with you and if they don’t class it as an emergency, you won’t be high up on the list to be attended.

With breakdown services, it also depends what type of vehicle and key you have, as they may not have the right key coding equipment. They also may subcontract the job out to an auto Locksmith, so you are better cutting out the middle man. They are also not specifically trained as auto Locksmith, so will not have the experience an actual auto Locksmith has.

 

5.      Contact Your Local Car Dealership

This is one of the most expensive ways of getting a car key replacement and potentially the slowest. This is because the car dealership may not have all the specialist equipment that an auto Locksmith has. It’s more than likely that the car dealership will have to order in a blank key fob, which will take time and then if they don’t have the specialist programming equipment then this will also add a delay, while they contract it out.

It’s also likely that a dealership will just hire an auto Locksmith to complete the work, as before, you may as well cut out the middle man and contact an auto Locksmith yourself.

 

6.      Use a Local Garage

You will encounter the same problems with a local garage that you will at a dealership. They are unlikely to have the blank keys and reprograming equipment you require to successfully replace your car key. This is especially true if you need to replace the key in a hurry.

use local garage or auto and car locksmith if you lost your car keys

 

What We Recommend

As you can clearly see, with all the different options, going to an auto Locksmith will be the quickest, cheapest, and best option for you if your car keys are lost or stolen. They should be able to replace a car key and reset your car in one visit. This means you can get on and go about your day as quickly as possible.

If you need a car key replacement, find your local auto Locksmith.

 

Can I get a car key made without the original?

Yes, it is possible to have a copy of your car key made by using your car’s VIN Number. The VIN is a 17-digit code unique to your vehicle. You should be able to find this located on the vehicle’s chassis (in the front of the dashboard on the driver’s side). If you are struggling to locate the VIN, you can also use the V5C document usually found in the vehicle logbook.

 

Can I Reprogram a Car Key?

Reprogramming a car key requires the skills and tools of an auto locksmith. Auto locksmiths can reprogram cars using:
• Remote keys or keyless entry
• Keys with integrated transponder chips
• Flip keys
The cost of reprogramming your key is determined by the vehicle’s make, model, and year. This then dictates the process required to reprogram your key, however newer more expensive cars typically carry a higher price tag!

keyless car key entry

 

Are lost car keys covered by my insurance?

Car Insurers are likely to cover the cost of stolen keys (providing a crime reference number is present) however, trying to claim with your insurance over lost or misplaced keys could be a different story.

Depending on car insurance policies, car key cover is either included in your policy or is an additional option at an extra cost. Car key insurance typically covers costs of replacement keys up to £1500, Locksmith charges, car hire costs and also a 24/7 helpline to seek immediate support. If you find that you do not have car key insurance included in your policy it means your insurance company are unlikely to cover any costs of car keys you have lost or misplaced. So, it is definitely worth adding this onto your policy from around £20 a year as extra cover!

What You Need to Know Before Buying A Security Camera

Everyone wants to protect their home from criminals in the best way possible. One of the best ways to protect your home is to get security cameras for extra home security. To keep your home, family, and valuables safe we’ll be going through what you need to know before buying a security camera.

If you’re thinking about your home security, why not look at getting security lighting, improving your door security or adding a smart home security system? If you need help with your home security, why don’t you check out our Ultimate Home Security Guide.

 

What CCTV Cameras Are Best?

When deciding on what security camera to buy, you first need to think of what your needs are and pick a camera to suit what you want. Beginning with whether you want indoor or outdoor cameras, as this decides how weatherproof your security cameras need to be.

Next decide if you want wired or wireless (battery) security cameras, and if you want your camera to have night vision, motion detection, auto tracking, facial recognition, two-way audio, if it records during a power cut or if it has an app. It’s also worth comparing the quality of the camera and the output resolution of what you’re deciding on, and the lens size and sensor radar.

Before making your purchase, make sure to look at the installation of the home security cameras and if you want just cameras or a whole security package.

How easy it is to set up in the property can be a deciding factor as to whether you want it for your home, or if another brand is better suited. When looking at brands that have security cameras, if you want a full security system as well as cameras, make sure to check with the brand you go with that they have a range of products to suit your needs or if they are compatible with another full home security system. Here are some CCTV camera brands for you to consider:

Blink Camera

A battery powered easy to use security device, that offers two-way audio, HD video, motion detection and it connects to other amazon smart products.

Arlo Camera

A wireless award-winning home security, that’s simple to set up, has 2x 4K-capable HDR-enhanced cameras, it’s waterproof and connects to your phone as a smart hub.

Eufy Camera

An innovative ‘smart home simplified’ system offering a choice of all-weather performing security products including wired and wireless cameras, offering colour night vision, two-way audio, human detection, and military-grade encryption.

Ring Security Camera

An all in one wired or wireless camera option with an app. It offers two-way audio, floodlights, 3D motion detection, HDR and colour night vision, motion notifications and it works with other smart devices.

Nest Camera

A weather-resistant wired and wireless google smart camera that connects to other google devices, offering motion alerts, HDR and Night Vision, 24/7 live streaming, talk and listen and records even during a power outage.

Swann CCTV

As a global leader in security and surveillance technology they offer wired and wireless CCTV cameras, with up to 4K ultra-HD, heat and motion sensing, night vision, phone notifications and facial recognition, two-way talking and they’re weatherproof.

Where Do You Put Security Cameras Around the House?

There are many places to put your security camera both inside and outside the home to give you the best possible protection.

When placing cameras, it’s important to place them pointing to doors, windows and driveways as this offers the best protection to your main entryways and makes it easier to see suspicious activity. Another place to put cameras is in common areas such as lounges, stairways, and kitchens, as these are the most likely places for a burglar to go through. They are also the most likely rooms to have valuables stored in, so will be the biggest targeted areas.

 

Can a Neighbour Point a Security Camera at My House?

There are some restrictions you must adhere to in the UK regarding recording people outside of your home. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) enforces that if your CCTV system captures people outside of the boundaries of your home (such as in shared spaces, neighbours’ homes or gardens or public footpaths), then you must adhere to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) to keep people’s personal data safe through making them aware with signs to say recording is happening, processing the footage and keep it secure and storing the videos correctly, and only keeping it for as long as you need it and deleting footage of people if they ask you too.

Audio recording is also closely monitored, as this is extremely privacy intrusive. It’s good procedure to disable audio recording when you own a CCTV camera to avoid any invasion of privacy. Check out the ICO CCTV checklist to better understand your obligations under GDPR. We would also recommend not recording in personal rooms, such as the restroom or bedrooms, as it would be a breach of privacy and it is illegal to record anyone without their consent where there is the expectation of privacy.

We would recommend aiming your camera away from your neighbours’ properties to avoid breaching their privacy, and to just record your property and nothing outside the boundaries of your home. We would also recommend you get CCTV Camera recording signs to place outside your property.

 

Hire a Professional to Install Your Security Cameras

Sometimes it’s just easier to hire a professional to get your CCTV cameras installed and set up. This can make the process easier and stress free and offer advice on where’s the best place to place your security cameras.

They can go through the whole process for you, from installation to syncing to ensure that it effectively protects your property. Call a local Locksmith at Keytek® on 0808 164 2928 to help you with your house security. From changing your locks to offering a free home security check, we are happy to help!

Find out what additional home security you could add to your home to improve security and deter burglars, and how this can potentially help reduce your home insurance premium.

Hiding Places for Your Spare Key

As convenient as it is to hide that spare key behind the plant pot or under the mat, it poses a significant threat to the security of your house. With a burglary happening every 108 seconds, 76.4% of burglars using a door and 6% of those burglars having a key unfortunately, it is one of the most committed crimes in the UK. With neighbourhoods being monitored closely by burglars checking for deterrents, don’t be surprised if they have seen you hide that spare key!

 

Where NOT to hide your spare key

  • In obvious places for burglars to check.
  1. Under your welcome mat. This is the first place you and your burglar would check!

  2. Under the flower pot near the door. Flower pots by the front door indicate spare keys to a burglar!

  3. A fake rock replica. A random rock is going to look very suspicious unless it blends in with others.

  4. In your wallet or purse, not only does someone have access to your address but also the keys to your house.

  5. In the mailbox.

 

The average burglary costs around £3,000 in damage as well as valuables lost. So, investing in a secure place to stash that spare key is definitely worth your money. Spare keys are extremely useful and can save you time, money, and stress! Here is 5 reasons why you need a spare key.

 

Where to leave your spare house key?

Leave it with a trusted family member, friend, or neighbour.

It’s an excellent idea to leave a key with someone you can trust. This can be useful when you’re on holiday or at work and want somebody to check in on your home occasionally. This is also a great alternative if you don’t want to worry about hiding a spare key and instead want to collect it whenever you need it!

In a Key Safe

One of the best places to hide your spare key is in a key safe. These can only be accessed by entering a code that is known only to the homeowner. These are relatively cheap, averaging between £10 and £40, making them a worthwhile investment. Most key safes are weather resistant and extremely durable; however, they are still vulnerable to being broken into if stored in plain sight. Nevertheless, high-quality key safes are designed to withstand attacks by the use of strong metal covers. A range of key safes are available online.

 

Where is the best place to put a key safe?

  • Behind a plant pot
  • On the sidewall
  • The back of the property
  • The garage

The benefit of hiding your key safe in these places is that anyone who is known to not live at the property by the neighbours looks suspicious. Therefore, this gives a chance for neighbours to alert you or the police of suspicious activity. Another benefit of not having your key safe in a visible location is that it isn’t an eyesore to look at. Nowadays, many people in the UK care about the appearance of their house, so keeping this eyesore somewhere secluded is a great idea!

 

Smart Locks

Alternatively, if you don’t want the hassle and burden of hiding a spare house key, why not have one at all! Consider upgrading your smart home security with smart locks. Smart locks offer a key-free entry system using a remote fob or code to unlock the door. Smart locks can come at a greater price tag, ranging from £50 to the higher-end systems at £200, but can be well worth the investment! Find out the best smart locks for 2022.

 

The Advantages of Smart Locks include:

  • Remove the need to carry a key around
  • Battery powered, so keep working during power outages.
  • You can schedule when to lock your home from your phone.
  • Break-in rate is significantly lower.
  • Once you are inside, the keypad will automatically lock behind you.

 

So, rather than questioning where to keep the spare key, make sure that you are keeping it in a safe place or reduce the risk and consider upgrading to smart locks!

 

FAQ’s

Where is the best place to put a key safe?

Key safes should be placed at eye level and slightly hidden from the view of the road. Some of the best places to hide a key safe is behind a plant pot, the side of the house or in the back garden.

 

Can key safes be broken into?

High-quality key safes are designed with strong and resistant metal cases that are capable of withstanding attacks. However, cheaper, lower end key safe boxes can be broken into in around 30 seconds by an experienced thief.

Should you change the locks when moving to a new home?

You’ve Got A New Home!

It’s an exciting time when moving into a new home. A fresh start, a new beginning and with that comes many tasks to get done… One important job on that list should be to change the locks to your new home as soon as possible, to keep your home, your family and your valuables secure.

 

Who’s Got A Key?

The main reason you need to change the lock to your new home is that you don’t know who else has a key. When you’ve moved in you don’t know who was there before, whether it was a previous owner or tenants who have lived in that house. The previous key holders may have also given keys to their families and friends, tradesmen, estate agents, pet sitters, neighbours or anyone else.

Not knowing who has keys to your house can be a big danger. Those who have a key can easily target your home for an attack and steal your valuables from the moment you’ve moved in. You may not know this but 58.7% of burglars who’ve used a door to enter, use the front door as an entry point, and 6% had a key that they just walked in with (NimbleFins). Because of this, it’s essential to make changing the locks a priority when you get your new home.

 

Change Locks Every 5-7 Years

In an ideal world, your home’s locks should be changed every five to seven years, to reduce the likelihood of having problems and keep the standard of the locks up to date to have the highest level of security.

When you move into a new place, you don’t know when the last time the keys were changed. If they were changed over seven years ago, then the locks may be outdated and might start being problematic. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you are locked outside (or even inside) of your home because your locks failed!

 

Think About Insurance

Another reason to change your locks when you move home is that it may invalidate your insurance. If your home got broken into by somebody using a key that they were previously given, then because there was no forced entry it may invalidate your home insurance.

Whilst some companies might still pay out for your claim, most home insurance policies require forced entry into your home to pay your claim. Wondering what else will invalidate your insurance? Find out if your locks are insurance compliant today.

 

British Standard

British Standard Locks

To get the best protection for your home you should make sure all your locks are British Standard. Ensuring all of the locks are British Standard will not only make sure you are covered with your insurance but offers you peace of mind that the locks are of a high standard and will keep your home and your valuables better protected.

Wondering what lock types are the best kind? Read here about the different door lock types and what the best kind of lock for your home is.

 

Always Remember

It’s always important to protect your home, whether it’s your first day there or you’ve lived there 10 years, you want to keep your property and your valuables safe and sound. By making sure your locks are changed and up to a high standard then you are keeping your family and yourself safe from danger.

Think about what locks you need to change. Remember about your front and back doors, garage and conservatory doors and any windows you have. Keep an eye on problems or damage that has happened to anywhere that could be an entrance, and update your security if needed. Do you need some additional home security tips?

 

When Else Should You Change Your Locks?

There are other times you should change your locks as well, not just when you move home:

  • When your lock is broken, you should get your lock changed straight away, to avoid future frustrations of being locked inside or outside your home with a failed lock.

  • When your lock is damaged, this may be a sign that someone has tried to break into your home. In this situation to keep your home secure, it’s safest that your locks get changed as quickly as possible.

  • If your keys have been stolen or lost then to avoid an unforced entry and keep your home safe, it’s best to change your locks. Did you know that nearly 37% of UK homeowners admit to losing at least one set of keys in their life? And with over 402,000 burglaries in England and Wales in 2019/2020 alone, it’s best to make sure you change your locks if you lose your keys.

  • If there has been a break-in already to your home or another home close to you then the chances of another burglary happening soon in that area after is much higher than normal. Keeping on top of your home security is vital to reduce the risk of another break-in.

when you should change your locks and things to consider before moving into a new home house

 

Need To Change Your Locks? Call A Locksmith

We would always recommend calling a professional locksmith rather than doing it yourself to avoid potential damage to the door and creating a bigger cost in the long run.

At Keytek® Locksmiths, we are committed to assisting you in keeping your house secure, which is why we are always upgrading our security content on our website. If you need help with your home security, why don’t you check out our Ultimate Home Security Guide? Also, have a read of our burglar deterrents and find out some simple ways to secure your home.

Contact us today by calling 0808 164 2928 or find a local locksmith here that can help you secure your new home.

The Best Home Security Systems for 2022

There are so many home security packages available these days, it’s difficult to choose which one to go with and often leave you wondering how do security systems work?

Whether it’s a burglar alarm, a security camera or a brand new complete home security system, we will be going through a few different brand options for you to think about, and to help you decide what will be the best home security system for you!

Check out our guides for:

 

Simplisafe – Award Winning Choice

Simplisafe is an excellent choice. It has won the T3 Platinum Awards and offers many benefits. These include keeping your home security protected through a power outage, fire and water damage and there are no contracts to be stuck in and no hardwiring into your home. And what’s better, it can all be set up within an hour!

Their pro premium monitoring is a great addition, at only £0.67 per day it allows for 24/7 professional monitoring, a rapid police dispatch, unlimited recordings and more. It will complete your home security system.

It’s no wonder why they have 4.5 / 5 stars on Trustpilot, whether you decide to begin small and choose to buy one or two of their products for £15 or a package for a complete home security system for £500, it’s good value for money and offers something for everyone’s price range.

Overview:

  • Award winning
  • 24/7 professional monitoring option
  • No contracts to be stuck
  • Sets up in less than an hour
  • No hardwiring
  • Protection through power outages, fire and water damage

Packages available:

  • The Foundation – £248.97
  • The Starter – £278.96
  • The Essentials – £308.94
  • The Warwick – £363.90
  • The Windsor – £453.87
  • The Bamburgh – £503.88

 

ADT – Most Expert Choice

For a company with 148 years of security, they have a great deal of expertise and use the most cutting-edge technology. From offering ADT alarms, 24/7 monitoring, offering professional installation, remote engineering, and bank level encryption, it’s a great choice to consider. They also offer theft protection and a 6-month money-back guarantee, however they do require a contract for their monitoring costs, and there is no option to opt out of this.

With 4.5 / 5 stars on Trustpilot, they are a trusted company by many. Their monthly package begins from £30 / £45 a month, with their home security equipment added on top starting from £99. To get a quote you will need to contact ADT and speak to a sales representative for an individual price.

Overview:

  • All-Inclusive Service
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Professional installation
  • Remote engineering
  • Bank level encryption

 

Swann – Best Security Cameras

Beginning in Australia, Swann has made its way across to the UK and provides excellent home security options, including Swann security cameras, doorbells and alarms. By aiming to make the latest security technology accessible, affordable and easy to use, their prices start at £14.99 ranging up to £1,249.99 for a full and complete security system. They also offer a monthly security subscription service for as little as £2.99 up to £8.99 a month.

Whilst their security cameras may be good, their Trustpilot reviews, sitting at 3.4 / 5 stars, suggests that their customer service may be difficult to get a hold off sometimes.

Overview:

  • Between 1 week to 60 days cloud backup
  • Accessible & affordable
  • Easy to use on a smartphone of similar device
  • Use voice command

 

Ring – Best Budget Choice

Ring is an easy to use system that offers a partial or full home security system, depending on your needs. Beginning as a reinvented doorbell, they have grown and developed their security range with the aim of making neighbourhoods safer. They now include ring alarms, cameras, lights and more. Receive notifications straight to your phone, tablet or PC and listen and speak to people from your doorstep even when you’re not home.

 

With their products ranging from one product at £49.99 to a complete home security bundle for £749.99, they offer a good price for all their products. However, where they shine is with their low monthly subscription at £2.50 or £8, making it a cheaper investment in the long run.

Overview:

  • Optional protection plans
  • Use the Ring app from anywhere
  • Speak through your doorbell
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Protection even in a power outage
  • Optional assisted monitoring

Packages available:

  • Basic Monthly subscription – £2.50 a month
  • Plus Monthly subscription – £8 a month
  • Camera packs – ranging £109.99 – £599.99
  • Doorbell packs – ranging £59.99 – £229.99
  • Security system packs – ranging from £219.99 – £509.99
  • Spotlight packs – ranging £329.99 – £789.99
  • Floodlight packs – ranging £329.99 £749.99

 

Verisure – Most Trusted Choice

Verisure is a brilliant choice that is well trusted and offers many options for your home security. Not only do they not require a fixed contract, but they also offer a portable control panel, two way voice communication, a professional installation within 24 hours, lifelong warranty and all-inclusive maintenance including battery replacement and a quick response time for support. They also offer Arlo cameras, as well as other brands, included in their gadget list.

 

They are extremely trusted on Trustpilot with 4.5 out of 5 stars and have won several awards in the past. To get a price you will need to contact Verisure and speak to a sales representative for a personalised quote, but we expect it to be more expensive as it is more of a traditional system so you’d need to rely solely on Verisure and their approved gadgets.

Overview:

  • No contract
  • Portable control panel
  • Two-way voice communication
  • Professional Installation within 24 hours
  • All inclusive maintenance
  • 20 second response time

 

When looking at the best security system, you always need to consider your home and family’s needs before all else. If you think you need better home security but don’t know where to start, or need additional home security, why don’t you call one of our local Locksmiths to come and do a home safety check?