Restoring your Home Security after a break in

Being burgled is a traumatising experience that can leave and your family feeling unsafe in your own home. As expert Locksmiths we have created our top tips on how you can restore your home security to help you and your family feel safe.

 

What to do immediately following a break in

Signs that someone has gained entry to your home are easy to spot; forced opened doors and windows, broken glass, and valuables scattered across the floor. Your first instinct may be to investigate and clean up, but we strongly advise against this, first things first, you need to call the police.

 

Contact the police

We suggest going to a safe spot, like your car or a neighbour’s house*, and contacting the police to report a break in. If it is not an emergency, for example if your life is not in danger, then we suggest calling the police on 101 and not 999. However if you are concerned that there might be people still in your home then we suggest calling 999 for emergency services.

 

Take account of your missing items

When the police arrive, they will take evidence and statements, ask if anyone saw anything and what items you think might be missing. They then will compile a report and give you a case number; you may want to jot down this number as it can be needed for insurance claims etc and will help you to keep track of your case.

 

Take pictures

Take pictures of your house, any broken windows or doors and any valuable items. This will help later down the line as more evidence you can supply, the more your case is strengthened.

 

Call a Locksmith

Once the police have given you the all clear, it is time to call a Locksmith. Professional Locksmiths are experts in replacing and repairing broken locks and to some extent doors and windows, however if it is a job beyond repair then a Locksmith can secure your property for you by boarding up and securing any broken doors and windows until you can have them replaced.

When you call out a Locksmith, we always suggest consulting with them to find out what are the best security locks for your home and what benefits they hold. Not all locks are created equal, so having a higher security lock installed will help you to regain some feeling of safety. Also ask them about their suggestions of home security and what they think can be done to your property to minimise the risk of the incident reoccurring.

To find out more about Emergency Boarding Up and Burglary Repairs.

 

What to do within 24 hours of a break in

Unfortunately, when a break in happens some of the after events have time limits on and although a traumatic experience there are a few things you must do as soon as possible.

 

Make a list

The police would have asked you about any large ticket items in your home when they came to the scene, but it is always best to try and create a list of all the items stolen. This could be valuable pieces of jewellery, large electronic items or personal effects like credit cards or passports.

When creating the list, try to find any receipts that can prove when you bought the item and how much, and take note of how long you have had the item and it’s estimated worth.

 

Call your insurance

Your insurance provider will usually have a process that you need to follow to make a claim, whether it is home or contents. As said before, the more evidence you have, the stronger your case and the more likely to be accurately compensated. Some insurance policies have time limits on when you need to make first contact to make a claim so as soon as possible is always the best policy, even if you just notify them.

For damage to your home, such as broken windows and doors, they might send someone out to access the damage but anything you have had to do to secure your home like boarding up or repairs can often be claimed back assuming you have an accurate invoice and can provide evidence of the damage beforehand.

 

Call your bank

Although you may not always know what has been stolen, it is always best to contact your bank and make them aware you have been victim to a burglary and to flag any suspicious activity on your account.

 

Contact credit reporting agencies

Ask for a security alert that will create a red flag for any lenders. This means that should a burglar gotten access to your private information, it will prevent them from opening credit cards and loans in your name.

 

Securing your home to prevent further break ins

Protecting your home from further crime is the most important step it helps to give you some peace of mind that your home is secured. Burglars are known to revisit the scene of the crime, because their logic is if they can get in once they can do it again. Hence, we highly suggest that you take some pre-emptive steps to ensure that you are not a target.

 

Install better locks

Like explained before, no lock is made equal, there are some locks that have better security features and burglar deterrents that can help to deter those targeting your house making it more difficult for them to enter your home. Updating the security on your home doesn’t only make you feel better, but also puts out a signal to burglars that you’ve taken steps to make yourself a harder target and therefore are a higher risk to try and break into.

 

Install motion activated lights

Dark spots around your home and garden are perfect places for someone to hide, so reduce that risk by placing motion sensor lights around the exterior of your home to illuminate entry points. This increases the risk that someone burgled will been seen or get caught thus making you a less attractive target.

 

Look into getting a security system

Items such as security cameras and burglar alarms are not only great systems to give the confidence that your home is safe but also are great visual deterrents to put off would be burglars. At the end of the day making yourself a less appealing target to ill wishers is the best way to prevent crime and keep your home secure.

 

If you would like to find out more about our security suggests, head to our Home Security Guide where you can find all the answers to your security questions and the best security tips from expert Locksmiths.

 

*Depending on government restrictions

Protect your Home like a Palace… Buckingham Palace!

Your home is your palace, no matter how big or small! And so you probably want to protect your palace like one and the little heirs who sit on your throne inside it! Unsurprisingly, there isn’t much detail about how the queen’s home is protected but from what we do know here’s how you can protect your home like royalty!

 

The Queen’s Guard

Guarding the expanse of Buckingham Palace is no easy feat. In total there are 36 soldiers and 3 officers who guard the building, including 4-foot guards when the queen is in residence, who are all highly trained members of the British Army.

The iconic red uniform and large furry hat spans back years, as it seems way back to the 17th Century and thus is the traditional uniform of a Queen’s guard. However, the uniform may not be practical if you wish to employ your own guard to your palace as a number of guards have fainted under the heat and weight of the uniform. The tall black hats are made from black bear fur, are 18 inches tall and weigh up to 9 pounds! The weight of the hats are why the guards wear the straps under their mouth rather than under their chin as if the guard were to fall down unexpectedly the weight of the hat could snap their neck!

Victoria Memorial Outside Buckingham Palace

Secret Tunnels

Legend has it that there are secret tunnels that lie beneath the palace to all the important buildings in London such as Whitehall and the Houses of Parliament! Perfect for a quick escape or to travel un-noticed! Although, if you’d like some secret tunnels under your home we don’t think your home insurance or planning permission would have some very good things to say about it!

 

Royal Protection Squad

A policeman sits outside the Queen’s bedroom at night to keep watch and supposedly is given the command to shoot anything that moves that shouldn’t! Again, we don’t recommend you give your own bedroom watch person a gun but a pair of slippers might come in handy. Apparently, the policeman who sits outside wears slippers instead of his usual boots so as not to wake the Queen whilst she sleeps!

The policeman are of course not only tasked to watch over the Queen during her beauty sleep but to keep close to the Queen herself and the other royals whilst they are travelling out and about. The Royal Protection Squad is an elite Scotland Yard squad that formed in 1983 to provide 24hr security. It is thought that there are 185 of these SAS officers that watch over the royals! Maybe a bit too many guards for the average UK family, plus it is reported that this protection squad costs just a cool £27million per year!

buckingham palace gates

Buckingham Palace Locks

We can’t be sure on which locks are implemented in Buckingham Palace but with 1,514 doors and 760 windows there are plenty to ensure they are consistently up to high standard! We believe the Queen enjoys reading our blogs and has upgraded her locks to Anti-Snap Locks and fancies taking on a new role by training with us to become a Qualified Locksmith!

 

Buckingham Palace Intrusions

On the downside of such famous buildings with royalty embraced inside is that there are often a few attempted intrusions into Buckingham Palace and a few successful ones too! Most famously, the intrusion of Michael Fagan in 1982 who found his way into the Queen’s bedroom! Unfortunately, the guards were switching over shifts including the policeman who sat outside her door and they turned the alarms off thinking it was a mistake when he broke in. It wasn’t until one of the Queen’s maids found him sitting in her room and called another staff member that he was arrested! According to many news articles the Queen kept him calm by having a ‘nice chat’.

 

A Royal Locksmith

We can’t say that any of us are members of the royal family (yet, we have not denied it) but you for sure will receive a royal security service when calling one of our Keytek® Locksmiths! That’s because on every call out we receive we will offer you a free home security check to ensure your palace is as secure as can be without the Queen’s guard watching you 24/7. Find your local Locksmith here!

 

 

 

 

References:

https://www.theoriginaltour.com/en/discover/50-fascinating-facts-about-buckingham-palace

https://citywonders.com/blog/UK/London/7-facts-about-the-queens-guards

https://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/1136904/royal-news-queen-elizabeth-ii-buckingham-palace-michael-fagan-security-spt

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/jun/16/qanda.monarchy

 

How Do You Replace a Car Key?

Locked out your car? Lost your car keys? Car keys been stolen? These are all frustrating and stressful situations but worry not we’ve got the full low down on what you can do in these situations to get you on the road again!

 

What to do if you’ve lost your car keys?

Have you got your phone, wallet, keys…? Don’t panic! If you’ve lost your car keys, keeping a clear head may help you remember where you may have left them. If your keys are still not to be seen check with your insurance provider first as your policy may cover lost keys. You can also get a replacement key through your franchised dealer but this may take a while and is usually costly. We recommend that you call an auto Locksmith in this situation as they are usually the cheapest and fastest option.

 

What to do if you’ve locked your keys inside the car?

Stay calm and check if you have a spare key anywhere when you’ve locked your keys inside the car. Our Locksmiths at Keytek® are able to gain entry to your car without causing any damage. However, if you need new keys cut, have locked the keys in the boot or have a certain type of car such as a convertible than a specialist auto Locksmith is needed.

 

What to do if your car keys are stolen?

Car manufactures are continually developing car security so that it is much harder for thieves to steal your car. But if they manage to get hold of your keys and didn’t steal your car at the same time your car is at risk of being stolen too. To protect your car and resolve the issue, here are some things you can do:

  1. Secure your car: Block your car in with another car so that it cannot be driven off or keep it in a safe place such as a garage (if that key wasn’t stolen also!). If you have a spare key, remove some spark plugs and a couple of fuses, so that the car won’t start for anyone trying to take it.

 

  1. Call the police: Report the crime and write down the reference number so you can keep track if there is any progress.

 

  1. Contact an auto Locksmith: An auto Locksmith specialist will be able to deprogram all previous keys rendering them useless and will be able to program new keys as well as changing the locks, so your car is as secure as can be once more.

 

  1. Phone your insurer: Some insurance companies include key protection within their cover. If your insurer does, they may help cover the costs of the auto Locksmith and the new keys.

 

What to do if your car key snaps?

If your car key snaps or becomes damaged then a specialist auto Locksmith will be needed to cut a new key, the Locksmith will then remove the electronic chip from the old key and insert it into the new one. If the key snaps in the lock or the ignition, the same process will occur but the Locksmith will remove the remnants of the old key first. If the transponder key is damaged the Locksmith will need to program the new key so that it can start the engine, key programming is more of a specialised area so before you call a Locksmith make sure they have the correct tools necessary.

 

What to do if your car key battery runs flat?

If you find your car key battery no longer works you can easily replace it with a new battery. To find the old battery gently pry open the fob using a small screwdriver or a coin and you will see a small, round silver battery. Look for the numbers on the battery before you buy the new one so you can match them up.

If your car doors are locked then it is worth trying to open the door by holding the key fob as close to the lock as you can and pulling the handle. Sometimes this works as there may just be enough power in the key fob to unlock door when it is in close proximity. Failing that, open the jack of your key fob, the majority of car manufactures hide a small mechanical key inside so you can manually open the car door.

 

Who do you call?

If you have accidentally left your car keys in the ignition or on the seats and the doors have automatically locked then our Locksmiths here at Keytek® will be able to gain entry to your car, providing there is a frame all the way round your car windows, without causing any damage! Just call 0808 1642928.

If we can’t help you then we recommend you call a specialist auto Locksmith. An auto
Locksmith is usually the cheapest and quickest option. They will be able to come directly to your location, gain entry to your car without causing damage and cut you a new key should you require it. Going to your car dealership or a local garage are a couple more options but they may work out to be slower to replace your keys and are usually more expensive.

 

How much does it cost to replace a car key?

Replacing your car key can cost from as little as £25 to well over £200, the price reflects on the make, model and age of the car and what immobilizer the car has. The key type also depends on the price, e.g. if it is a remote key fob, whether it has keyless entry and whether it is a key made before 1995 without the chip.

 

What information will you need to provide?

You will need to provide some information to the Locksmith to prove you are the owner of the car and you will need to ensure they have to correct tools for the job. Prepare the following:

  • The make and model of the car, some cars require more of a specialist Locksmith such as convertibles.
  • Registration number
  • Vehicle Identification Number, you can find this on your V5C papers.
  • Photo ID, this will help prove you are the owner of the car.

Best Anti-Snap Door Locks

What is Lock Snapping?

 

Lock snapping is a common method used by burglars to render a euro lock useless. This involves breaking or ‘snapping’ the cylinder, to expose the inner mechanism, which can then be manipulated to open the door. In some cases a burglar may even break the handles to get better access to the cylinder. It is becoming more and more common, as the amount of properties that now have an uPVC door with a Euro Lock installed has grown significantly.

You may not know that the cylinder is the most vulnerable part of your lock and when compromised it renders your multipoint lock points useless. Lock snapping is not difficult and even an inexperience intruder can manage it. All they need to do is apply the right amount of force to the right part of your cylinder and they can expose the mechanism.

The only way to secure your home from this type of break in is to install an ‘Anti-Snap’ lock. These locks have been designed to withstand a lock snapping attempt by breaking or ‘snapping’ in a certain place. Where point where the lock snaps does not allow access to the inner mechanism, meaning that cannot be tampered with. You will still have to have the lock replaced, but it may have stopped a burglar from gaining entry. We are going to take you through the different types of anti-snap locks, so you can learn what you need to take into consideration when buying an anti-snap lock.

 

1.     British Standard

 

A lock will on get a ‘British Standard’ kite mark, if it has been manufactured in accordance with the criteria set out by the relevant authorities.  A lot of insurance companies will often specify that a lock needs to be of British Standard to comply with their criteria. The British Standard stamp is widely regarded as a sign of high quality and means a lock can be trusted to be secure.

In regards to Anti-Snap locks the British Standard is the ‘TS007:2012’. A TS007 will protect your cylinder against many methods of attack, such as; drilling, picking, and bumping as well as lock snapping. If you see a kite marked lock, then it should protect your door from these types of attack. However we recommend that you stay updated with new and different ways to keep your home secure. While every TS007 is of a high quality, within the TS007 category there are 3 star ratings. You may want to look at the differences between these ratings to make sure you have the most secure lock that suits your budget.

 

2.     Sold Secure Diamond Standard

 

By looking out for an anti-snap lock with a ‘Sold Secure’ sign means that you will be purchasing a lock that has been rigorously tested by Sold Secure, a testing and certification house owned by the Master Locksmith Association.

SS312 Diamond Standard was started in 2010 and is being constantly updated and modified to guarantee that it can withstand newer developed methods of attack. It is tested for resistance to lock snapping amongst other methods of destruction.

 

TS007 star rating explained

 

 1 Star rating –

For a cylinder to achieve this rating it is tested in the manner equivalent to the BS 3621:2007 and the minimum requirements of BS EN 1303:2005.

 2 Star rating –

For security hardware to receive a two star rating the protection offered by the hardware to the cylinder is tested in the manner equivalent to the PAS 24 test. In addition, where possible, the hardware’ durability and corrosion resistance are tested in accordance with the European handle standard EN 1906:2010.

3 Star rating –

For a cylinder to receive three stars, it must meet the requirements of the one star cylinder and also withstand an attack similar to the PAS 24 cylinder test without the benefit of any protective hardware.

 

 

3.     Yale Anti-Snap Locks

 

Yale is one of the most recognisable lock brands and any lock made by them can be trusted to be reliable. Yale does manufacture a range of anti-snap locks called the ‘AS Platinum Series Cylinder’.  On the Yale website they state;

Whereas previously Yale AS Series cylinders were approved by Sold Secure SS312 Diamond Standard, we have moved away from this standard and focused all our development activities on the latest British Kitemark standard TS007. Homeowners throughout the UK recognize the Kitemark logo as a symbol of product quality and performance. Yale KM, AS and AS Platinum Series cylinders are all approved to TS007.”

So if you have confidence in the British Standard Kite Mark or your insurance policy states that your locks should be British Standard, then a Yale lock is a good product to go for.

 

4.     ERA Invincible Locks

 

ERA is another recognisable name within the home security industry. The ERA have been manufacturing, designing and pushing innovation within the industry for over 175 years. They specialise in trusted window and door security as well as smart home solutions.

The ERA don’t use the Sold Standard or British Standard to give their locks a quality rating. They have a test centre that is accredited by UKAS which means they are approved to independently test to a ‘gold standard’ of PAS 24:2012 certification.

Their solution to the lock-snapping problem is to design a euro lock that has a unique shape. The ‘Invincible Cylinder’ reinforces the central fixing hole with 5 times more material than a standard euro cylinder. According to the ERA website the ‘Invincible Cylinder’ boasts many security features including;

  • Reinforced with five times more metal than a standard cylinder lock – it can‘t be snapped*
  • 6 hardened high security pins for the ultimate anti-pick, anti-drill and anti-bump resistance
  • Robust shape is a strong visual deterrent to would be thieves
  • Independently tested to meet the latest security standards: British Standard Kitemark (TS007), Sold Secure Diamond and the police‘s Secured By Design accreditation

The difference between the ERA locks and other anti-snap locks is that while traditionally anti-snap locks are manufactured to break in a certain place, ERA lock are manufactured to not break at all. Therefore giving euro locks ‘fighting chance’ against potential thieves. These means that even if someone does try to use the lock-snapping method to break in, you will not need a replacement. The ‘Invincible Cylinder’ is designed to withstand over 15 minutes of attack, meaning the idea is that if the burglar is not able to physically snap the lock quickly then they will just give up. Unlike the other anti-snap locks, you will not need a replacement if someone attempts to break in.

5.     Mul-t-lock Integrator Break Secure XP+

 

Established over 40 years ago, Mul-T-Lock has been developing and manufacturing high security locking products for commercial, industrial and residential applications.

Their contribution to the anti-snap market is the Mul-t-lock Integrator Break Secure XP+. It is the first cylinder on the market to achieve a three-star Kitemark accreditation without the need for a high security handle. The Mul-t-lock Integrator Break Secure XP+ comes with a reinforced bar that advances the cylinders protection and resistance to lock snapping. It also features 2 grip deflectors, which makes it difficult for any tool to actually get a grip on the cylinder in the first place. It is also impossible to copy the keys, unless you have the code, so you don’t have to worry about people copying them. All Mul-T-Lock products comply with the highest international standards, such as; UL, CEN, VDS, SKG, CPC, A2P and ISO 9001/2000, ISO14001, SI 18001.

Picking a Anti-Snap Lock

 

So when it comes to picking an anti-snap lock, you need to look at the standards the euro cylinders adhere to. Whether it be British Standard or Sold Secure Diamond Standard, you need to check what standard your insurance provider requires you to have. For more information on lock types, click here.

 

References:
https://www.mul-t-lock.com/en-gb/site/mul-t-lock/about_mul-t-lock/company_profile/
https://www.erahomesecurity.com/mechanical-security/invincible-door-cylinder/
https://www.yale.co.uk/en/yale/couk/news/2013/articles/new-cylinder/
https://unitedlocksmith.net/blog/high-security-door-locks-how-to-choose-the-best-brand

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 

How Not to Lose Your Keys in 2021

Losing your keys is one of the last things that you want to happen in everyday life; you might be locked out of your car, running late to an appointment or caught out in the rain, which undoubtedly, would have a negative impact on your day. However, there is a silver lining to this situation, as like most things it can be avoided through some nifty gadgets and helpful tips!

 

Can keys be tracked?

Most key fobs do not hold within them the technology to track them; however you can get some great gadgets that will allow you to track your keys. These devices can often be attached to your key ring and be activated and tracked through an app on your phone.

 

Is there an app to find lost keys?

Some tracking devices, such as the Amazon Tile work with an app on your phone that will allow you to locate the most recent location that your valuable has been pinpointed in and if in range will allow you to send a push to sound an alarm on the device attached to your valuable.

 

What is the best tracking device for keys?

Amazon Tile on Keys

Our top pick for a key finder device is the Amazon Tile.

This nifty gadget can attach to just about anything; your key ring, your backpack and even your purse! Using the smartphone app, you can locate any nearby valuable that you might have misplaced by the Tile Mate playing a loud tune to help you find it one prompted.

But what if your missing valuable is out of range? Have no fear, the Tile Mate tracked and pinpoints previous locations so you will be able to see where it was last pinpointed, but it doesn’t stop there. Through the extensive Tile community you can report an item missing on the app and if it is close to one of the over 5 Million Tile users can report its location to help you find it. Likewise, should you lose your phone, simply double tap the Tile button on any Tile device to make your phone ring, even on silent.

However, what is probably the best feature is that it is compatible with Alexa, so should you lose your keys down the back of the sofa, you can simple ask Alexa to find your keys activating the loud tune from your Tile device.

With 3 ways of securing your valuables, through adhesive dots; allowing even items such as your camera to be secure, the thread Tiles; which can threaded onto just about anything, or the slimline card version; allowing for it to be discreetly slid into your purse or wallet, whatever possession you would like secure there is a version that will fit you!

Buy the Essentials Combo on Amazon for £89.99, which includes 2x Adhesive Tiles, 1x Thread Tile and a Slimline Tile.

 

What is the best budget tracking device for keys?

TrackR Pixel key tracker on a set of keys

If you don’t want to spend quite as much for the Amazon Tile but still want all of the great features then the TrackR Pixel is a very agreeable second.

With many of the same features as the Amazon Tile with the added bonus of being able to see the last several places that were identified and not just the last one, giving you more options to search should you lose something out and about. Another great feature of this device is the light up LED alongside the activated sound; this means that you’ll be able to find your keys in a flash.

For the more than affordable price of £17.99 from Amazon, will provide you with 3 tracking devices in 3 different colours.

 

Best Alternative Tracking Device

Chipolo One has a history of producing trackers with very loud alarms; this makes it easier to find anything you have lost. It has a reasonable range of 40-50 feet and a nifty feature is that it will buzz if you go out of range of your keys (phone/wallet), meaning it will prevent you from leaving them anywhere. Unlike the Tile these extra features are included in the price, so there are no extra fees. The Chipolo One is best used when looking for your keys in your home and at £21 it’s a cheaper alternative to the Tile.

 

Most Stylish Key Finder

The Orbit Key Finder has a stunning brushed aluminium finish and you can choose from 12 colours making it a great choice for those looking to keep their keyring stylish. It does alert you if you stray too far from your keys, but the range isn’t great. Once you lose the connection with your phone app, it’s very hard to re-establish, so if you are looking for your keys in a hurry, that will be a hindrance. You can replace the battery, but you will need a plastic tool that comes with the Orbit to swap out the battery, unlike the Tile, which you just slide the back off to access.

5 Top Tips on How Not to Lose your Keys

 

1. Give your Keys a Home

Setting aside a set place for your keys will help to stop misplacing them when at home. A bowl or a set of hooks on the wall are easy places that you can throw your keys on when you get home. So when you get that sudden rush of panic ‘where are my keys’, you know that you would have put them in their designated space and

However, do keep in mind this space should be kept away from any windows to avoid ‘key fishing’, from burglars who may notice them when walking by.

 

2. Make Them Glow

Specialist luminescent paint will make anything you paint glow in the dark! Try painting one of your own keys, so if you’re searching in the dark you can easily spot them, with the added benefit that you can easily identify them in the day as well.  

If you rent a property, make sure that you don’t paint a key that isn’t yours as your landlord might not take kindly to painting their key, in this case try painting a bike lock key or another item on your key ring.

 

3. Big, Bold Keyrings

Decorative keyrings can be your best friend as they can make your keys easier to find at the bottom of your bag or when searching around the house, but they also make them easily identifiable. If you were to lose your keys, you could speak to someone of authority in the area you have lost them. Talk to a police officer or a shop manager, and enquire as to whether a set of keys has been handed in. If they have you can easily describe and identify them as yours by the unique and bold key rings you have.

 

4. Carry them in Secure Pockets

The most common way that your keys are stolen is through open pockets and bags. An expert thief would be able to grab something from your pocket or bag without you knowing in seconds. To prevent this make sure you put your keys in a pocket that is closed by a popper or zip and keys that are in your bags should be in an internal zipped compartment. This will reduce your risk of losing your keys through pick-pocketing.

 

5. Invest in a Bluetooth Key Finder

Unfortunately we are all bound to lose our keys at one point or another, however by investing in one of the products we have listed or even another one you have found that’s right for you can save you stress and time.

These products can help you find your keys faster and with more ease than ever before, so if you did lose your keys you’d be thankful you invested in a finder.

How to Fix a Loose Door Handle

Unfortunately loose door handles and door knobs is an often occurrence with all the wear and tear that is daily put upon these household items. Whenever the handle pulls away, jiggles or just keeps turning with no purpose, you know it’s only a matter of time before it stops working completely!

Fortunately, we have put together this helpful guide to help you fix those pesky door handles and knobs so that they can be in working order!

*disclaimer, these are some helpful tips if you want to attempt to fix your door handle yourself. We would always suggest calling in a professional where possible to prevent further damage to the door.

 

Reasons doorknobs or handles can become loose

There are multiple reasons why a door handle or door knob might become loose, these can include:

  1. Wear and tear of time can cause the door handle or doorknob to become wobbly or loose so that it needs adjustments to be made tight again.
  2. It is an older mechanism and has been subjected to a build-up of dirt, dust and other pollutants that may affect the operation of the handle or lock.
  3. There might be a missing screw or a screw loose in the door plate.
  4. There might be an issue with the handle or doorknob mechanism malfunctioning

 

Popular types of door knobs

Exposed set-screw Doorknob

This doorknob has a set of exposed screws which secure the handle to the threaded spindle, and is often the most common way of attaching a doorknob. This version is often easier to tighten up a loose doorknob over that of a concealed screw doorknob as you can easily see how the doorknob is secured into place and how all the parts will fit together.

Hidden screw Doorknob

Although the screws cannot be seen there are still screws holding the doorknob to the spindle, much like the exposed set-screw doorknob. The major difference between the two is that all of the screws that hold together the doorknob are concealed behind a cosmetic faceplate.

 

How do you fix a door handle or Doorknob?

Step 1: Remove the handle or doorknob

If you cannot immediately see the issue the best course of action will be to remove the handle completely.

With exposed screws, you can simply locate the screw and loosen it using an Allen key or a screwdriver. Once all screws have been removed, you should then be able to remove the handle or doorknob.

If you have a handle or doorknob that has hidden screws, you will need to locate the detent access hole. The detent hole is spring-activated with a pin that sticks out to prevent the handle or knob from twisting on the door. You will need to use a flathead screwdriver to be able to press down on the pin. Once this has been done you should be able to spin the shaft which will enable you to remove the knob or handle.

 

Step 2: Remove the base

After removing the handle or doorknob the next step is to remove the base from the door. To remove the base, you’ll need to take a flathead screwdriver and try to slowly pry the ring loose. Be sure to be careful when removing the base as not to damage the backing plate. Should the backing plate be damaged it can stop the handle from ever going back on properly and you will need to call out a Locksmith.

 

Step 3: Identify the screws and tighten

After removing the base you should be able to see a set of screws, which most likely will need to be tightened. These screws run through the door and into the backing plate which is what holds the handle or doorknob together. Whist carefully holding the backing plate carefully tighten each screw.

 

Step 4: Reposition the base and restore the handle

After you have tightened the screws, you can put the base back onto the backing plate by clipping it into place. Once the base is in place you can place the handle or doorknob on the spindle shaft in order to line up the holes with either the screw holes (if you have visible screws) or the detent (should you have hidden screws).

The last step is to replace any exposed screws and you are finished with hopefully a fixed door handle or doorknob!

 

What to do if a doorknob is loose?

If a doorknob loosely spins on the spindle, the cause is usually that a set-screw similar to a grub screw, has loosened up and has lost its grip on the handle spindle. To adjust the screw or Allen key, look around the collar on the doorknob to identify the loose screw and using the appropriate screwdriver tighten the screws.

If a screw has been lost, you can take the doorknob to a hardware store to find a replacement.

 

DIY or Hire a Locksmith?

Depending on your skill level, repairing a door handle could be a fun weekend activity that challenges your knowledge or it could become a nightmare of a situation where you could actually end up worse than before!

 

Why Should You Hire a Locksmith?

  • Guarantee that the problem will be fixed
  • Saves time, frustration and energy
  • Can provide extra advice on maintenance and upkeep
  • Should a mechanism or lock need to be replaced it can be done immediately whilst the Locksmith is on site

 

DIY

  • Requires times and patience
  • Risk of the door handle not being repaired correctly
  • May require a range of tools
  • Inexperience could make the situation worse

 

Whether you decide to tackle the repair yourself or hire a Locksmith, there are many benefits to contracting your Local Locksmith to help you repair a loose handle. Not only will you get first class customer service, but are guaranteed the issue to be rectified.