What is a Smart Home?

You may have heard of the term “smart home” being thrown about, but what exactly is meant by having a smart home? The Oxford English Dictionary defines a smart home as: “a home equipped with lighting, heating and electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by Smartphone or computer.”

Smart homes are becoming ever increasingly popular due to rapidly advancing technologies; they aim to make our lives easier and our homes safer too!  Have you ever had those niggling worries that you may have left your heating on when you’re out and about? With smart home technology there is no need to worry and rush back home to save on your heating bills. Find out why you can leave these worries behind in our blog below.

 

What are the Benefits of a Smart Home?

Any appliance in your home that uses electricity can ultimately be a smart object and respond to your instructions whether that is by voice command, remote control, tablet or Smartphone! Smart thermostats and lighting are becoming more and more popular, what a luxury it is to turn the heating on and get the coffee machine running just before you get home to escape a breezy winters day!

Smart lighting is also great when it is just too much of a struggle to get off the sofa to turn the lights off when watching your favourite Netflix series but it is also a good security measure too. You can set your lights on automatic timers to make untrustworthy people believe you’re at home when in reality; you’re in the sunshine relaxing by the pool on holiday!

How does knowing exactly what is inside your fridge freezer when you’ve just run into your local supermarket sound? A smart fridge can tell you exactly that by using internal cameras that connect to your Smartphone so you never have to worry about buying more than you need or forgetting an essential item for your Sunday roast! Plus smart fridge freezers allow you to watch TV or listen to the radio; making cooking and cleaning the kitchen much more fun, you may even be able to rope the kids to get stuck in and help too!

 

How much does it cost?

Smart home technologies are vast and varied, therefore, so are the costs. It depends on what you want to do to upgrade your home; it could be a small upgrade to a smart light bulb or a whole home revamp that could mean rewiring the electrics too! We’ve seen smart light bulbs from as little as £12.99 but costs for a full revamp can easily reach £8000… unless you’re Bill Gates whom has spent an estimated $100 million upgrading his home to a smart home! His home includes hidden speakers behind the wallpaper in every room and a heated driveway, how the other half live comes to mind!

 

What Technologies are out there?

Google, Amazon and Samsung have all developed smart home technologies which is hardly surprising seeing as they are all top names in Smartphone development. They ultimately all provide the same thing by connecting your appliances around the home to operate at your command but they do all have their own unique selling point. If you are thinking of buying one it is worth doing a bit of research into each product to discover what will work best for your home and your needs.

Along with the main hub that connects all the devices, you need a voice operated mini hub or download one of the purpose built apps on your Smartphone, tablet or smart watch to be able to give your appliances commands.

All three brands offer a range of smart appliances too including; door bells, thermostats, smart locks, cameras, light bulbs, speakers and more!

 

Smart Home Security

As well as making your life a little easier, smart home technology can also make your home a little safer. Starting around the perimeter of your home, cameras and motion detectors are now able to pick up movement in pitch-black darkness and are even able to differentiate the movements between pets and burglars so that you aren’t notified every time a cat jumps into your garden.

Installing smart door locks is another great way of making your home just that little bit safer, from wireless locks to locks that have a built-in camera there is a wide variety of options out there! To see our favourites reviewed take a look at our recent blog “Yale Smart Locks Buying Guide”.

Interior cameras are also a great way to monitor what is going on inside your home when you’re not there, it could be something as simple as checking out what your dog has been up to during the day but it can also be a great tool should your home be broken into.

 

The Future of Smart Home Technology

Whether you love technology or hate it, there is no denying that smart home technology is becoming more of a common thing to have in and around your home. As well as aiming to make our lives easier during our usually busy schedules, it is changing the way we think about security. Take a look at our blog “The Future of Home Security” to find out what other technical advancements are being made to improve our home security alongside smart home technology! Keep up to date with the latest security news with our blog here at Keytek®.

The Best Smart Locks For 2020

The traditional key and lock might soon be phased out through the invention of the increasingly popular smart lock.  It is now possible for you to enter your home with a simple push of a button, a swipe of a card or even your phone!

Here at Keytek® we are taking a look at the best smart locks you can get in 2020 that will help you secure your home, protect your valuables and overall make your security more intelligent, prompt and effortless.

 

What are smart locks?

A smart lock is an electronic and/or mechanical lock that can open wirelessly with the authorisation of users. Most smart locks take away the need for a traditional key but rather can grant users entry through their smartphone or a key fob.

 

Types of smart door locks

The most common mean of entry include keypads, biometric or Bluetooth.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

RFID locks allow for entry by using a key fob or key card; much like the system that is used in hotels.

Bluetooth Enabled Locks

Some locks which can operate using Bluetooth will detect your smartphone’s Bluetooth ID and can open when you approach.

Keypads and Touch Screens

Early smart locks use keypads as means of entry, offering the user to set up a unique pin code to gain access. Newer smarts locks have replaced keypads with touch screens with panels instead of buttons, for sleeker design and increased security.

Biometric Entry

Biometric entry smart locks use fingerprint identification to operate the lock. This is now operating on most current smartphones.

 

Are smart locks really better?

The biggest benefits of smart locks are that they are configurable and can be more secure than the traditional key and lock. With  digital locks they can be changed at any moment, should you think that someone has gained the code for your home or stolen a key fob, you can disconnect, reprogram, or wipe any potential security risk within a matter of minutes. Likewise if you would like to give someone temporary access, you would be able to allow someone access to your home but maintain that you have complete control over who is coming in and out of your home.

 

Are all smart locks keyless?

Different models of smart locks will come with different features. Many of these digital locks come with a manual key override in case of fault or emergency. However, some models have committed completely to being keyless and do not have a keyway.

 

Why doesn’t everyone have a smart lock?

Similar to all new technology, it can take a while for people to completely trust in this new type of product. The advantage of the traditional key lock is that you know it is going to work, is going to secure your home and most of all you know how to operate it.

One potential downside there might be to smart locks is the unknown. What will you do if it doesn’t work, how will I enter my house, can they be hacked to gain entry? These are all questions that someone is bound to have when thinking of making the technological change. However, do keep in mind that as they become more popular, processes and procedures will become more common knowledge, the base level to operate them will become more widely spread and you can’t argue against the convenience these locks will bring into modern lives.

 

What do you need to consider when buying a smart lock in 2020?

With the start of the new decade there are some things that you may want to consider whilst you shop around for your new smart lock to make sure it is the best model for you.

How smart is it?

Different versions of smart lock will hold different features; all of which will aim to make your life easier. Before buying a smart lock you should consider what features you would like, for example, you can get models that sense when you are approaching the door so will automatically unlock the door for you.

Replace or Retrofit?

Some models require you to completely replace the mechanism within your door where as other can simply be retro-fitted over your existing lock. Retrofitting models can often be installed without professional help and can take only a few minutes whereas models that require replacing your existing lock will most likely need to be installed by a professional.

Smart Home Integration

The ideal smart lock would be easily paired to other smart home devices such as an Alexa, Google Assistant or Homekit for a fully immersive smart experience. Depending on the model, make and brand of smart lock, you should consider what smart objects you might already have and how you would like for them all to interconnect.

Alternative Entry Means

Some smart locks will come with a manual key override built into the lock should the keyless technology fail, whereas others may have multiple ways of access for example through keypads, key fobs or a fingerprint system. Having multiple ways of access would mean that should there be an issue with one method of access you would still be able to open your door. When buying your smart lock consider what options you will have should your lock fail and what different options of access each model offers.

 

What are the best smart door locks for 2020?

 

August smart lock

Best Overall: August Smart Lock Pro

£399 from Amazon

This lock seems to truly have it all, with a multitude of different pairing opinions to smart home devices and an array of clever features that really allow you to utilise all of the benefits of a smart door lock whilst still maintaining a sleek and stylish look! Connecting with Alexa, Google Assistant or the Apple HomeKit, whichever smart home platform you have is compatible with this door making it all too easy to control access of your home with just your voice. Another great feature of this smart door lock is the easy to navigate, easy to use app that allows you and additional chosen users access to your home. Another amazing feature of this lock is the auto-lock and auto-unlock feature; you can set the smart lock to automatically lock or unlock when your phone gets within a certain distance of your home meaning that with hands full of shopping there is no hassle to try and grab your keys.

This lock is really the stand out for landlord and Airbnb hosts as it offers a hassle free and efficient way to let guests in and out of your home whilst ensuring that your home is secure. This lock integrates into the Airbnb booking system allowing you to give your guests a virtual key when they book that only works for the dates that you set it for.

 

Samsung smart door lock

Best Price: Samsung Digital Door Lock

£129.99 from Amazon

Although cheaper than the other models in our list but still relatively expensive, the features that you get with this smart lock are definitely worth the price. Samsung are a global brand featuring a range of sleek and clean, phones, TV’s and appliances, which have now branched out into the world of smart locks. Without a keyway, this lock is completely keyless and can only be opened with a code of radio frequency identification (RFID) card. With no keyway it means that this is truly a keyless smart lock, making traditional methods of forced entry such as bumping or picking not a threat to security.

A great feature of this smart lock is the random security code feature. Some might worry that with the keypad it might leave impressions of what the code is to get into the house but rather with this feature engaged, 2 random numbers will have to be pressed before the password can be coded in. This means that intruders are prevented from checking the fingerprints left to try to gain entry.

 

Smart Yale Lock

Best Aesthetic: Yale Conexis L1

£269.99 from Amazon

This smart lock is the most attractive and discrete model on our list and with all of the different finishes you are sure to find the right colour to fit within your home. Looking like the regular ‘lift and lock’ handles that are commonly seen on uPVC doors, the Yale Conexis L1 is designed to work with existing multi-point locks by replacing the handle and cylinder of the existing lock.

The general functionality of this lock is basic but effective; with the use of the app or a RFID tag you can easily open the door. And as a massive benefit, Yale have designed RFID tags that can be attached to almost anything such as the back of your phone(should you not want to use the app), your bag or even a watch, meaning that with one swipe of a RFID enhanced item you can gain access to your home. Although no external keyway on the door there is a thumb turn internally for easy locking and unlocking once indoors. A downside to this smart door lock however is that it cannot connect to other smart home objects without the use of a Z-Wave module, this optional module (costing approximately £60) will allow the Conexis L1 to connect a SmartThings system.

Overall, although the Yale Conexis L1 doesn’t have a mass of features it can do what it says on the box, providing that smart door lock system without the chunkiness or obviousness of other models.

 

In summary, we have now only started to see the wonders that using smart technology can do for us, and the ease that it brings. Not only will smart locks give you complete remote control over your door security but they also can come with a wide range of features such as, smart home integration capabilities and forced entry alarms that give you peace of mind that your home is safe.

Could The Grinch Really Steal Christmas?

“He slithered and slunk, with a smile most unpleasant, around the whole room and took every present!”

The Grinch is arguably one of the most iconic Christmas stories of all times, from the original Dr Seuss book to the many film adaptions, and easily shows those who can’t get into the festive spirit of the holidays. As we here at Keytek® like to give our customers insights on safety tips and tricks we’ve decided to examine if the Grinch could actually steal Christmas and how you can protect your homes against any Grinches this festive season!

 

Sliding Down the Chimney

Santa Clause is normally the only one with the power to come down the chimney and in this case any old Grinch most likely will not be able to fit down your chimney. However, they could perhaps come into your home through a door or window that isn’t secured. Surprisingly the majority of burglaries happen between 10am and 3pm in the day rather than at night, this is thought to be because people are less likely to be home during the day and therefore the house will be empty.

To make sure that your home is secure this Christmas, ensure that you close and lock all doors when you leave the house and when you go to bed in the evening to deter people from trying to forcefully gain entry to your home.

 

Stealing the Christmas tree

It is unlikely that if someone broke into your home they would steal your Christmas tree but it is rather the decorations that you put on the exterior of your home that might be at risk! Many reports every year are made to the police about stolen Christmas lights and garden decorations and unfortunately only a very small percentage are ever returned.

To help secure your outdoor Christmas decorations consider using lightweight wire or lightweight chains to attach your decorations to sturdier objects such as trees and fences. This will help to deter burglars as it would be more difficult for ill-wishers to steal, making it a less appealing target.

 

Stealing All the Presents

The Grinch notoriously took all of the Who’s presents but when his heart grew 3 sizes decided to give them back. Unfortunately this is not something that usually happens, The Huffpost reported that between 2011 and 2016 only 7% of 2 million burglaries cases had valuables returned.

It’s a great feeling at Christmas when you’ve got all the presents under the tree, all prettily packaged but this is actually something that could you vulnerable to burglars. Burglars like to be in and out during a break in, so having all your expensive items in one place makes it tempting for an ill-wisher. By keeping your presents out of sight or even hidden away till the big day, will help to reduce your chances of a break-in this Christmas!

 

Posing as Santa!

This is something that defiantly landed the Grinch on Santa’s naughty list! But he was convincing enough that he managed to fool Cindy-Lou Who that he was someone he wasn’t. This is actually a technique that some ill-wishers use to distract you and let them into your home. This isn’t as common as forced entry but is still something you should be aware of.

There are a number of factors that you can look out for to keep your home secure:

  • If someone claims to be an official, ask for ID. Anyone official will always carry and be more than happy to show you their ID. If they don’t or you are still unsure you can request that they leave and then shut the door immediately.

 

  • If someone comes knocking on your door for whatever reason and they try to invite themselves in always be cautious! If you don’t know them, it’s always best to keep them at the door or just politely shut the door instead.

 

  • Consider installing a door restrictor or chain as a means to talk to the person on the other side without fully opening the door, this will give you the power to safely examine who has come to your door without making yourself potentially vulnerable.

 

If you suspect a bogus caller you should call 999 and report it to the police.

Freshers’ Week Safety Tips!

 

 

Going to University is a new adventure that is both exciting and nerve racking. You leave the comfort of home to live with people you don’t know and you have to cook and clean yourself, maybe for the first time! Suddenly you are thrown into a world of independence, which is strange to most. We know that safety might not be at the forefront at your mind, but it’s an important thing to remember. Whilst you are off making memories and creating new experiences, we’ve put together some tips for you to remember to keep you safe and help you enjoy your fresher’s week!

 

  1. Explore the campus and surrounding areas

You’ve just moved in and have met the people you are going to live with for the next year; and no doubt you’ll all want to explore.  When doing so, make sure your getting a better grasp of your surroundings. Think of land marks that could help you find your way around such as large trees to help you find your way. This will really help when it gets darker and during your first couple days where you might find it more confusing to get around.

 

  1. Travel in packs

There is always safety in numbers, especially in an area you are new to. Not only will being in a group help with making new friends but you can all look out for one another whilst still having fun. Extra people who might remember the way home, a cheaper taxi fare and an increase in safety are just some of the reasons to stick to groups. We recommend travelling in groups no smaller than 3 as that way you will have 2 other people to watch your back

 

  1. Know how you can get home

Have a look at the transport options available in your new city; know where taxi ranks and bus stops might be for you to get home. Whenever you go out, whether it is on a night out or just down to the shops knowing how you could get home will always keep you safer and more alert.

A top tip for fresher’s parties is to program a taxi service number into your phone before you go out so that you don’t have to worry about trying to find a taxi or calling round. You can easily get it up on your phone and get home safely. If you know what time you will be leaving, you can always book one in advance too.

 

  1. Eat plenty and know your limits

During fresher’s week there are bound to be some events that include alcohol, we won’t preach to not drink but rather drink responsibly. Make sure to eat plenty before going to one of these events and make sure that you know your limits; try and drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink and recognise when you should stop. You wouldn’t want to ruin your night by ending up too drunk on the side of the road – especially when you’re with people you don’t know as well.

  1. Keep an eye on your drink

Pubs, clubs and events can become very crowded with many people in a small case. Remain alert and cautious with the possibility of your drink being spiked or at the very least keep an eye out to prevent your drink being swiped!

The basic things to remember with drinks on a night out are;

  • Don’t accept a drink that you haven’t seen be made
  • Don’t accept a drink from a stranger
  • When you put down your drink, it’s best not to pick it up again
  • Place a napkin or coaster over your drink to stop ‘drive by’ spiking

 

 

  1. Make sure your phone is fully charged

In this day and age, our phones can be our lifelines. No doubt you’ll be taking yours to document your night, text new friends and take great photos. The important thing to check is that your phone is fully charged and has data before going out. Potentially you will be calling a taxi, getting an address and checking in with people at the end of the night so you want to make sure you’re prepared.

 

 

  1. Student Accommodation Security

You are sharing a flat or house with people that you potentially haven’t met so it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Best practise is to always lock your doors and windows when you leave your room and don’t leave any valuables in sight where people passing might see them. If you are in student halls, for safety reasons you should never let in strangers into the building; the polite thing to do would be to hold the door open for someone behind you but you don’t know who you’re letting in to the building and what intentions they might have.

With privately rented accommodation you should always check that all the locks are in working order and have been changed after the previous tenants have moved out. When you move in you should take a look around the property to make sure that all the doors, locks and windows are working and that there are no obvious wears and tears to the property.

Zero Waste Week

You probably already know that the earth’s climate is warming and is causing detrimental effects to our planet such as extreme weather, melting ice sheets and rising sea levels. It is widely known that we humans and our current consumerism culture is a big part to blame for global warming. Little by little we are all mostly trying to do our bit to save the planet through different eco-friendly and mindfulness schemes. You may have heard of terms such as reducing your carbon footprint and being eco-friendly but have you heard of Zero Waste Week?

 

What is Zero Waste Week?

 

Zero Waste Week was founded in 2008 by Rachelle Strauss and has taken place during the first week of September every year since. It aims to raise awareness to reduce landfill waste, save money and preserve resources through marketing and engaging workshops. Zero Waste Week has been featured on television, in newspapers and magazines and they have collaborated with councils and police forces across the country.

You can find out more here: https://www.zerowasteweek.co.uk/

 

Why is Zero Waste Week Important?

 

The UK produced 222.9 million tonnes of waste in 2016. Once this waste begins to rot and decompose in the landfill it emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes a great deal to climate change. With millions of tonnes of waste being dumped into landfill every year and that waste taking up to 1000’s of years to decompose, not only are we rapidly running out of landfill space but we are rapidly increasing the amount of harmful gases that are being put out into the atmosphere. It’s understood that work needs to be done to decrease the amount of toxins that are produced every day and governing bodies across the world are all taking action to combat this issue.

The European Union have stated that “preventing dangerous climate change is a key priority for the European Union. Europe is working hard to cut its greenhouse gas emissions substantially while encouraging other nations and regions to do likewise.” The EU have set themselves targets to reach per decade to cut those greenhouse gases, for example by 2020 the EU aim to reach a 20% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions compared with 1990 and hope to raise that percentage to 40% by 2030. The European Union is thinking long term and aim to cut those emissions by a dramatic 80-95% by 2050, not only do they hope to reach this target for cleaner air but hope to also boost the economy and create new jobs whilst doing so.

 

How Can You Help?

 

The European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) are already implementing changes to prevent the effects of global warming increasing even further but the big difference starts with each and every one of us. If everyone in the world recycled we would be looking at a very different story. Earth and its oceans would be cleaner, landfills would shrink by a staggering amount and plants would thrive. So what can you do to help?

Zero Waste Week means exactly that, zero waste. There are many easy and simple things that you can do to be waste free that will hugely help the planet and save you a few pennies in the long run too.

Try swapping your take-out coffee cup by having your morning coffee inside the shop or buying a re-useable coffee flask at your favourite coffee shop, which in time will save you money. You can also recycle your old belongings and turn them into something new, e.g. turn your old sheets into cleaning rags instead of throwing them out which also saves you money by not having to buy new products. Going Zero Waste is a win-win situation for you and the earth, but it can be tricky to get started. We have created a list of 10 easy things you can do to cut down your waste and decrease your carbon footprint in the infographic below to help you get started.

Zero Waste Week Infographic

 

Keytek® and Saving the Planet

 

Here at Keytek® security is paramount to us, including the security and safety of our planet. We are working on cutting our greenhouse gas emissions from using electric cars, printing less and recycling more and by using re-useable water bottles. We’d love to know if you have any tips for us and how you got on in going green or waste free in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/784263/UK_Statistics_on_Waste_statistical_notice_March_2019_rev_FINAL.pdf

https://ec.europa.eu/clima/citizens/eu_en

https://epthinktank.eu/2019/03/26/what-is-the-european-union-doing-about-climate-change/

https://www.goingzerowaste.com/

https://www.zerowasteweek.co.uk/

Bournemouth Air Festival Safety Tips

The annual Bournemouth Air Festival is an event loved by many; masses of people all over the UK travel to Bournemouth to witness and enjoy the festivities. It is estimated that 9.25 million people have attended since 2008, with the events and crowds getting bigger every year! Although it is sure to be a great event, safety is still a factor that will need to be considered. We put together some tips and advice to make sure you have the best possible time at Bournemouth Air Festival 2019!

 

Prepare for the weather

It’s the summertime in the UK and we would all love to think it’s going to be beautiful sunshine down on the south coast; however this may not be the case. Make sure that you take a look at the weather forecasted on the days you’re planning to attend so you can plan ahead. The essentials will be sun cream, water and a light jacket or jumper. As the British weather is so unpredictable you don’t want to be underprepared which could result in sunburn or a cold!

Look out for the cordoned off zones

There are a multitude of events that happen every day at the air festival, including some stunt performances. This means that parts of the beach will be cordoned off for these events. For your own safety and that of the performers you should never enter these areas. Best practise is to avoid any sections that are barricaded.

 

Wear the right shoes

The Bournemouth Air Festival takes place between the Bournemouth and Boscombe pier with events, rides and stalls scattered in-between. This stretch of beach is 1.4 miles, which is a lot of walking!  If you want to stroll between the two piers be sure to wear suitable, comfortable shoes to avoid hurting your feet!

 

Take care when with kids

This family friendly festival is great fun for every generation but be aware of the crowds.

With the mass of people that attend every year it can be easy to get separated. LV=Kidzone operates along the seafront, where kids can be taken if they are lost and separated. They even sell wristbands at the Tourist Information Centre to help indentify your child and give you a call if they turn up.

A great tip for older children is to write your phone number and name on their arm or on a piece of paper and leave it with the child, so that if they get lost or can’t find you, someone can give you a call to tell you where they are.

 

Watch for crime

Unfortunately, like with every big event, crime can be a problem due to the crowds. Make sure to take a bag with internal compartments where you can put valuables such as your phone, keys and wallet.

 

 Leave the drone at home

Drone are banned from the event. Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are not allowed at the event as it is illegal to fly the crafts within the restricted airspace. This restricted airspace is establish to protect participating aircrafts and display teams, with the festival staff under strict instructions to cancel the display programmer if drones are flying in the airspace. Leave the drones at home to stop from spoiling the fun for everyone.

 

Know your beach safety

This festival is directly on the beach so along some safety tips for the festival you’ll need to remember but also some general beach safety tips.

  • Swim at a lifeguarded beach; between the two piers there are many lifeguard stations, which can help if you get stuck or are in danger
  • Swim between the red and yellow flags; There can be strong currents so best practice is to swim between the flags as they are the designated safe zone as set by the lifeguards
  • Don’t use inflatables in strong winds or rough seas; using these can leave you vulnerable to being swept out to seas and placing yourself in danger
  • If you are in trouble stay still and raise your arm above your head; lifeguards are trained to recognise people in danger so if you are in trouble someone will come out and help
  • Know the important numbers; 999 for emergency services such as Fire Brigade, Police and Ambulance, 112 for the Coast Guard.

We hope these tips help you to have a fun and safe time at the air festival!

Click here to find out more information about the Bournemouth Air Festival

Notting Hill Carnival Safety Tips

Notting Hill Carnival Safety Tips

 

Notting Hill Carnival is sure to be a lively, fun and welcoming event that is immersed in colour, music and food. However, like every big event it does come with dangers, so being aware and alert will help you to stay safe and smart at the carnival. We have put together some tips for you, so you can stay safe this bank holiday weekend!

This list is not by any means exhaustive, so please consider taking all personal precautions you can for your overall safety.

 

Wear minimal jewellery

All the flamboyant costumes and colours might inspire you to reflect that in your own wardrobe but wearing sentimental and perhaps expensive jewellery could end in disaster. At these events crime can be an issue, so to make yourself less of a target we suggest wearing as little jewellery as possible.

We suggest wearing inexpensive costume jewellery; so you can still partake in the spirit of the festival but if it is lost it won’t ruin your good time.

 

Travel in groups to and from the event

There is always safety in numbers and feeling safe will help you to enjoy yourself, so if you are attending with friends, it’s a good idea to stick together. With millions of people estimated to attend there are many risks from separation to pick-pocketing, being a part of a larger group will minimise your chances of becoming a target.

We suggest setting a specific spot that is memorable and stationary at the start of the event, so that if anyone gets separated you have a way of finding each other.

 

Be alcohol aware

There is nothing to say that you cannot drink at this sort of event as there is bound to be plenty of it, but what can be said is that if you are going to drink, just remember these three simple things:

  • Don’t accept any drink that you have not seen been opened or made
  • Don’t accept drinks from strangers
  • Know your limit

Please check out the Drinkaware website before attending the festival for some more tips on how to stay safe if you are drinking alcohol at the festival, you don’t want to have your time ruined by drinking too much and not being prepared!

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/

 

Plan ahead

Always plan ahead whether it is for the weather or it is how you are going to get home, make sure you are prepared for all situations.

Designate a sober driver to take everyone home or organise a taxi to avoid being stranded in the middle of the night.

It is England in August, so the weather could be anything. Make sure to look at weather forecasts leading up to and on the day of the event so that you are not caught in the rain without a coat or in the sun without sun cream!

 

If you are unsure go to the police

At these big events there will always be a larger amount of police patrolling the area, if you get separated from your friends or see something suspicious the police will always be around to help.

 

Think about your feet!

There’s going to be loud music, beautiful costumes and surely a fair share of dancing,

so we suggest leaving the heels at home and go for a comfortable pair of supportive shoes. Likewise, wearing open-toed shoes such as flip flops or sandals is not going to be the best idea. In the city streets there might be glass that could cut your foot, or millions of people who could potentially step on your toes and break them. You don’t want a good day and night ruined by poor footwear choices! Not to mention the painful blisters!

 

Don’t splash the cash

Like said before, unfortunately there are sometimes people who are looking to steal at these events and displaying large amounts of money  at these events can make you a prime target. Try taking a suitable and secure bag where you can store valuables such as cards and cash in internal compartments. Enjoy your time and have fun but try to be discreet about the amount of cash you are carrying to reduce the risk of becoming a target.

We suggest separating your some of your money, so that in the unfortunate scenario you are pick pocketed you have a back up for the emergency.

We hope that these tips help you to have a fun, safe time at Notting Hill Carnival. Find more carnival safety tips at Crime Stoppers UK and Visit London!