Stay Safe this New Years Eve!

new years eve

It’s New Years Eve and it’s time to celebrate!

Some of us like to let our hair down when bringing in the New Year; whether you are going to a house party or out on the town. But it’s also an evening you may be at your most vulnerable, in London alone in they increase police presence to 3000 officers around the city because of New Years Eve. Now we’re not saying that you should stay wrapped up in your home with the doors locked, but there are ways you can keep yourself safe while out.

Always have eyes on your drink.

If your drink is unattended for any length of time, then the safe bet is to get a new one. It takes second for someone to slip something in to a drink that’s been left. It is also unadvisable to accept a drink from a stranger, unless you have seen the bartender make it. Saving money on a drink is not worth the risk.

Maintain the #squadgoals

Always keep an eye on where your friends are. If you’ve gone out in a group, make sure no one has been left on their own, and that you haven’t been left on YOUR own. There are so many ways to lose your squad on a night out like; going to the loo or queueing at the bar. But it is so important that you keep each other safe. You are less likely to be targeted by criminals if you are in a group.

The creepy guy has no right to grab you.

When you and your friends are having a good time on the dance floor and someone is getting too close for comfort or touching you; tell them to stop and go away. If a person keeps touching you, after you have told them to stop, or is getting too close for comfort then tell a member of security staff or bar staff, they should deal with them for you.

Use bright and busy streets

So the place you’re at is a bit naff and you fancy moving on. Make sure you walk down streets that are well-lit and busy. When you are out in the cold it may be tempting to take a short cut down a back alley or park. This will leave you extremely vulnerable, especially if you are on your own. There will be plenty of people around on New Years Eve so you shouldn’t find it hard to find people around. Don’t be the cliché girl in the horror movie, who walks right into the monster down the dark alleyway!

Your bag is not worth your life (even if it is Michael Kors)

If the worst does happen and someone tries to steal your bag…let them. You can replace everything that’s in there and If someone is willing to try to take your bag in the street then they are probably willing to hurt you to get it. If you don’t put up any fight they will most likely to leave you alone. It’s a good idea to keep your keys in in your pocket, so if someone does take your bag then you can still get in at home.

Never drink and drive…obviously

Make sure you plan how you are getting home. If you have a plan in place then you are less likely to be tempted to drink drive. Try to pre book a taxi or beg a friend for a lift. If you do end up getting a taxi, then make sure he is licenced. Take a picture of his licence number and send it to a family member or a friend, a legit taxi driver shouldn’t mind you doing this.

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye (literally)

Fireworks are an integral part of New Years Eve, but unless you are an expert you should not be lighting up those bad boys yourself. It might not be you lighting them, but if an intoxicated friend tries to start a display…MOVE AWAY. It might be fun looking at the pretty lights, but what won’t be fun is ending up in hospital with burns. Leave it to the professionals.

 

So if you decide to go out to celebrate New Years Eve, make sure that you take steps to keep yourself safe. We wish you all a safe and prosperous New Year!

Pet Security

Pets are much loved members of the family, and their safety and security is just as important as ours. The Kennel Club reported in 2014[1] there were more than 70,000 pets missing in the UK, with this worrying statistic in mind we have collated a few tips to help keep your pets safe and secure.

Pet Microchips and collars

Dogs are required by law to wear collars in public, displaying clearly their owners name and address [2], in order to help recover them when he or she is lost or stolen. From April 2016 it became compulsory for owners to microchip their dogs and all details be kept up to date [3]. Microchips are often considered a more reliable form of identification, as unlike a collar, the implanted microchip cannot be easily removed. Cats are not required by law to wear a collar or be microchipped; however for their safety and security it is advisable that they also have a form of identification.

It is also advised that pet owners should take photos of their pets regularly, and write down a clear description taking note of any distinguishing marks in case a pet ever goes missing.

Pet Insurance

The safety and security of pets is priceless, however it is important to remember that pets are a huge financial investment, with owners having to pay costly veterinary bills for the treatment of illness and injury.  Pet insurance provides a safety net to help safeguard you from any emergency costs related to your pets, including cover for theft or loss.

Walking the dog

When taking a dog for a walk they are safest when on a leash, however most dogs needs to be let off the lead when it is safe to do so, in order to run around and explore. Owners are advised to train their dogs to stay within view when off the lead and to respond to their owners call when summoned.

Often people will leave their dog tied up outside a shop or premises where they are not allowed inside, but this can be very dangerous and be used a great opportunity for a thief. It is best to avoid leaving your pet outside on its own or with strangers, as they are most vulnerable when they are not with their owners.

Cat flaps

Cats often come in and out of a home without their owner’s knowledge, putting them at risk of theft. It is advisable a cat is trained to come indoors when summoned by a certain sound or at a specific time. It is recommended owners keep their cats indoors throughout the night in order to safeguard them from foxes, drivers and various other dangers.

For security purposes, a cat flap should only be fitted on the side of the door away from the handle[4], or fitted to the wall instead of a door, this helps prevent burglars and intruders using the cat flap to put their hand through and reach the lock or key

Missing pet?

In the unfortunate event of losing a pet, the search should be initiated by informing all local veterinary practices, animal welfare organisations and your local animal warden service. The next step would be circulating flyers displaying a photo of your pet and highlighting any distinguishable features.

Remember to inform all agencies if you find your pet, and remove all flyers and lost pet notices. The lost and found system is extremely busy and overflowing with details that other owners have a huge difficulty being reunited with their pets.

If you are at all concerned with the safety of your pet there are various organisations out there that can help and provide advice, some of these are linked below. You can also contact your pet’s registered veterinary practice as they are experts and always more than happy to help.

Pet Cameras

Your pets may be safe while you are watching over them but what happens when you leave the house? For those who are constantly on the move, whether you are working full time or doing the school run, it can be impossible to be at home all day. However, many will feel sceptical leaving their pets home alone. Installing a smart home security device, including a camera, can allow owners to keep an eye on their pets remotely. There are other smart security devices on the market that don’t just include cameras to keep your pets safe, like a monitored smoke detector. Having a device like this could save the lives of your pets in the event of a fire.

Pet cameras have come a long way in the past couple of years. Advancements including 2 way microphones and treat dispensers mean it’s never been easier to keep an eye and interact with your pet when you’re not at the house. We are going to run down the best pet cameras on the market and help you find one that suitable for your home and budget!

 

Furbo- £199.00 from Amazon

 

  • Treat dispenser
  • Two-way speaker
  • Motion detection
  • Night vision
  • Bark alert

The Furbo is a solid choice for a dog owner, because it is specifically design for dogs. There is a treat dispenser, which you can control from your phone, which is great if your dog is getting a little distressed when you’re not home. Another feature is the 2 way speaker, meaning if your dog does become very distressed while you’re out, then you can try and sooth them. You can also use the night vision to check on your dog throughout the night. What sets the Furbo apart from the others is the ‘bark sensor’ you will get a notification if your puppy is barking, meaning you know when you need to use the treat dispenser or the 2 way speaker.

The design of Furbo is also a plus; its sleek and stylish, meaning it’s not obtrusive in your home. The picture quality is great, meaning you can post any footage you like on social media. Plus 2 people can use the app, so you and your partner can both keep an eye!

 

Pawbo+- £99 from Amazon

 

  • Treat dispenser
  • 2 way speaker
  • Motion detection
  • Laser game

 

Pawbo is aimed at both cat and dog owners. It includes a fun laser game so you can keep your cat entertained remotely. Pawbo also has a treat dispenser and a 2 way speaker so you can sooth your pet while you’re away. The picture quality isn’t quite as good as the Furbo, however 8 people can use the app at once and talk to your pet throughout the day.

The Pawbo has a range of ringtones you can play, including birds chirping, cats meowing, a rat squeaking or a plastic bag rustling and the laser game aimed at cat. However animal behaviourists have said that this may confuse your pet, so it’s worth being mindful when using this feature.

Petcube Bites- £189.60 from Amazon

 

  • Treat dispenser
  • 2 way speaker
  • Motion detection
  • Night vision
  • Can stream directly to Facebook Live

 

 

 

 

This camera is a bit chunkier than the others and comes with a high capacity treat holder, so if you have more than one pet, you won’t run out of treats fast. Whenever sound or movement is detected the Petcube will make short videos and with the app you can see up to 4 hours of clips. This is the only camera to offer a treat giving schedule, meaning you don’t have to take time out of your work day to do it. You can also vary the distance the Petcube throws the treat, from nearby, to 6 foot!

Vimtag 720p HD- £49.99 from Amazon

 

  • 2 way speaker
  • Motion detector
  • Night vision
  • 4x zoom

With the Vimtag you can pan and tilt the camera so you can see all around the room, which is useful if you’re pet likes to wander around. You can be sent motion detected notifications, so you know when you pet is moving around, rather than watching them sleep for hours on end. You can also chat with your pet through the 2 way camera an see them in the dark with the night vision feature. It doesn’t have a treat dispenser, but is a good little camera if you just want to keep an eye on your pet.

 

CleverDog- £30 from Amazon

 

  • 2 way speaker
  • Motion detection
  • Night vision
  • Sends picture to your phone when motion is detected

If you’re looking for a pet camera that value for money, then look no further than the CleverDog. You can communicate with your pet through the 2 way speaker and see them in the dark with night vision. The camera is pretty good and you can take pictures of your pet while you’re away from home. Like the others it alerts you to any noise or movement, with notifications to your phone. If you can live without a treat dispenser then, this is a great little camera that perfect for checking in on your pet.

 

If you are at all concerned with the safety of your pet there are various organisations out there that can help and provide advice, some of these are linked below. You can also contact your pet’s registered veterinary practice as they are experts and always more than happy to help.

 

For more tips on how to keep your home secure in order to keep your loved ones and pets’ safe, head over to security tips page https://www.keytek.co.uk/security-tips/

 

Useful links:

RSPCA- https://www.rspca.org.uk/home

Kennel Club- http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/

Dogs Trust- https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/

Cats Protection- http://www.cats.org.uk/

Sources-

[1] http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/press-releases/2014/june/more-than-70,000-pets-missing-in-the-uk-the-equivalent-of-ten-times-the-population-of-the-city-of-london

[2] http://blog.petplan.co.uk/07/2013/advice/does-my-dog-need-to-wear-a-collar/

[3]https://www.gov.uk/government/news/compulsory-dog-microchipping-comes-into-effect

[4] http://www.vetstream.co.uk/hook/html/pdf/Factsheets/Cat/24_282809.pdf

Help, I’ve been burgled!

Help i've been burgled!

A burglary is every home owner’s nightmare, however the steps taken immediately following a break-in are vital to help put things back in order. We have put together this guide for those who have been burgled, or those who would like to be prepared just in case the worst were to occur.

Call the Police.

Waste no time in calling the police and putting the incident on record. This is required for insurance claims, helping to find the perpetrators and retrieving your belongings. If you are not inside your home when you discover it has been broken into, we advise you call the police from outside the home, either using a mobile or a neighbours phone. The police will provide you with a unique crime reference number, ensure to note this down as this will be required by your insurance provider.

Don’t Touch Anything!

It is vital you do not touch anything before the police arrive, as you many destroy key evidence the police will need for finding, and potentially prosecuting the burglars and retrieving your stolen goods.

Record all Stolen or Damaged Items and Property

After the police have arrived make a complete list of all property that has been stolen and damaged, this will be needed by your insurers as well. You will have to include thorough descriptions including anything that could make your items unique, such as marks or serial numbers, and also note the approximate value of each item.

Inform Your Bank

It is important to inform your bank or card company straight away and ensure your credit and debit cards are cancelled, and your finances are checked for any suspicious activity. It isn’t necessary for your cards to be stolen; a burglar could simply note down the card number and details to make purchases online.

Call Your Insurers

 Call your insurance provider within 24 hours and submit all necessary information needed to process your claim. Your insurer will require the list of items stolen or damaged in the incident, and will also need your unique crime reference number.

Secure Your Home

Once the police have instructed it is okay to do so, and all necessary details have been documented, you should start to clear up all indications of a break in, and repair any damaged doors and windows. It is vital to upgrade your security, and to secure any weak points in order to prevent any incidents in the future.

Your front door is your first line of defence against a burglary, therefore it is vital to consider the security you have in place; updating the locks on your doors and windows will help reduce the risk of crime. At KeytekTM Locksmiths we aim to ensure all our customers are provided the best possible solutions to their problems, for this reason all of our engineers offer full home security and insurance compliance checks, and ensure to recommend quality products that will meet all your needs. To upgrade your security call a locksmith today on 03303320589 or visit https://www.keytek.co.uk.

Sources:

https://www.confused.com/home-and-lifestyle/home-security/confused-com-tips-on-what-to-do-if-you-get-burgled

https://www.safewise.com/home-security-faq/house-break-in

University Student Security Guide

University Student Security Guide

University Student Security Advice

Student years are bound to be some of the best of your life, and with these tips we aim to help you keep safe and secure whilst having fun. Students are one of the most targeted groups and are recognized for being at high risk of crime. This is due to the variety of expensive gadgets a student possesses, such as mobile phones, laptops and TV’s to name a few, because of this it is vital students are aware of how to keep themselves and their belongings secure.

Accommodation Security

Leaving home to study is both a stressful and exciting time, so we are aware reviewing the security of your student halls/house will be the last thing on your mind. For your peace of mind it is worth looking at the security of your accommodation and taking any necessary measures.

  • Ensure to check the locks on your doors when moving in. If you notice the lock has any faults, alert campus staff or your landlord urgently so the problem can be resolved as soon as possible.
  • Make sure the locks in your accommodation comply with your home insurance policies, failure to do so could compromise yours or your landlord’s policy.
  • Remember to ask your parents to check if their home insurance policy protects student contents.
  • Remember to lock your doors and windows even if you’re leaving just for a moment, and keep valuable items out of sight.
  • Record full details of any valuables such as laptops, tablets or TVs and mark them with a UV pen.
  • If you rent a property, check the exterior for any areas of potential weakness and highlight these to your landlord.

Campus Security

Universities take various steps to safeguard their students, with almost all Universities having easy to contact campus security team only a phone call away. There are numerous ways you can ensure your personal safety and security while on campus.

  • Never leaves bags, purses, laptops or other valuables unattended.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of money around with you and be cautious when using on campus ATMs, especially in the night.
  • Use the buddy system as a precaution when walking around after dark. The greater number of people you walk with me, the safer you are.
  • Be careful who you disclose your whereabouts to. It is wise to let your close friends or roommates knows where you are going and who you are meeting, however be careful about posting your plans on social media as you don’t know who may be watching.

Night Out Security

Socialising is a huge part of student life and nights out are often where the best memories are made, therefore it is crucial to remember your safety while you are most vulnerable to ensure you have a good time and nights to remember for the right reasons.

  • Before you head out make sure you have arranged how to get home safely. Keep your transport money separate from your spending money, or pick a designated driver beforehand.
  • Avoid carrying valuables with you. Keep items such as your bag, mobile phone and purse secured and out of sight.
  • Be wary when accepting a drink from someone else, and make sure you never leave your drink unattended.
  • Pace yourself when you are drinking and know your limits.
  • Make sure not to travel alone, particularly at night.

Remember your University will always provide you with emergency contacts and support throughout your time away from home. We hope that these tips provide you with the foundation to a safe and secure University experience.

 

Further Reading

nus – Student Safety Advice

Independent – 7 Steps to Student Safety

5 Items People Often Forget to Secure

5 things people forget to secure

There are many things to consider when keeping yourself and your home secure; because of this some important security aspects get overlooked. There are more ways to keep yourself secure than just locking your doors, so we have created a list of things nearly everyone forgets.

Power tools

Many spend a lot of money on expensive power tools which are often left out in the open when they’re not stored in sheds and outbuildings, making them a popular target for burglars. Engraving tools with your postcode or house number, or using an “UV” ink pen, will make it easier for the police to identify and retrieve if stolen.

Jewellery, heirlooms, and collectables

Jewellery and other valuables can be secured in safes and hidden in secret spaces around your home, however many forget to insure these valuables. Jewellery insurance most often covers accidental damage, loss and theft, ensuring that jewellery and other valuables can be repaired or replaced.

Private and important documents

Homes are full of valuable items, but ones often overlooked are important documents which are just as desirable to a burglar as your big screen TV. Private documents such as birth certificates, passports, property deeds, tax returns and legal contracts should be kept securely in a fire-proof safe. When destroying important documents it is important to use a shredder in order to prevent them falling into the wrong hands.

Medication

Medication should be treated like any other valuable item in a home and should be stored securely.  Pain killers and prescription medication are highly targeted by burglars, and medication in the wrong hands, such as curious children and forgetful seniors, can be lethal, for this reason medicine cabinets should be kept in a secure location, and should not be accessible to everyone.

Passwords and PIN numbers

We have been warned on several occasions that it is not recommended to write down passwords and PIN numbers, as these can cause a lot of harm when in the wrong hands. When storing passwords and PINs, it is recommended to encrypt or password protect files.

When securing your property and belongings, it is important to remember there are various measures to take. Here at KeytekTM we believe security of your home starts at your front door, and our local locksmiths aim to provide the best solutions to your security problems. Book a KeytekTM Locksmith to upgrade the security of your home by calling 03303320589 or visit https://www.keytek.co.uk

Related Articles:

https://www.keytek.co.uk/blog/security-must-haves/

https://www.keytek.co.uk/blog/where-to-leave-your-spare-house-key/

https://www.keytek.co.uk/blog/travelling-safely-security-guide/

 

Sudden Increase in Burglaries in Ferndown and West Parley

Police in Dorset are warning residents of a sudden increase in daylight robberies, especially in Ferndown and West Parley, with five properties being targeted within the last few weeks. Ferndown and West Parley Neighbourhood Policing Team ask residents to be watchful and to report any suspicious activity.

Being a victim of a burglary can be extremely distressing, with the negative impact not solely being financial but also an impact on your emotional health and sense of security. There are various ways to increase your home security and help prevent a burglary from occurring; here at KeytekTM we believe your doors are the first line of defence against a burglary or home break-in. The local locksmiths in Ferndown provide a variety of locksmith services, including full security and home insurance compliance checks. If you are interested in upgrading your security, our local Ferndown locksmiths are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, simply call 01202 051543 or visit https://www.keytek.co.uk/dorset/ferndown  to arrange an appointment.

See our security tips for keeping your home secure:

Source: http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/15395116.Police_warn_of_a__quot_sudden_increase_quot__of_daytime_burglaries/?Ref=fbpg

Fire safety for residents in high-rise buildings

Following the devastating incident at Grenfell Tower in London, many local councils and fire departments are reassuring residents about the prevention measures and response arrangements in place for high-rise buildings.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), The Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service have offered the following advice for residents in high-rise buildings and flats:

Smoke Alarms

While many properties will have smoke alarms already fitted, however, if your property doesn’t it is crucial you should fit one is at least one floor. Having a smoke alarm will help provide an early warning of a fire, allowing residents more time to put fire safety procedures into action.

Once a smoke alarm is fitted, the maintenance of the alarm is vital to keep it functioning. A smoke alarm should be tested once a week, the batteries should be replaced every year, the vents should be cleaned twice a year and the detector should never be covered.

Escape Plan

It is important for those living in high-rise buildings to establish an escape plan for emergencies. Once a plan has been created, everyone living in the flat should familiarise themselves with all routes, doors and exits. High-rise buildings will have their own building evacuation plans in place, which should illustrate exactly what residents are to do in the event of an emergency. This plan should be rehearsed in a fire drill at least once a year in order to ensure everything is up to date.

Building Safety

Following these tips daily will help increase safety in the event of an emergency.

  • All fire doors should be kept closed when not in use.
  • Make sure all exits and passageways are kept clear of obstructions
  • Do not tamper with internal fire mains (dry riser) inlets on the landings
  • Close all internal doors at night.
  • Report faulty doors or staircases immediately
  • Never park your vehicles in a designated space for emergency services
  • Ensure all smoking materials, such as cigarettes, are fully extinguished and cold before putting in rubbish bags and placing in bin chute.
  • Never use or store bottled gas cylinders in high-ride buildings.

In the Event of a Fire

Remember, if there is an emergency, never assume another person has already dialled 999, and make the call yourself. If possible, raise the alarm and make others in the building aware.

In the event of a fire, never use the elevator and always use the stairs. It is vital when creating an escape plan you familiarise yourself with all staircases in the building just in case any are obstructed. It is also important to incorporate a plan for anyone who has difficulty using stairs. Remember that if your building is using electric locks on doors that the fail-safe default is set to unlocked meaning you won’t need to search for your keys.

Sometimes the safest place to stay in the event of a fire is in your own flat. If it is too dangerous to follow your planned escape route, or if you cannot exit the building due to smoke or fire in the hallway, it is best to gather in the safest room with a window and report your exact location to the fire department. Using duct tape, towels or bedding to create a seal around doors and air vents will prevent smoke from coming into the room.

If you are in immediate danger and your flat is not too high from the ground, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service have advised you to drop cushions, mattresses or bedding to the ground below to break your fall. Get out feet first and lower yourself down the full length of your arms before dropping. If you are trapped in a high storey, lean out of the open window for fresh air until the fire service arrives. If the smoke becomes too thick, crouch to floor level as smoke rises upwards.

If you are living in a high-rise building, or know someone who is, it is crucial to express the importance of fire safety procedures and fire prevention. For more information please contact your local housing office.

Further Reading:

Read our tips and advice for keeping your flat/house secure. – https://www.keytek.co.uk/security-tips/

Source: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Fire-safety-information-for-residents-in-high-rise-flats.aspx

http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/Fire%20Safety%20Leaflet%20-%20High%20Rise.pdf

http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/safety-in-the-home/escape-planning/escape-planning-in-tall-buildings