Home Security in Period Properties

Period properties combine class and style with both character and history, but can prove a challenge for security, especially if you are living in a listed building with restrictions or conservation area regulations. One of the main challenges can be home security, as period and heritage properties often have outdated security systems, making them easy targets for criminals. Modern security solutions can be introduced to increase the security of your traditional property and these are worth the investment. It is also possible to install security measures that work with the aesthetics of your property and its setting, without disrupting its visual appeal.

 

Home Interiors Chandelier on ceiling. Luxury Vintage Chanderlier

 

Window Security

Period properties have older windows such as wooden-frame sash instead of the lockable, double glazed uPVC windows that modern houses often have. You should consider looking at specialist sash-window locks as these will provide higher levels of home security. However, these might be subject to restrictions so you should always check with your local council’s conservation officer first before making any changes. You could also consider installing collapsible grilles for the insides of your windows; these may disrupt the period aesthetics but they do fold away when needed. These retractable security grilles are a good deterrent for burglars and also offer a higher level of security.

 

White Window

 

Door Security

Period doors can often be very thin, and therefore can be vulnerable to crime. If you have wooden doors, you could consider turning them around so that they open outwards instead of inwards, as this makes it harder for thieves to kick them in.

Georgian homes were built during the 18th Century and are often very symmetrical with large solid front doors, whereas Victorian properties were built during the 19th Century, identifiable by their red brick, large bay windows and gothic architectural style. Victorian front doors were representative of wealth within the community, presented through colourful, patterned tiling in the artwork on the door. If your door is from the Victorian or Georgian era, it may  not be as durable or sturdy as more modern doors to protect from intruders, with an increased risk of age and wear making it vulnerable to break-ins.

There have been advancements in door security for period properties, with improvements supported by the government’s Building Regulations. Doors should meet or exceed the British Standard PAS24 and locks should conform to British Standard 3621 . You should check that your new front door meets the latest minimum British Standards in aspects of glass for security, thermal ability, energy-efficiency and safety qualities. Modern security systems can be installed to your period front door and property, ensuring that its original charm and elegance is sustained to achieve a period aesthetic without compromising security. In order to protect your period property, the main doors should have a door viewer, such as clear glass or a window next to the doorset, a door chain or limiter. A door chain or limiter is not always necessary and there can be alternative ways to identify visitors, such as electronic audio-visual door entry systems.

Furthermore, a good locking system will ensure that your home is secure, by having locks built in with bars, bolts and support structures to strengthen the body of your door. Locks available for timber doors are considered far superior and stronger than those for uPVC, composite or aluminium doors, as these can be worked into the door and provide you with the flexibility to choose from a range of high-quality door locks. If you do not have a timber door, there are options for improving uPVC door security, these can be secured by design accreditation and police approved. Examples of these include: anti-snap locks, uPVC door handles, door chains and sash jammers to improve the security of the door, these prevent the door from opening if the lock is broken or opened. High bolts or dog bolts can also be fitted to an opening door, as when it is closed hinge bolts will prevent the door from being forced open off the hinges.

 

Mortice Locks

There are many options to increase security solutions through the use of locks for period doors, such as mortice locks. Mortice locks are fitted inside the edge of the door, these make it difficult to break into as most of the locking mechanism is contained inside the door frame. They are visually pleasing as less of the locking mechanism is visible, and therefore do not compromise the style and aesthetics of your original period home.

 

Door handle with knob

 

Deadlocks

You could also consider using deadlocks or deadbolts as a secure locking system, manually operated using a key. When a deadlock is unlocked, it is held in the withdrawn position. These are much easier to unlock in emergency situations, such as fires overall providing higher safety measures.

 

Modern Security Solutions

You could consider installing modern technology and security solutions into your period property, whilst retaining its grandeur and style. A requirement of home technology is to install alarm systems, alarm bell boxes and CCTV systems, all of these can be hidden if you do not want them to affect your house’s period style. Modern lighting is also ideal for preventing burglaries and you can find specialist security lights in a period style or adapt outdoor lighting with a standard movement sensor.

You could also consider fitting spy holes, door chains and bars to your period front door, carefully designed to retain your door’s style but also to prevent intruders. You could consider replacing the spy-hole with a security camera or smartphone app for peace of mind. Wireless technology can be an asset to period properties and can be easily fitted without damaging its original features. You can also use remote monitoring and viewing from your smartphone to identify visitors without affecting your personal security. It is also possible to automate security functions and control them remotely from your smartphone or computer. Discretely styled monitoring equipment and wireless technology can allow higher levels of security for your home, whilst retaining the period aesthetic and in some instances, you won’t fall under planning legislation.

 

Top Tips for Ensuring Home Security for your Period Property

  • Hide all keys, especially away from the letterbox as a device could be used to hook keys through.
  • Install a visual burglar alarm and outside lighting.
  • Ensure you have good rear and outside fencing to protect your property.
  • Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property, e.g. trim high hedges.
  • Mark your property with postcode and house number and register your property for free with Immobilise. The system where you can register your valuable to reduce crime.
  • Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.
  • Avoid becoming a victim of a distraction burglary, if you’re unsure of who is at your door, don’t open it, check the identity of the caller by calling the company they are claiming to be from.
  • Use automatic timer-switches to turn on your lights and radios when it gets dark.
  • Use the Royal Mail’s ‘KeepSafe’ service, they keep your mail for up to two months while you’re away to prevent mail sitting on your doorstep as a sign that you’re away.

 

Home Surveillance

 

References
https://www.thevictorianemporium.com/publications/advice/article/home_security_tips_for_period_properties
https://www.londondoor.co.uk/modern-security-for-period-front-doors/
https://www.londondoor.co.uk/period-front-door-ideas-to-complement-traditional-features/
https://nhic.org.uk/2019/03/8-points-to-consider-when-choosing-a-new-front-door/
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/443221/BR_PDF_AD_Q_2015.pdf
https://www.ikslocksmiths.co.uk/blog/choosing-door-which-type-door-most-secure/
https://www.police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/burglary/
https://www.locksmiths.co.uk/faq/upvc-door-security/
https://www.vibrantdoors.co.uk/news/?p=2020
https://www.ikslocksmiths.co.uk/blog/front-door-security-tips/
https://www.safety.com/door-security/#gref
https://www.ikslocksmiths.co.uk/blog/upvc-door-locks-problems-prevention/
https://broadswordsecurity.com/news/how-to-secure-your-listed-building-heritage-property/

Is Airbnb Safe?

 

Every two seconds around the world someone books a room through Airbnb! It is currently has an estimated worth of over $35 billion and has big hotel chains quaking in their boots! Unlike hotels where the property has been designed for the comfort of frequent guests, Airbnb allows hosts to list their own homes for others to stay in whilst they aren’t there. So how do you stay safe when booking and staying in an Airbnb property?

 

Safety Checks when Booking

 

1.      Read the Reviews

Reading the reviews from previous guests and how much they rated it will give you a good indication of what the property was like and whether there were any problems. Airbnb only lets previous guests write a review so although it isn’t 100% guaranteed as reviews are so individual you can probably count on them to describe their own experience true to words.

 

2.      Weather and Travel Advice Check

Do your research on your chosen destination before booking to ensure that it is safe to travel and double check again in the days and weeks leading up to your trip. It is especially important if you are travelling to somewhere where there may be strikes e.g. political strikes and somewhere where extreme weather happens frequently.

 

3.      Travel Insurance

Straight after booking take out travel insurance. Should you get injured on holiday you don’t want to be left with a sore head and an empty wallet!

 

4.      Secure Payment

When booking, always pay through Airbnb rather than paying the host directly. Airbnb have a secure payment system that has a ‘multi-layer defence strategy’. Going through Airbnb ensures you won’t be subject to scams and they are able to offer refunds in some circumstances. Airbnb states that they will never ask you to wire money across or prove credit card information so if this does happen to you, report it to Airbnb immediately and do not send and money or reveal the information.

 

Safety Checks on Arrival

 

1.      Carry out a Property Safety Check

When you arrive at your accommodation walk through the property and do a risk assessment. Make note of where all the emergency equipment is, including the fire alarms and fire extinguisher. If you can’t find something important, contact the host immediately to ensure your safety.

 

2.      Emergency Numbers

Write down the local police and hospital/ emergency room numbers and addresses.
In an emergency, most people panic and make silly mistakes. Be prepared with the numbers to hand so if the worst were to happen you save time trying to locate the correct place.

 

Airbnb Community Standards

Airbnb has set values of trust they expect their hosts and guests to follow and have established them into five standards. These are – safety, security, fairness, authenticity and reliability. You can read these more in-depth here: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/trust

 

Keytek®

 

Like what you read? Take a look at all of our other blogs for all things security based!

Trick or Treat!

Witches, ghosts, aliens and vampires! They’re not the only thing you should be wary about on October 31st! Halloween can be frightening for all the wrong reasons so make sure you’re not tricked into treating, take a look at our top tips below so that you and the children have a safe spooktacular time!

 

Costumes

  1. Make sure the costumes are correctly sized to avoid tripping.
  2. Choose lighter coloured costumes or add reflective tape to make the costume more visible in the dark. Bring a torch or get some glow sticks to add even more visibility.
  3. Masks can restrict your child’s view; perhaps try opting for face paint instead so they can see clearly.
  4. Check the weather, wrap up warm and bring an umbrella to avoid coming down with a cold.

 

Trick or Treating

  1. Ensure your children stick to the pavement, cross at dedicated crossings and never step out into the road from parked cars.
  2. Trick or treat in safe and well-known areas.
  3. Young children should always be accompanied when out trick or treating.

 

Traditionally a house was open to trick or treaters if they had a pumpkin outside, with those wishing not to partake in this often posting a sign in their window or on their door.

 

jack of laterns/ pumpkins stacked for halloween

 

If you wish to take part this Halloween, you can download a welcome trick or treat sign here!

If you don’t wish to participate head over to the Neighbourhood Watch website to download their sticker!

Sweets

  1. It’s best to avoid allowing your child to eat homemade treats as you do not know the full ingredients.
  2. Check over each of the sweets for anomalies, unfortunately there have been cases in the past where parents have found needles embedded into sweets that they have gathered from trick or treating.

 

Decorations

  1. Use battery powered candles instead of having an open flame to minimise the risk.
  2. Always supervise children when pumpkin carving.
  3. Don’t put any decorations on stairs to avoid the risk of tripping.

 

Keytek® Locksmiths

Don’t forget to lock up and close your windows before you head off for a night of scaring! If you do unfortunately lose your keys give and get locked out, give us a call and we will get you back inside faster than you can say abracadabra!

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

Glastonbury increase festival security

Following the recent tragic events in London and Manchester, Glastonbury 2017 has massively increased their security. Festival goers will notice a few major changes, including thorough security checks and the placement of shuttle buses to help those affected to cope with large crowds.

For security reasons, festival goers will all be subjected to multiple searches of their bags and vehicles.  As a result, entrances will be considerably slower and there will be an increased number of queues, for this reason ticket holders are asked to pack light so searches will be quicker. Festival staff has advised all festival goers to put luggage tags on all bags and to prevent wrapping belongings in plastic wrap, in order to provide easy access during searches.

All measures taken this year are necessary for maximising public safety and security, with staff at Glastonbury working closely with the authorities. Festival goers are asked to play their part by packing lightly, planning their journey and cooperating with staff.  We hope everyone with a ticket enjoys themselves!

Sources:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/glastonbury-2017-7-changes-security-10569175

http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/important-information-for-glastonbury-2017-ticket-holders/

Woman discovers burglar in her Cumbernauld home

A woman discovered a burglar, dressed in all black, in her bedroom at 4.30am while she was sleeping.  After the burglar fled from the property the victim noticed several of her belongings had been stolen, including her mobile phone from her bedside table.

Upon closer inspection, it was brought to light that the burglar had been rummaging through cupboards at the property, and had gotten away with contents which will require a four figure sum to compensate. The victim’s patio door was discovered wide open following the burglary, indicating this was the main access into and out of the home.

According to the Police.UK website, research shows in the majority of burglaries, criminals most commonly broke into homes by forcing the locks on doors. For this reason, we believe it is vital to ensure the locks on your doors are strong and secure.

 

When upgrading the locks on your doors, our locksmiths will always recommend a British Standard lock, as these are widely recognised as a sign of quality and reliability. Our locksmiths are experienced, credible and trustworthy, and will ensure to only recommend the best quality products when carrying out a full home security and insurance compliance check.

If you are looking for a local locksmith in Cumbernauld to upgrade your locks, the KeytekTM engineers are all CRB checked and fully accredited by industry experts, ensuring that you will receive a reliable and professional service. Call 01236 800105 to book a local locksmith today, or for further information visit https://www.keytek.co.uk/north-lanarkshire/cumbernauld/

Sources:

https://www.police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/burglary/

http://www.cumbernauld-news.co.uk/news/crime/cumbernauld-woman-discovers-burglar-1-4467254 

Aggravated burglary in Carlisle

A group of three men and one woman have been arrested following an aggravated burglary in Carlisle in which a man suffered a serious head injury. Police were called subsequent to reports of a window being smashed at the property in Carlisle. Transgressors continued to force entry into the property and a male offender used a hammer to assault the occupants. Police arrived on scene quickly and made four arrests, all offenders also from Carlisle.

Source: https://www.itv.com/news/border/update/2017-04-02/man-seriously-hurt-in-hammer-attack-during-burglary/

Being a victim of a burglary can cause huge amounts of distress, with the negative impact not only being financial but also an impact on your emotional well-being and sense of security. There are many ways to protect your home and prevent a burglary from occurring, starting with upgrading the locks on your windows and doors and ensuring the security of your house is to a high standard.

The local locksmiths in Carlisle provide a variety of Locksmith services including full security and home insurance compliance check. If you are interested in upgrading your locks, our local Carlisle locksmiths are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, simply call 01228 586005 or visit Keytek Carlisle to arrange a locksmith to visit at a time suitable for you.