Cycling Safety 2022

Last Updated: 05/05/2022

On a beautiful day what could be more perfect than a bike ride! With so many people going on bike rides during the pandemic, it’s become a popular hobby and a fun way to exercise. While cycling has many benefits both physically and mentally, it’s important that you stay safe while riding your bike. We will go through what the law says about cycling, how to keep yourself and others safe, while also looking at how to keep your bike secure.

 

Cycling and the Law

As a cyclist it’s important to be road safe and follow the laws around cycling and the advice given by the Government on how to cycle safely.

Currently there are over 20 laws on cycling on the road, including laws for general regulations, road junctions, roundabouts and crossing the road. This includes information on light’s, cycle lanes, pavement safety, safe clothing, traffic lights, road positioning, junctions, turnings, and crossings.

In 2022 the new Highway Code was released which changes the hierarchy of the road, placing pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders above any vehicles. This gives them greater authority on the road minimising the risk on the road to those more vulnerable.

Have a read through what is and isn’t legal and what are the important rules to follow to make sure your safety knowledge is up to scratch.

 

Know Your Turn Signals

To Turn Left:

Extend your left arm out to the side well before you intend to turn. Slowly begin to break and then make your turn.

To Turn Right:

Extend your right arm out to the side well before you intend to turn. Slowly begin to break and stop if it is not safe to turn. Ensure that there is no oncoming traffic and safely take your turn.

To Stop:

Extend either arm downward in an upside down ‘L’ position and come to a stop. Ensure that there is sufficient time between when you make the signal and when you come to a stop.

 

Check Your Equipment

Ensure That Your Seat Is Adjusted to The Proper Height and Locked in Place

The very tops of your toes should be able to reach the ground whilst on the bike, but you should not be able to place both feet on the ground at the same time. If you can do this, then your bike seat is too low.

Check The Tyres Are Inflated

Your tyres should be fully rounded with no punctures or holes. You’ll be able to tell if your tyre has been punched from a wheezing sound that is made when the tyres are inflated or if your tyres seem to deflate very quickly.

Ensure You Have Installed Reflectors at The Front and Rear of Your Bike

This will increase your visibility which is especially important at night and dusk where there is very little light. For extra safety, you can install reflectors on the pedals and spokes. However, most new bikes come with reflectors on all 4 points.

Add A Horn or A Bell

If you ever are riding in car populated areas, install a horn or a bell to be able to make people aware of you. Much like a car horn, you can alert people to your presence if you have not been seen.

Make Sure Your Breaks Are Working

Perform a brake test before every journey to ensure that your breaks are working. Spin your front wheel to a reasonable speed and then grasp the breaks and measure how fast the wheel stops spinning. It should stop almost instantly, if not you might need to get your breaks check by a professional.

 

What Should I Wear When Riding a Bike?

Ultimately, your clothing should be both comfortable and practical which will keep you safe and increase your visibility to other road users.

Bright Colours

Wear bright and fluorescent clothing to increase your visibility; this will keep you safe as drivers will be able to see you better which will decrease the chances of an accident. Try to avoid dark clothing, especially at night, but if you must, we recommend having a florescent jacket on hand to make sure you stay safe.

Tight Clothing

Don’t wear loose fitting trousers or long skirts. Wearing clothing that is loose fitting can increase the chances that it will get caught in the gears and chain of the bike causing an accident. We suggest wearing tighter fitting trousers such as jeans or leggings that would allow the best movement and minimise chances of getting caught.

Safe Shoes

Choose shoes that will grip the pedals. Shoes such as heels, sandals, flip flops, and cleated shoes will not give you sufficient grip on your bike pedals which could cause harm to you and other road users if you lose grip. Trainers are great for bike riding.

 

Wear A Helmet!

A bike helmet is the best thing you can wear to protect yourself when cycling. You are not required by law to wear one, however there are many reasons why you should wear one. They will help protect your head and brain. The risk when cycling is that you may come off your bike, this can happen for several reasons and can range in severity. In some cases, a helmet may help to prevent you getting a serious injury.

This seems like a straightforward point but surprisingly there are many things you must remember when either buying or wearing a helmet.

  • Make sure it fits snugly on your head by adjusting the sizing pads or fit ring. It should not wobble when you move your head

  • Position the helmet level on your head, it should be around about one to two fingers width above the eyebrow, so it sits covering the forehead and not tipped back

  • Adjust the side straps so they can form a V shape in either side of your ears with the buckle centred under your chin. The strap should be tight enough that only one or two fingers can fit between the chin and the strap

  • Ensure that it is well vented to stop you from overheating

Bell Avenue MIPS Road Helmet

£53 from Amazon

This helmet is easy to adjust and works very well. The helmet is made of polycarbonate and features 18 vents, which helps to keep your head cool, while cycling. It also features reflective strips on the outside, to help you be visible. It is slightly heavier than most helmets, weighing 310g, but is a good price and works well to protect you.

Specialized S-Works Evade II ANGi MIPS Road Cycling Helmet

£199.99 from Tredz

This helmet is super comfy and well ventilated; it also boasts a sleek, aerodynamic design. The ANGi technology is basically a posh crash sensor. It sits in the helmet and if it detects an impact that is powerful enough to incapacitate you, then it turns your mobile phone into a beacon. A countdown will start on the app and if you do not stop it before it reaches 0 then a designated emergency contact will be sent a message with your last know coordinates. This feature is great for those who cycle off road and in remote locations. It’s not the cheapest on the list, but you get what you pay for.

Bontrager Circuit Wavecel Road Bike Helmet

£134.99 from Trekbikes

This helmet is a good all-rounder, suitable for on and off-road cyclists at any level of skill. It’s a neat, compact helmet that stands out from other with its distinctive shape. It’s well ventilated and boasts a Boa dial retention system.

 

Bike Locks

These days, bikes are not cheap whether you have a road bike, mountain bike or a child’s bike, you want to protect it. You must lock your bike up whenever it is unattended, in public or even in a garage or outbuilding. Make sure to check the Sold Secure rating of the lock that you buy, to ensure you are giving your bike the best security.

Abus Granit X-Plus 540

£100 from Halfords

Sold Secure: Diamond

The Abus Granit doesn’t have any frills or fancy features; it purely focuses on being the strongest lock out there. It has a super hard square shackle which reduces the effectiveness of any jaw cutting tool that might be used to break it. A bonus is that even if a thief does manage to cut it, its square shape prevents it from being twisted and removed. This means a thief would have to cut it twice to remove it, this would take them more time and hopefully someone would notice what they were doing. It’s quite expensive, but not as expensive as buying a new bike if yours is stolen.

Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini

£88.99 from Bikeparts

Sold Secure: Gold

This D lock is a great lock for your bike, specifically designed for urban use. Kryptonite is so confident in their locks that if your bike is stolen while secured with their lock then they will give you £2,500 towards a new bike. It’s on the smaller side, but it uses this to its advantage, the narrow width makes the lock even tougher to break. It is also one of the heaviest locks on the market. This 18mm Gold standard U lock specs should reassure you of its durability and effectiveness.

Onguard Pitbull Dt Shackle U-Lock Plus Cable

£33.99 from Tredz

Sold Secure: Gold

If you are looking for a bike lock that’s not expensive, but still very secure, then look no further than this Onguard Pitbull. It has full Sold Secure rating but is half the price of its competitors. It’s relatively light at 1.77kg and has a nifty light feature that will help you unlock it in the dark. The U bar is covered in a vinyl that protects your frame and wheels from scratches.

How to Stay Safe Now Restrictions are Lifted

Last Updated: 04/04/2022

As of April 1st 2022, all Covid restrictions have been lifted and this means a return to normal life. However, some would argue that there is no normal after Covid. Although all government restrictions are lifted, you may want to consider ways to keep yourself safe.

Covid-19 will be part of our lives, possibly forever, and it’s up to individuals to make personal decisions to minimise risk. It’s true that all activities will now carry a Covid risk, but it’s no longer beneficial for people to stay in their homes. There are actions you can take to protect yourself and others around you. We will go through the ways you can keep yourself safe and stop the spread of the virus.

 

What Are the Rules as Of April 1st 2022?

All the legal restrictions surrounding Covid-19 have been lifted as of 1st April. As of the 19th July, we were free to not social distance, there was no limit on the amount of people that can meet, there were no restrictions to any parties or venues, no need to wear face masks and no longer needing to work from home.

Now from 1st April 2022 we no longer need to test for Coronavirus and will have to pay if we want to test. If you do test positive, it’s strongly advised that you stay at home for 5 days or until you feel better but is not legally mandatory. If you do leave home, it’s recommended you wear a mask and avoid others whilst outside.

 

What Do Businesses and Venues Have to Do?

All the businesses that were made to stay closed throughout the pandemic are now open, including nightclubs, discos and adult entertainment venues and all capacity limits are lifted. This also means that pubs, cafes, and restaurants no longer have to provide table service and follow social distancing rules.

Although there is no legal reason for venues to provide any Covid protection, they should implement protocols to keep customers safe. Find out how to Stay Safe at Large Events..

Businesses should try to implement ways to keep their employees and customers safe, such as allowing the employee to work from home if able or paying sick if they get Covid, but this is at the business’ discretion with what they decide their policies are. Find out how to stay safe whilst working from home.

 

So, What Can You Do To Keep Yourself and Others Safe?

Face Coverings

Although you are not legally required to do so, you may want to continue to wear a face covering in public venues. Face coverings help slow the spread of coronavirus by preventing droplets in the air from spreading, a known way that Covid-19 spreads.

Fresh Air and Ventilation

When a person has Covid-19 and they talk, cough or breath, they will release droplets and aerosols that can be inhaled by another person. Fresh are blows these particles away, so sitting near a window or making sure there is sufficient ventilation in an indoor venue will help stop the spread of coronavirus. You can also make use of your extractor fan and leave it running to improve the ventilation in your home when you have guests. Basically, the fresher air you let into your home the less likely you are to inhale infectious particles.

Testing at Home

It’s well known that 1 in 5 people that have Covid-19 don’t have any symptoms, which means they could be spreading the virus without knowing it. Rapid lateral flow testing, although no longer free, is a great way to detect if you are positive and protect those around you.

The early detection of the virus will enable people to self-isolate quicker, which will slow the spread of the virus.

 

Personal Hygiene

Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands with soap and water or using hand sanitiser on a regular basis is a good way to reduce your risk of catching coronavirus. The Gov.uk website say that washing or sanitising your hands after the following;

  • After coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose

  • Before you eat or handle food

  • After coming into contact with surfaces touched by many others, such as handles, handrails and light switches

  • After coming into contact with shared areas such as kitchens and bathrooms

  • When you return home

 Don’t Touch Your Face

It’s advisable to touch your face as little as possible. Your hands touch a lot of different surfaces during the day and this is where you might pick up Covid, as surfaces can become infected with Covid-19. So, if you touch an infected surface and then touch your eyes, mouth or nose, you can become infected with the virus. But washing or sanitising your hands after touching a surface will reduce your risk of transferring the infection to yourself.

 Coughing and Sneezing

Covid is also transmitted by coughing and sneezing, so to protect others you need to cover your mouth every time you sneeze or cough. An uncovered sneeze or cough will greatly increase the chance of those around you catching the virus. Government advice on this is;

  • Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze.

  • If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand.

  • Dispose of tissues into a rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands.

No Close Contact

One of the major ways Covid spreads is through close contact with someone who is infected. They spread the virus through; speaking, coughing or sneezing, that could then be inhaled by you. This is why we have all been following social distancing guidelines and but because the government are no longer enforcing these doesn’t mean you have to stop. You might want to consider remaining 2 metres apart, especially if you are spending a prolonged time with them.

 

Living With Covid-19

Even though restrictions have been lifted, that doesn’t mean Covid-19 is gone. The virus is something that we will have to get used t and deal with, much like the flu. We all have a roll in stopping the spread of the Coronavirus and taking step such as the ones we have explained will protect you and those around you.

 

Find a Covid-19 Safe Locksmith

Here at Keytek® we have been ‘operating as normal’ throughout the pandemic as our trusted Locksmiths were considered key workers, getting you into your homes securely and safely. Although there are no government guidelines anymore, we still aim to keep both our customer and our engineers safe.

Covid-19 Measures

We recommend to all of our engineers that they wear a face mask and gloves, continue to social distance, and sanitise their hand and all their tools.

If this is particularly important for you, please let us know on the phone when we book in your job, and we will make sure we make you feel comfortable during the visit.

What If I Am Self-Isolating?

If you are self-isolating as a vulnerable person, please let our team members know upon calling and booking in our services. We will ensure that we put your health first and will avoid entering your home unless necessary and will carry out the work on the threshold of your door.

If you or your household are self-isolating due to a positive covid-19 test, please call to rebook us in at a later date when you have finished the required self-isolating period to keep us all safe.

Locksmith Questions

If you have any other questions or queries, please do not hesitate to ask our team members on the phone, the Locksmith whilst they’re at your home or by emailing us at feedback@keytek.co.uk.

Call a Locksmith

We hope we have been able to answer some of your questions and settle any worries you may have had before calling out a Locksmith. Find a local Locksmith to you, or alternatively, give us a call on 0808 164 2928. We can’t wait to help!

House Robbery Markings

Have you ever seen a strange marking on the side or nearby your house, such as on the curb or on your bin? Have you ever come across the term “burglar code”? Did you know that burglars have been thought to frequently use a symbol code to mark out residences they wish to break into? Burglars seem to be increasingly relying on codes, symbols, and markings to assist them in choosing houses to target and in recent times there has been much speculation about these signs, which is wittily dubbed the ‘da pinchi code’.

Although the comedic name is something to be wary of. You might be asking what do these signs mean and what should you do if you are worried about being burgled? Read through our blog to answer these questions and more!

 

What are House Robbery Markings?

These ‘robbery markings’ or ‘burglar signals’ are basic sketches and forms that are supposedly used as a ‘code’ to determine whether a house is worth targeting. These illustrations are also supposed to indicate to other thieves what type of person lives at the property, such as whether the residents are vulnerable, elderly, or live in a single-family home. Read below to know more about all thief signs on houses and how to protect your house!

 

The ‘Da Pinchi Code’

The da pinchi code is the name that has been used across social media sites and news stories over the last few years that have claimed to crack the code on burglar markings! The meanings behind the markings are deemed to mean things such as ‘vulnerable occupant’, ‘alarmed house’ and ‘wealthy’.

Recently, there have been new news stories related to the ‘da pinchi code’ which rules out these findings as being burglar code based on police research, instead the meanings of the markings being much more innocent. Check out our image below to see the markings, their supposed meaning and the true meaning behind them.

 

infographic house markings

 

What Do Burglars Use to Mark Houses?

Chalk is the main material burglars use as it is easily removed and not as noticeable as materials such as spray paint markings outside the house. As well as burglar chalk signs, burglars mark houses with almost anything they can; it may be a small blob of paint or a piece of string tied around a lamppost!

White and blue spray paint markings outside the house are the most common colours used by burglars. Make sure you keep an eye out for both colour pains to avoid getting burgled!

There was also a stint in 2018 mainly found in Dublin where burglars would place clear tape over the keyholes on the exterior access doors. If the tape is left intact for the next couple of days they would know the house is currently vacant!

As well as markings, burglars also may disguise themselves as door to door salesmen; this is what we call distraction burglary. They may also post fake Locksmith contact details through your door for example, always do your research before calling trades people to ensure they are legitimate! If you need a trustworthy Locksmith, contact us here!

 

Where are these Burglar Signs Usually Located?

The burglar signs themselves are often left somewhere on the property, such as a garden wall or driveway, but are also found somewhere nearby. Chalk marks on pavement, bin, lamp post, or curb are all examples of where you can find them nearby.

 

How do Robbers Pick a House?

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Burglars who place these signs on houses or in the neighbourhood have usually already scouted the area and determined which residences are potentially the best targets. In most cases, planned burglaries will have had the house watched for a few days to learn who lives there, their daily schedules, whether they have up-to-date home security system, and whether there is anything of value within the property. Learn more about how to avoid attracting robbers to your home in this guide!

 

How Do you Know if your House has been Marked?

You might find a few different symbols around your property that seem odd or strange, in odd places that the council or workmen wouldn’t leave markings for official work. If you happen to find marks on your property that seem out of place or like an illustration, this will be burglar signs!

What Should I do if there are Chalk Markings Outside my House?

So, you may have noticed strange chalk markings outside your house or nearby? First of all, take a photo of the suspected burglar sign, make a detailed note of its location, when you first noticed it and then wash it away as best as you can.

Next, we recommend that you contact your local council to ensure the markings weren’t left by their employees doing work along the street.

Following on, if not left there by the council contact the police using the non-emergency number, 101. They may advise you to keep an eye on and record suspicious activity in your neighbourhood, including strangers frequently walking up and down the road and looking or photographing yours or your neighbours’ homes! Take into consideration that burglar road markings are very common and therefore talking to your neighbours about this can also indicate whether they have noticed anything strange and you can ask them to keep an eye out moving forward.

Finally, it is strongly recommended that you upgrade your home security to be on the safe side, continue on to see our suggestions.

Myth Busters

Although you should always be wary of any strange markings that have appeared on your home, over the last couple of years some police forces have found that in actual fact these markings are harmless! Their investigations often conclude that these markings have been used by utility firms and broadband companies to plan upcoming works. So if you do happen to find weird markings round your property don’t panic!

Is the “Da Pinchi Code” the Only Robbery Markings used by Burglars?

Many people ask how to tell of a burglar is watching your house? Although the “da pinchi code” are thought to be the main markings used by burglars anywhere on or close to your house, there are other ways that is worth considering that burglars can use to keep an eye out on your property and test whether it is frequently occupied. If you have found a stone in front of your car wheel, then you should know it could be a test from a burglar to see if you use your parked car or not.

Another scenario that has been experienced by some residents is thrown food cans on your doorstep; it is another way to leave a mark on your property and undoubtedly if cleaned then the property is occupied while if it’s left for days then they assume it is not and find it a good burglar opportunity.

There are also some common signs which you should consider when thinking about your home security.  One of the most common indicators can be a random knock at your door. This can be done by burglars to see whether you have a dog or a security system that will alert them if they break in.

Random acts of vandalism may also be observed, for example a shattered window in a remote portion of your house could be a test to see if the house is occupied. Also, if you find your trash rummaged through or strewn about, it’s possible that someone is looking for information to see if you’re a good target.

If you have experienced any of the other mentioned signs, we suggest you do a quick search to see if your house is marked.

Make sure you consider the many types of markings a burglar can leave as it is not restricted to the ‘da pinchi’ code. What you can do in this case is join your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme if you are away from home for a while!

 

How to Protect your Home Against Burglars

Here are a few quick tips that you can apply today to avoid house robbery.

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Upgrade your Home Security Knowledge with Keytek® Locksmiths

We are dedicated to helping you keep your home secure and avoid house robbery here at Keytek® which is why we are continually updating our security content on our website. If you were interested in this blog we recommend that you take a look at our Home Security Guide here where we break down home security into sections such as your front door, garden gate, outdoor lights and more.

Already checked out our Home Security Guide? Take a look at our blog page here; we aim to upload a new blog for our readers weekly!

Protecting your Doors from the Heat

Our doors provide us with home security and a way to shut out the world. When we get the rare heat wave it can cause havoc with our doors, causing lock outs, mechanisms jamming and general inconvenience. By regularly taking care of your door and maintaining it you can not only keep your doors looking pristine but maximise their lifespan too.
 

How Does the Summer Weather Affect my Door?

Brilliant sunshine, high temperatures and high humidity can cause much strain on your doors leading to swelling, faded paint, bleaching and in extreme cases cracking. Not taking proper care of your doors in the heat can seriously impact your home security and the durability of your door.

Sometimes when in heat, materials can expand causing mechanisms to misalign, doors not to lock and handles to jam which is not only a nuisance but also can leave you with a bill should you need to call someone out.
 

How Do I Protect my Doors from the Sun and Heat?

General maintenance of your doors will always help when trying to protect them from the elements, but there a few things that you can which will help your door to remain in working condition when the temperature rises.
 

Wooden Doors

With heat and direct sunlight, the finish on a wooden door can crack and fade leaving your door looking worse for wear. To help with protecting your door, you could consider painting it a lighter colour as it will absorb less light than a darker colour. This means that the door itself will absorb less light and therefore heat, keeping your door cooler.
 
You can also add an external varnish to the door to add a protective layer to the door, sealing in the paint and the finish to ensure a higher durability. We suggest a varnish with a high UV protection for maximum protection against UV Rays.
 

Composite & uPVC Doors

Composite and uPVC doors are easy to maintain in the sense they it is advised that they are simple wiped down with lightly soaped water once a month to remain pristine. This practise is advised to be a regular routine but can also be used in order to protect your door from the heat. Should you find your door getting hot, you can simply wipe it down with cool, but not freezing water, in order to lower the overall temperature of the door and keep it in a manageable state.
 

What Type of Door is Best for Direct Sunlight?

Arguably factors such as budget and practicality will need to come into play when choosing a door. But the best doors for durability in direct sunlight are either composite or aluminium doors. Both door materials are renowned for being low maintenance and extremely durable and one of the many benefits that they have is that the colour of them is not applied to the surface but rather under many different vanishes and coatings.
 

Do Aluminium Doors Expand in Heat?

Timber and uPVC doors can expand in heat, whereas Aluminium doors are much more stable and due to the structure cannot expand in a way to cause difficulty in operating.

 

Keytek Locksmiths

If your doors have expanded and you require a Locksmith to help, find one of our local, friendly Locksmiths on our Find a Locksmith page here! Alternatively, give us a call on 0330 332 0589.

Motorcycle Security Guide

The Office for National Statistics released that 39,000 motorcycles were stolen between April 2015 and March 2016. This isn’t new news though as thousands of bikes, mopeds and scooters are stolen every year.

With such high statistics it is vital all bike owners secure their property as best they can to prevent the worst from happening. Below we have listed the best products you can use to secure your bike as best as possible.

 

Motorcycle Security Chain and Padlock

A chain and padlock is one of the most common methods of securing your motorcycle but the efforts of putting these on are pointless unless fitted correctly. Here is what you should look out for:

  1. Chain Length – The length of the chain should be as short and as snug to your bike as possible. This will prevent thieves being able to slide bolt cutters over the chain and break it.

 

  1. Link Diameter – The bigger the chain the heavier it is and the harder it is to break.

 

  1. Material – Find chains and padlocks that are resistant to rust, rust weakens the lock and makes it easier to snap and therefore easier to steal.

 

  1. Immovable Object – Attach the chain to a heavy immovable object to prevent thieves just picking the bike up and putting it in the back of a van.

 

  1. Off the Floor – Ensure the padlock is raised from the ground when locking up to make it harder for thieves to smash the lock open.

 

Ground Anchor

A ground anchor is fixed to the floor, wall or even to a van and allows you to attach the motorcycle chain to it. You can either bolt down a ground anchor which will work best on a van or concrete it in to your garage or driveway floor. This prevents thieves being able to lift your bike up and cut the chain off elsewhere.

 

Disc Lock

Disc locks are extremely handy if you leave your bike in public places frequently. It is a small, portable device that can be used in the brake disc. This device is a great added security measure but it should be used in conjunction with a security chain to ensure your bike is as secure as can be.

 

Motorcycle Alarm/ Tracker

These can act as a deterrent for opportunistic thieves but should always be used in conjunction with other security methods such as a security chain. If a thief is tempering with your bike the sound of the alarm will make them think twice in carrying out the crime!

 

Garage Door Defender

If your motorcycle or any other valuable items are stored in your garage it is worth installing a garage door defender. They prevent garage doors from being prised open by thieves who usually use a crow bar to peel the garage door up and off its runners. Not only do they prevent this kind of garage door attack but they are also a great visual deterrent so prevent thieves attempting to open the garage door.

 

Additional Security Tips

 

  • Mark your motorcycle with your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), vehicle registration and postcode. If your bike were to get stolen this will help the police track it down and help prevent thieves sell parts on.
https://www.locksmiths.co.uk/faq/motorcycle-security-guide/

Are Key Safe’s, Safe?

Do you have a key safe or considering buying one? Key safes are popular amongst the vulnerable who struggle to come to the door when a family member or carer knock the door and so are extremely useful in having a spare key numerous people can access without the need to cut dozens of spare keys that could get lost and end up in the wrong hands.

But how safe are key safes? Take a read through our blog below to discover how to keep your key safe secure!

 

What is a Key Safe, how does a Key Safe work?

A key safe is a strong and durable metal box secured to the wall outside of your home in which to keep your house keys stored safely inside and only accessible with a personal combination code.

 

Types of Key Safe

First and foremost you should only consider buying a key safe that has the police approved Secured by Design logo on them. These key safes have been put through their paces and have been approved to stand rigorous testing.

There are a few designs on the market, the most common being a 3 or 4 wheel combination key safe. Push button key safes are popular due to the ability to create a code from thousands of numerical options, and newer to the market due to the digital age you can now purchase digital key safes that operate through an app on a mobile phone.

 

 

How to Keep your Key Safe Secure

Where you install your key safe is highly important as this can help prevent a thief from targeting it. Follow the pointers below before installing your key safe and how to keep it continually as secure as can be:

  • Out of Sight: Ensure that you cannot see the key safe from the road to prevent chance burglars taking the risk to break into it. You can help conceal your key safe by hiding it behind a pipe, a window box or with a plant for example. It is also worth considering placing it somewhere you can see the safe from your home so that if someone were to try to break into it you would know about it.

 

  • Eye level: Ensure your key safe is not placed at eye level; this will help keep it hidden to those who should not know it is there.

 

  • Identifiable: Is the key safe easily identifiable? If so, why not try your hand at some DIY to fix a removable casing over the top of the key safe. You could try to blend this in with the other external boxes on your home such as the gas meter.

 

  • Door location: Following on from the above pointers, you should ensure that the key safe is well hidden and not located within easy sight of the door to prevent burglary.

 

  • Regularly change the code on your key safe to ensure that it cannot be guessed or remembered by those who should no longer know the code, e.g. moving into a home with a key safe installed.

 

 

Fitted Correctly

Remember, your key safe is only secure if it has been fitted correctly. Always check the manufacturers guide or call a professional to help if you need it.

 

Will a Key Safe Invalidate my Home Insurance?

We all know that your claim to your home insurance will become invalid if the intruder used a key to access your home which is why it is vital that you never leave a spare key under the mat or in a plant pot as these are the first places burglars look! But what about if an intruder gained access to your home using a key that was secured inside your key safe?

It is a bit of a grey area with key safes and home insurance, there could be a number of reasons as to why the burglar has access to the keys such as, was the key safe left open and unlocked and did the perpetrator have knowledge of the combination code? All these factors including the home insurance provider’s rules will have a part to play in whether a key safe will invalidate your home insurance.

We suggest that if spare keys are needed to access a vulnerable persons home for example than a key safe is the best way to go. Spare keys can get lost if multiples are cut and end up in the wrong hands and leaving a key under a rock is a big no, no. Please remember a key safe isn’t 100% secure and there is no way to currently 100% secure your home from burglars.

 

Keytek® Locksmiths

For more information on how to keep your home as secure as can be take a look at our other blogs on our website including: ‘How to be Insurance Compliant’ and ‘How not to Lose your Keys in 2020’.

 

https://www.homesecureshop.co.uk/blogs/news/should-i-have-an-outdoor-key-safe?_pos=1&_sid=c5c250dd3&_ss=r
https://www.thurrock.gov.uk/crime-prevention/key-safes
https://www.compareukquotes.com/insurance/home/what-can-invalidate-home-insurance

What is a Tubular Key? When is best to use them?

A tubular lock is also known as a radial lock, barrel key, Ace lock or a circle pin tumbler lock where there are a variety of pins (between 4-10), arranged in a circular pattern with the matching key in a tubular or cylindrical shape, which led to being referred to as circular key lock. It became popular in 1933 by the manufacturer Chicago Lock Company, and has since been widely used with commercial products, such as computers, bicycle locks, ATM’s, glass display cabinets in stores, vending machines and elevators. They are ideal for business owners who want to secure their valuables, but also for theft and vandalism prevention, public safety and protection against unauthorised entrance to buildings and machines. Tubular locks are a smaller version of a morticed lock and are very budget friendly, making them ideal for home and door use. The tubular lock uses a basic pin tumbler system but has a few differences, with the shape of the key being circular and open in the centre, with grooves cut into the outsides of the circular shape.

 

high security tubular lock, circular key lock, tubular plug lock

 

What is their background?

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, tubular locks were recommended as high security locks for apartments and houses. In the 1980s, this was challenged by advancements in lock manufacturers, as well as locksmiths becoming familiar with their certain weaknesses. This led to a decline in the consumer market for tubular locks and keys. However, manufacturers such as Ace, the Van Lock company and Illinois Lock company, continued to manufacture different variations of the tubular lock concept. Today, these are still challenging to lock pickers and burglars, and therefore are used in the gambling industry for slot machines.

High security tubular locks are also commonly found on doors and are most suited for new post-1950’s pre-drilled doors. They are one of the most common types of residential locks in the US and require your door to be drilled and prepared in different ways for installation. They were originally designed in order to prevent high manufacturing costs and labour-intensive preparation needed on doors. Tubular locks have an independent latch and independent deadbolt, so you can identify them though the independent face plate for each of these functions.

 

Door Keys

 

How do they work?

The key is circular and has a ring-shaped hole, with a metal cylinder surrounding it in the middle. The pins are pushed in horizontally to the lock; this compares to the standard pin and tumbler system where key pins are moved vertically. The notch on the key should correspond to fit the similarly shaped hole in the keyway of the door, and these will have to line up to allow insertion of the key. Once the key is fitted into the keyhole, the key pins are depressed to the correct depth.

 

What is their design?

The design is similar to the pin tumbler lock, the key has notches around each edge, these depress a pin inside the lock to a certain height, allowing the cylinder to turn. The key pins (red) and driver pins (blue) push towards the front of the lock, stopping the plug (yellow) from rotating round. Once the key is fitted correctly into the gaps between the key and driver pins; this will depress the key pins aligning them with the indentations and shear plane, separating the plug from its outer casing (green), and allowing the lock to turn.

Click here to buy a tubular plug lock!

 

Are they secure?

They are secure and good for emergencies, with a feature that allows quick access or exit in the case of an emergency. For tubular keys, this emergency mechanism is on the inside of the door, with a longer protective plate. However, they are also good for securing homes and doors, as a separate deadbolt can be added to the lock to secure the door. Tubular deadbolts have a hardened steel pin within the bolt, and this prevents people from drilling down on it. They are also available with a key in knob or lever function with or without an emergency system and can be great for storage areas or mechanical rooms where a deadbolt is not needed. They offer a high level of security and can be purchased for a good price, providing security for your home and doors.

 

Are All Tubular Lock Keys the Same?

The same key is produced by manufacturers for vending machines of the same model. Their keys are programmed with a unique key code for each model. As a result, if you want to use a single key on all of them, you must install only one version of a tubular lock.

 

Conclusion

Now that you understand the history and background of the tubular lock, and the basics of using one, you can appreciate why this lock is used widely in different industries. These locks are often considered safer and more resistant to picking than a standard lock, and therefore can be a good option for anyone who requires a higher level of security.