How Not to Lose Your Keys in 2022

Losing your keys is one of the last things that you want to happen in everyday life; you might be locked out of your car, running late to an appointment or caught out in the rain, which undoubtedly, would have a negative impact on your day. However, there is a silver lining to this situation, as like most things it can be avoided. Make sure you never lose your car keys again through some nifty gadgets and helpful tips below!

If you have lost your house keys and are in need of a locksmith, we can help. 

If your car keys are lost stolen or damaged we can get an auto locksmith to you.

Can keys be tracked?

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

 

Is there an app to find lost keys?

Some tracking devices, such as the Amazon Tile work with an app on your phone that will allow you to locate the most recent location that your valuable has been pinpointed in and if in range will allow you to send a push to sound an alarm on the device attached to your valuable. Make sure you never lose your keys again with Tile!

 

What is the best tracking device for keys?

Amazon Tile on Keys, keyring you cant lose, never lose your car keys again, never lose your car keys tile

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

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

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

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

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

Buy the Essentials Combo on Amazon for £67.99, which includes 2x Adhesive Tiles, 1x Thread Tile and a Slimline Tile.

 

What is the best budget tracking device for keys?

TrackR Pixel key tracker on a set of keys, keyring you cant lose, never lose your car keys again, never lose your keys again tile

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

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

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

 

Best Alternative Tracking Device

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

 

Most Stylish Key Finder

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

5 Top Tips on How Not to Lose your Keys

 

1. Give your Keys a Home

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

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

 

2. Make Them Glow

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

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

 

3. Big, Bold Keyrings

Decorative keyrings can be your best friend as they can make your keys easier to find at the bottom of your bag or when searching around the house, but they also make them easily identifiable. If you were to lose your keys, you could speak to someone of authority in the area you have lost them. Talk to a police officer or a shop manager, and enquire as to whether a set of keys has been handed in. If they have you can easily describe and identify them as yours by the unique and bold key rings you have. Click here for top reviewed keyrings you can’t lose!

 

4. Carry them in Secure Pockets

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

 

5. Invest in a Bluetooth Key Finder

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

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

 

One of the most common and aggravating mishaps is simply losing your keys. Key loss can happen due to different reasons not just them being stolen, misplacing your keys or accidentally dropping them under your couch could all result in key loss. It’s even considered as one of the most common lost objects between people. Therefore, don’t panic and waste time blaming yourself and follow the steps provided above to avoid losing your keys again!

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!

5 Worst Places to Hide Your Valuables

Millions of people hide their valuables in their home. While this helps many to feel like their valuables are safe, many people actually fail to smartly hide their valuables. Even if it’s hidden out of sight, some places are known by burglars due to people commonly hiding valuables there.

Therefore, when you decide to hide something in your home, you need to make sure that they are well hidden in an unpredicted place and you avoid using all the obvious places a burglar will go to first.

In this blog, we have gathered the top worst places to hide your valuables to keep your items as safe as possible in case of any intrusion!

 

Drawers

Many people tend to believe that drawers are a secure place to hide everything as you can hide it underneath clothing or bedding etc. But think of it this way, when you lose something, the first thing you will do is open any drawer that you use often and look for it in case you have misplaced there or have accidentally dropped it.

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A burglar thinks the same way as it’s the easiest place to check if there are any valuables. Whether it is an underwear or socks drawer, desk drawer, or bedside drawer, burglars will certainly look there first!

 

Freezer or Fridge

Hiding valuables in the fridge or freezer has become increasingly common. It’s a tactic that has featured in many movies and therefore the chances of a burglar rummaging through your frozen food has actually risen.

Burglars often look through the fridge looking for prescription medication, which they can sell on later. People have been known to wrap their valuables in foil or store them in food packaging inside the fridge, however, burglars are smarter than you think and know these tricks very well.

 

Children’s Bedroom

Years ago, hiding your valuables in a child’s bedroom would have been a brilliant idea, however these days kids’ bedrooms are highly targeted in burglaries. Today children possess many high value gadgets, including TV’s, tablets, game consoles and many more that can attract burglars to their rooms. Once inside, it’s no surprise that they will dig deeper to see if there are any hidden valuables in the room! Make sure you keep your children’s items and your valuables safe by avoiding the bedroom as a hiding spot.

 

Under the Mattress or Bed

Movies alone makes the mattress a very obvious place for hiding anything. One of the first things a burglar will look at will be under your mattress or bed. Some people leave a box with valuable items under the bed as it is out of sight, others will hide some cash under the mattress as it is also out of sight and won’t be obvious with any bump. However, these are two of the worst places to hide it.

Not only is it an obvious place for burglars to look, but also easily reachable, which makes it on top of the worst hiding places list!

 

Toilet Tank

avoid hiding in the toilet tanks safety and security locksmiths advice about top worst places to hide your valuables and cash at home

A long time ago, toilet tanks were an excellent place to hide items. However, with an extensive use in several movies and TV series, it has become a very predictable place for thieves. It’s also a easily accessible place, with removing the lid taking few seconds, making it another hiding place to completely avoid.

 

What are the Best Places to Hide Your Valuables at Home?

Now that we stated the worst places to hide your valuables at in your home, here are few ideas of the best places to hide your valuables you can consider:

 

A Safe

A safe is a great option to keep your valuables safe. The only tip we have when with purchasing a safe is to make sure it cannot be taken away. A thief might think of taking the whole safe away to sort out opening it without any rush at a later date! Read our guide to buying a safe here.

 

Inside the Hoover

Burglars usually are in hurry and hoovers are usually not the easiest to open. It’s an odd suggestion but it’s one that a burglar wouldn’t think of. Just make sure it’s not one that your using!

 

In a Clock

You can actually get clocks that open so that you can place valuables inside them and works very well if you have several clocks. A burglar wouldn’t have the time to be opening each clock you have in the house to check if it has got any valuables or cash inside.

 

False Bottomed Drawer

Instead of using actual drawers, false bottomed ones are more secure and mean that even if a burglar does go searching through your draws your items have some extra protection.

 

In your Loft

A loft is in fact a good place to hide things due to the difficulty to reach it. Burglars will not want to waste time accessing a loft and leaving it to prevent getting caught, which makes it a good place to hide your valuable items! Read our blog here on how to secure a loft.

 

To conclude, hiding your valuables can be frustrating as burglars are cruel but clever. Most of the unexpected hiding spots have been exposed in movies and TV shows, making them predictable places targeted by burglars. Make sure you read our tips of worst places to hide your valuable to make sure all your items are safe and secure!

 

About Keytek® Locksmiths

At Keytek® Locksmiths, we are committed to assisting you in keeping your house secure, which is why we are always upgrading 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 like your front door, garden gate, outdoor lights and more.

What to do if someone breaks into your home

While the likelihood of being confronted by a burglar is slim, there is chance it could happen. The majority of burglaries tend to happen when the house is empty, but 28% of house break-ins are thought to occur when someone is home. This could be an extremely traumatic experience and you might be at a loss of what to do. We will go through some ways that you can handle the situation if this were to happen to you.

 

Burglar in your Home? Get to a Safe Place outside your Home

Many people ask “what is the first step if someone burgled my house?”. The police recommend your first course of action should always be to leave your home in the even that someone breaks in, and this is something we can’t stress enough. It’s been proven that burglars just want to be in and out of your property as quickly as possible and don’t want to cause you harm.

It’s likely that an intruder will already have an escape route planned, which according to statistics, is most likely out of the back door.

According to safe.co.uk:

“Burglars will have a clear exit to the rear of the property through the back door before heading upstairs to check the bedrooms”.

If we take this as correct, we would advise that you try and escape through the front door and stay as far away as possible from the back door. We would NEVER advise that you confront a burglar, as this is likely to cause a violent reaction. Nothing that they could take is worth risking your life for.

 

Activate Your Burglar Alarm System

Your second plan of action would to be activate your burglar alarm if you have one. This would be especially important if you have a panic button. If you don’t have an alarm fitted then try to set off your car alarm using your keys. Any loud noise will hopefully spook a burglar into running away.

 

Hide and Try to Call the Police

Your third option would be to hide. Once you are somewhere safe try to call the police. The best place to hide would be somewhere that you can either lock the door from the inside or barricade yourself in.

Once you call 999, you need to explain that someone has broken into your home. It’s important that you’re clear when you explain what is happening, although you could be extremely panicked in the moment, try to be concise.

If you are in a situation where speaking or making noise could put you in danger then you can stay silent and press 55 (silent solutions) this will alert the operator that you need assistance but cannot make a noise. Stay on the line so they can hear what’s happening, but it’s important that you stay where you are and wait for the police.

 

Be Calm, Collected and Compliant

If all else fails and you come face to face with an intruder then you have reached the worst case scenario. So, what do you do now?

One of the best things you can do is to stay calm, this is easier said than done, but try your best. The calmer you are, the calmer the burglar should be. Keep your voice at a normal level and don’t shout and scream. Don’t move towards the burglar and don’t make any sudden movements.

Another very important thing to do is to be compliant, hold up your hands and tell them to take whatever they want. Do not put your life at risk to stop them from taking anything. It could be that the intruder has covered their face with a mask or balaclava, but regardless of whether you can see their face, try not to make eye contact, and don’t look directly at them. If a burglar feels like you can identify them, then this could lead to an act of aggression.

 

What to Do After Your House is Broken Into

Your first course of action after you discover your home has been broken into, is to call the police. If you are 100% sure that the burglar is not still in the property then you should call 101.

However, if there is even a small chance the intruder is still inside then you should call 999. You MUST NOT touch anything before the police arrive, as they will be testing for finger and foot prints.

If the intruder is no longer in your property, then the police should arrive within a few hours, as the situation is no longer an emergency. Once they do arrive, they will take your full written statement, try to be clear and give as much information as possible. Once they have done all their procedures, you will be given a crime number to be able to track the progress of your case.

Once the police have left is when you should call an emergency Locksmith to secure your home. An emergency locksmith can either replace your locks or if your door is damaged beyond repair then they can do emergency boarding up, to make sure your home is secure. To find out more about emergency locksmiths visit our Emergency Locksmith Page.

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What am I allowed to do if someone breaks into my Home?

If a person were to enter your house without your permission, you are entitled to act in self-defence using reasonable force. The CPS have previously stated that you don’t have to wait to be attacked to act in self-defence, but they are very clear that only actions deemed necessary are counted as reasonable force.  

If you are to use force that is considered more than reasonable and a burglar was to suffer serious injuries during this, then you may be prosecuted. The general rule if self-defence is that the more extreme the situation the more force you can reasonably use.  

We would never recommend that you confront a burglar and it only to be used as a last resort. You need to try all other courses of action before this.

 

How do you Report an Attempted House Break-in?

If you suspect that a break-in attempt has been made, you should NOT call 999. Calling 999 is only used when you or another person are in immediate danger, or there is a crime currently being committed. As long as there is no immediate danger you should call 101 if you suspect there has been a break-in attempt.

 

What Attracts Burglars to Homes?

Any burglar’s aim is to be in and out of a property quickly, with as much stolen property as possible. So, they are more likely to target homes where they are least likely to get caught. Having things like overgrown trees and bushes and no external lighting makes it easier for a burglar to break in undetected. 47% of break-ins are spur of the moment decisions and are not pre planned, so the more secure you make your home the less likely a burglar is to choose yours.

One thing that will really attract a burglar to your home is exposed valuables. If they can see many of your most expensive items from the window then the more likely they are to try to smash and grab as much as they can. If your home looks very secure with no valuables on display a burglar is more likely to move on without attempting to break in.

 

Do Burglars Come Back After a Failed Attempt?

There are a number of things that thankfully could have prevented a burglar from entering your home; however, this doesn’t mean that they won’t try again. Unfortunately, the burglar thought that they would have been able to enter your home and would have targeted you for a reason, there is a chance that they still could think they may be able to do it successfully at a later date.

If all your security precautions do, thankfully, stop a burglar from entering your home, then that’s great. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean you can relax, they could try again, they targeted your home for a reason and that might mean they will attempt to break in a second time.

 

How to Protect Against Future Burglaries

Consider Installing a Burglar Alarm

The physical sight of a burglar alarm is a great visual deterrent to ward off any burglars scouting the area but also provides the sense of peace that if someone was to enter your home the burglar alarm would sound, alerting people in the area of a break in and scare off the burglar.

Act like More People are Home

If you are home alone and the doorbell goes you should always try to make it sound as though you are not home alone, you could do this by shouting “Can some get the door please” before opening the door yourself. Deterring burglars is all about appearance, giving the facade that your home isn’t easy to break into, that there are multiple occupants in the house are factors that would be considered when a burglar is choosing a target.

Teach Children How to Respond To Strangers and Intruders

A knock at the door can be exciting for children, running up to see who it is and want they might want, but this can be partially dangerous if they were to accidentally let in a stranger. Teach your children to never open the door, especially if home alone, but instead turn on a light somewhere in the house and notify someone that there has been a knock at the door.

Invest in a Few Simple Items to Make your Home Less of a Target

There are multiple things that you can do to make your home more secure and a less attractive target to intruders. Simple things such as outdoor security lights, thorny bushes and anti-climb paint are all blockers that you can implement to secure your home. To find out how to secure all the different aspects of your home head over to our Ultimate Home Security Guide.

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What are the Chances of Someone Breaking into Your House at Night?

Shockingly, night house burglary doesn’t make up the highest percentage of when are houses burgled. Most burglaries actually happen during the day, typically between 10 AM and 3 PM when everyone is either at work or school. Despite that, most burglars will also take advantage of the dark to burglar houses so security lighting is always a good way to reduce your chance of someone breaking into your house at night!

 

Change your Locks after a Burglary

Don’t waste time thinking what to do after a burglary! Once the police have left your property then you should call an Emergency Locksmith to avoid a further potential of a thief breaking in, to check if any doors or windows are damaged, or to check if you need emergency boarding up services. Keytek® Locksmiths has local Locksmiths available 24/7 so we can help you out whenever. 28% of people will get burgled for a second time at the same address, so it is important that your house is secure. Burglars will often target the same house again because of ease and familiarity. They might think they have been successful once, so they can be successful again, so it is imperative that you engage a fully accredited, trustworthy Locksmith in the UK to make your home secure again.

 

For more info on what to do after a house break in visit our Burglary Page.

 

 

Updated January 2022

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!

Best Outdoor Security Cameras

Upgrading your home security to include external cameras is a practical and effective way to protect your home. However, to make the most of your surveillance requirements, you’ll need to assess the needs of you and your family, as not everyone will need the same level of security.

So, we’ve put together a guide to help you look at which outdoor security camera is best for you, your family and your home.

What you need to consider

 

Weatherproof or Waterproof?

Weatherproof means that your camera will be able to withstand exposure to weather without deterioration, so your camera could handle wind, rain, and snow without being damaged. Whereas waterproof means that your camera isn’t going to break if it’s submerged in water; no water will get in to the components to destroy them.

A consideration for buying an outdoor security camera will need to be the weather conditions where you live, to make sure you get the right one. If you live in Scotland, for example, where you get a lot of snow; it would probably be worth getting a weatherproof camera, but if you live on the South Coast of England where snow is a remote possibility, you could probably manage with just a waterproof camera.

How much of your property do you need on camera?

A camera’s viewing angle will determine how much space the camera will cover. A camera with a wider angle will mean you need fewer cameras. You will also need to think about the size of your property and how much you want in view; this will determine how many cameras you will need to buy or how wide the camera angle will need to be.

How clear do you want the picture to be?

You need to think about what kind of video you want from your outdoor security camera. The higher resolution the camera has, the better the picture quality will be. For a good quality image, you need at least 1080p, or even higher if you want crystal clear images. It depends if you are going to be studying the footage every day, or only if there is an issue.

What Resolution do you Need?

Resolution should always come on top of your mind when you decide on buying a security camera. Having a high resolution is very important as it shows you details of whoever is in front of the camera, which also leads to the main reason why people get security cameras, having a clear image of whoever is trying to break into your house. The 1080p resolution is the most common amongst all types/brands of security cameras. Again, the level of sharpness and details you will see in a video should be decided based on why you want a security camera. A security camera for the purpose of watching the kids and pets, for instance, could have less resolution than a security camera for the purpose of avoiding burglary. When an intruder breaks in your house, it is important not only to know they got inside but also to help police catch them to prevent any other intrusion in the future.

Do you want to be able to access your camera on your mobile?

This is popular feature because it allows you to check in with your home wherever you are. You will need to make sure you choose a camera that is compatible with your phone and be prepared to pay a fee for your footage. Most cloud based features will require monthly or yearly fees payed to the company that makes the camera you choose.

How much do you want to spend?

You can get pretty cheap basic security cameras, but it is a case of ‘you get what you pay for’, one or two basic cameras will be around £150-£250 but if you want multi-camera, indoor and outdoor top of the range camera with all the fancy extras, then you could be looking at thousands of pounds.

Are there disadvantages to installing a security camera?

It is hard to say any additional security would be disadvantageous generally in installing it. However, the cons of installing a security camera can still fall into different aspects:

  • Can’t 100% stop theft – though security cameras are a great addition to burglary, it only prevents but never stops theft.

  • Can be easily vulnerable – while we always try and keep ourselves up to date to all security systems that can keep us safe, so are burglars. An experienced burglar will likely be able to understand your device and find ways to disconnect it.

  • Privacy issues – security cameras, in general, have been affiliated with many controversies regarding privacy as it prevents someone’s privacy based on where it is placed. No matter where you are installing your camera, it is important to consider all government regulations to avoid getting in trouble.

The Best Outdoor Security Cameras in 2021

1.  Arlo Pro 4 Wireless Camera

Overall Best – £219.99 from Amazon

Features

  • 6 month Battery health
  • 2k Video with HDR
  • 160 Degree Field View
  • Colour clear night vision in complete dark

The smart device, Arlo Pro 4, can be controlled and connected with your choice of smart assistance, including Apple Home Kit (interestingly it also works with your Apple Watch), Alexa, and Google Assistant. Setting it up is very easy; all it takes is a few minutes as you open the app and follow all the steps.

Certainly, the Arlo Pro 4 is weather resistant so you can place it wherever you want no matter the weather! Alongside the camera is built-in siren which mainly is used to put off burglars. A two way audio is also included, which can be used to scare off burglars by speaking (letting them know your house is not empty!). While most cameras will provide you with clear quality, the Arlo Pro4 gives you a superior coloured quality.

 

2.     Reolink Camera Wireless Argus 2

Most Affordable – £67.19 from Amazon

Features

  • 1080p HD Resolution
  • 130 degree field of view
  • Up to 64GB of storage video
  • Six Infrared LED sensors to help you see in complete darkness

The Reolink Camera Wireless Argus 2 is one of the most affordable options out there. However, this doesn’t mean it lacks any of the options you would want.Along with a reasonable price, set up only takes a few minutes and it comes equipped with not only a brilliant camera but also a built-in siren that could scare away burglars. Given that it’s a smart device, Google Assistant is compatible with it, offering the convenience to access the camera from your phone.Of course, the Reolink Argus 2 outdoor camera is weatherproof, making it adaptable to be placed anywhere you want and with it’s rechargeable battery with a solar panel it will continually charge! Lastly, the Reolink Argus 2 has a 2 way audio system, which can be used for many different reasons including pre-set voice alerts and live communication.

 

3.      Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera

Best for scaring away burglars – £89.99 from Amazon

Features

  • 1080p HD resolution
  • Weatherproof
  • 130 degree field view
  • Coloured night vision
  • 6 months battery

The Arlo Essential Spotlight outdoor camera is a perfect choice for putting off burglars, considering all its features. Besides providing a sharp video, it sends email alerts as soon as it recognizes any motion and it even works well with smart apps, such as Alexa and Google Assistant, providing convenient security. In just a few steps that are prompted through the app, set up is easy and fast but what makes the Arlo Essential Spotlight unique in scaring off burglars is that you get 2 devices in one not only does it capture and record video, but the attached spotlight draws attention on anyone who might be lurking around. The camera is weather resistant also which makes it easy to place it anywhere!

 

4. Blink Outdoors 1-Camera System

Best for long life battery – £89.99 from Amazon.

Features

  • Two year battery life
  • Motion detection
  • Weatherproof
  • 1080p Sharp Resolution
  • 110 degree field view

The Blink Outdoors has many pros, however one of the main reasons why it’s so popular is its good battery life. Considering it uses two AA batteries that last for up to 2 years, it is a perfect choice if you are a person who goes away for a long time. It’s also very easy to replace the camera’s batteries once their life ends. Other advantages to the camera are detecting motion through email alerts on your phone, working well Alexa, and withstanding all different weathers.

 

5.      Ring Stick-Up Cam Battery

£89.99 from Amazon

Features

  • Live view
  • 130 degree field view
  • 1080p Resolution
  • Two way audio
  • 6-12 months battery life

The Ring Stick-Up Cam Battery by Amazon comes on top of the list when it comes to convenience. In addition to integrating with Alexa and Google Assistant, the camera offers instant notifications as well as two ways audio, working in different climates and adaptable to weather changes. The camera will automatically change to its night mode whenever it’s needed, which certainly provides a better quality to use at night. Another advantage is that it could be powered by Ethernet, which instantly eliminates any wireless internet connection concerns. This is a very safe option knowing that if your Wi-Fi went down for any reason, your camera will still be working and providing you protection.

6. Google Nest Cam

Best for intelligent alerts – £319.99 from Currys 

Features

  • Indoor or Outdoor
  • 1080p HD resolution
  • 130 degree field of view
  • Two way audio communication

This camera is best known for its intelligent alerts which identifies whether a motion was an animal, person, or vehicle. In fact, it can even send alerts when it detects the sound of a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm going off! It’s no surprise its face recognition also works very well and no further surprise that it does so by working with Google Assistant. Although it is weatherproof and designed to be placed outdoors, its easy installation has seen it be used indoor as a security camera also. As a wireless camera, there are no wires just the simple download of an app to get going.

 

Smart Locks vs Traditional Locks

Having a secure door lock is one of the most effective ways to protect your home and ever since Smart Locks came on to the market, there has been an ongoing debate about whether they are A) safe, and B) more secure than Traditional Locks. We are going to look at a thorough comparison of smart and Traditional Locks, and see which comes out on top as the most secure.

Traditional Locks

When we talk about ‘Traditional’ locks, we are referring to the typical locks you see on pretty much every door; a Euro Lock, Mortice, Yale type (Night Latch) etc. These are the locks that you know already, and will most likely have on your door. These locks need a physical key to open them. Have a look on our ultimate guide to traditional locks here.

Traditional Lock

Smart Locks

When we talk about ‘Smart’ locks we are referring to a lock that is controlled by your phone, or another devise such as a fob. These locks use either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and not a physical key to unlock your door. Read our ultimate guide on smart locks here!

Smart Locks

Door Lock Security

This one is the biggy. Which lock is actually more secure? The one big issue facing Smart Locks is that anything that is connected to the internet can be vulnerable to hacking. So if you install a Smart Lock for your home, there is a chance someone could break in by hacking the lock. This is one fundamental flaw that affects all Smart Locks.

With Traditional Locks it’s hard to give an overview of safety because they are all different and many factors have to be taken into consideration. However, we will just look at common locks that you will find on your front door, like a Euro or a Mortice Lock, as they are vulnerable to picking.

Traditional front door locks are susceptible to breaks in; arguably just as much as or even more so than a Smart Lock. An experienced burglar can snap a Euro Lock and gain entry to your house in seconds (see more on our lock snapping page). You can invest in an anti-snapping lock, but this is still vulnerable to ‘picking’.  This is also true of Mortice Locks. You can get high security locks that are anti-snap and anti-pick.

When deciding which the most secure lock is for you home, you need to think about whether it’s more likely an intruder will pick your lock, or hack it. Statistics show us that burglary is a crime of opportunity, so it’s not likely an intruder will have pre planned to hack into your smart door lock. As discussed, Smart Locks often run off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi so there is always a chance this will fail, potentially leaving your home vulnerable.

There is a lot of debate about which lock is the most secure lock for your home. Both have the strengths and weaknesses.  So, comparing them on secureness might not make you decided one way or another. It’s the other factors that might make up your mind.

Convenience

This is an area where Smart Locks definitely come out on top. The ability to let someone into your home from miles away is great. Especially if you have children that tend to misplace their keys during the school day. In this day and age, people are generally never without their phones, so it’s a good way to ensure you are never locked out.

With Traditional Locks, if you want to grant someone access to your home while you are not in, you would have to trust them with a key, or leave on under the mat (which we strongly advise against). These can both cause security issues, as it’s an open invitation to any burglar who finds it and you trust someone not to lose the key. Having a Traditional Lock also means that if you lose your key or lock yourself out, whomever else has a key would need to physically come to your location to let you in.

However, a phone running out of battery, having no internet access or something disrupting the Bluetooth means that you could be locked out of a Smart Lock. Most Smart Locks do have a key override for this reason, but you may feel this defeats the object of having a smart door lock, a physical key is never going to run out of battery or lose connection.

 

versatility & Control

The Smart Lock market is growing very quickly, and more options are constantly introduced to the market. When it comes to versatility, Smart Locks come on top of the competition. Although the device is controlled by a phone or other smart device, regular keys will also work most of the time. Some Smart Locks have fingerprint scanners on the inside, while others have touch sensors that actuate the lock to open or close a door. In terms of versatility, some Smart Locks can even connect to different other smart devices, including the Amazon Echo.  As for control, you can use key tag, keypad, or your mobile phone to control your lock or even to log in activities and see who has accessed your door when you are away. Traditional locks wouldn’t be considered as versatile. There are many options with different brands in the market, but the way to use them is often somewhat the same.  As for traditional locks, you can control who has a key and ensure that you have high security locks fitted, but this does not protect you from having your keys stolen.

Smart lock vs traditional lock cost

smart lock vs traditional lock cost

Generally speaking, Smart Locks are more expensive than Traditional Locks and this could be a big factor in your decision. So we will run through some general prices and what you get for your money. (This is not taking in the account the cost of hiring a locksmith to fit/replace your locks)

Depending on what door you have the cost for a new lock will change. A replacement cylinder for a uPVC door starts at £25 for the most basic lock. This price will change if you have a wooden door, as you will probably need a Yale lock replacement or a Mortice Lock replacement. With a Yale Lock you can just replace the cylinder and that starts at £15 and upwards, but if you needed the whole lock and back set replaced, the price starts at £35. When changing a Mortice Lock you need to decide if you want a 3 Lever or 5 Lever, (5 Levers are generally used for external doors, and 3 Levers for internal).  5 Levers start at around £45 and 3 Levers at £25.

If you wanted high security locks then the price will jump up again. For the highest grade anti-snap or anti-bump lock, the price will start at £30. Higher security Mortice Locks start at around £40.

There is no denying that Smart Locks are more expensive than Traditional Locks. The cheapest Smart Lock out there is the Candy House Sesame Smart Lock and that’s around £100. The bigger names for Smart Locks out there are August and Yale and they will set you back around £250-£300 for the basic package. You have to think whether or not the extra cost is worth it, but you get all the benefits; lock and unlock your house from anywhere, send friends and family virtual keys and receive notifications about whose entering and leaving.

Smart Locks will use the same mechanisms as Traditional Locks, so really you are paying extra for convenience. If you wanted to pay extra for home security, you might be better off investing in an entire smart home system that includes cameras, motion detectors and an alarm system.

The Future of Home Locks

The future of technology holds many aspects in home security. The main concern is what the future will be like in terms of home security, especially when it comes to your property’s first line of defence, which is your lock. In fact, smart locks will be part the ever changing technology just like other smart device. Just like any other technological device, it is very expected that smart locks will the future of home locks, with convenience taking a huge aspect of it.  In fact, in 2020, 47% of UK households own already a smart home device, apart from smart TVs and watches.  Therefore, it is not a surprise to expect that convenience would win and the future will be mainly smart locks.

 

For a full buyer’s guide on Smart locks visit our Smart Locks Blog.

Call Keytek® Today!

There is nothing that can make your house 100% secure, but by taking some simple measures you can deter thieves. Look out for sturdy doors and windows or consider replacing them when they are old and worn. Having the locks changed is one of the BEST things you can do to protect your new home.

Hiring a professional Locksmith to fit these is the only way to be sure that your locks are insurance compliant. Keytek® offer a free home security check with every job we do, so if you book us in for the day you move we can appraise your home and give you our best advice on how to keep the burglars away.

You can find a rough guide for the cost of Locksmith services on our Locksmith Prices Page.