Category: Home Security Tips

Time to step up home security now clocks have gone back

With the cover of darkness to help cloak their movements, burglars will be looking to take advantage of the longer nights.

The clocks have gone back and the evenings growing darker, unwelcome visitors are likely to return to the public’s doorsteps. It may therefore not come as a surprise that as the winter months approach it becomes open season for burglars, with research showing that burglaries surge by 38% once the clocks have gone back.

As we move to the end of October and towards Bonfire Night we reach the worst time of year for burglaries with domestic damage increasing by a huge 160% during this period.

With opportunistic burglars using the darkness to help them hide in the shadows, it is important that families are vigilant and re-consider the security measures they have in place to protect their homes. As our home security systems have become more advanced, so have our burglars so it’s crucial that property owners use new technology to help compliment traditional security methods such as alarm systems and window locks.

To ensure family homes and neighbourhoods are kept safe this autumn and as an official sponsor of Home Security Month, mydome, has compiled its top tips for protecting neighbourhoods through technology.

Lock all doors and windows

It sounds basic, but a surprising number of burglaries take place because people have forgotten to lock all the doors and windows. Some people even leave a few windows open for air flow whilst they’re out of the house. Leaving your doors and windows unlocked is an open invitation to burglars, so always double-check them before you leave and to be extra safe install a double lock on your front door.

Avoid hiding spare keys

Many homeowners still keep a spare set of keys somewhere in front of their house. This is a bad habit and a major security risk. Your key is never hidden as well as you think it is and experienced burglars will know all the common hiding places. If you have arranged for a neighbour or friend to check your post whilst you’re away, lending them a spare key is a far safer alternative. Burglars are also increasingly starting to use devices which can remotely access car keys to unlock your car from inside your house. It’s therefore worth making sure your car keys are kept safe further inside your house.

Don’t forget to lock up sheds and garages

It’s often easy to forget that sheds and garages are an extension of your home and in the colder months these spaces can often be forgotten about. Sheds and garages usually store a number of tools that could prove useful to burglars trying to break into your home. Make sure these spaces are locked up and secured.

Make it look like you are at home

Very few burglars have been known to strike when they think someone is at home. Many thieves are opportunists and if it looks like your home is empty they will be more inclined to try their luck. Making it look like you’re at home, is a simple and effective security measure you should take. Keep up appearances by opening your curtains, mowing the lawn before you leave and installing an outdoor light which automatically turns on for a couple of hours each evening. Better still, invest in an outdoor light with motion detectors, so that anyone who walks past triggers the light to come on.Light switch timer - promoted by London metropolitan's operation bumblebee'

Visible Security

 

 

Burglars will not try to break-in if they fear they will get caught. Savvy burglars will know of all the latest security devices, and they’ll avoid homes if they know that there are effective security solutions in place. Sometimes, even just a security sign can deter a burglar from breaking in, so get your devices set up, and make sure burglars know that your home is protected.

Smart Technology

Whilst traditional security systems are important, they cannot be relied upon to prevent crime from taking place. Unfortunately, most traditional security systems, such

as alarms, are reactive solutions that will let you know when a burglary has occurred, but there is little you can do thereafter to stop it. Smartphone connected security devices, equipped with cameras and motion detectors, can send live video footage straight to you or your neighbours’ fingertips, meaning you can respond to and prevent suspicious activity before it happens.

Think twice about who can see your social media updates

Holiday makers who share updates about their upcoming trips months in advance and then check in and share snaps of their holidays put their homes at great risk of burglary. Criminals are increasingly using social media to check when homes are empty and half term and the Christmas holidays can provide rich pickings. Before you go on holiday think twice about who can see your family’s social media profiles and ensure that privacy settings are switched on.

 

 

Clocks going back – Its time to programme those lights

During the dark winter months the clocks go back 1 hour and nights get longer. Our homes are left exposed in the dark for allot longer than we would like – but they don’t have to be!

Which home would you target if you was a burglar?

 

 

Its time to secure your home easily with our quick programming guide for your light switch timer.

Light Switch Timer – Quick programming guide

Protecting the things that matter most to you and your family when it matters the most. Take a look at the following post to find out how we look after you.

Setting the clock – quick programming guide

  • press enter – then use the day/ hour / min buttons until correct time is displayed.
  • Press enter

Programming

  • Press prog button select the day / hour /min you want the light(s) to turn on – press enter
  • Then select the day / hour /min you want it to turn off – press enter
  • Press prog to complete

*To select multiple days continue pressing the day button. You can select groups of days so a single program can turn lights on every day at the same time.

*Repeat for as many programs as you want.

 

 

Additional features

How do I stop my programmed schedule from running without erasing all the programmes manually?

By holding down the hour button for 10 seconds you will see a bar appear on top of the word ‘Auto’ on your LCD screen. This signifies that your saved programmes are not active. The programmed timetable still remains in the memory of your light switch timer for the next time you wish to use it. In order to activate the programmes again please press the hour button until the word ‘Auto’ no longer has a bar above it.

This feature is ideal because it allows you to keep your light switch timer on the wall all the time using only the manual On/Off feature  like a normal switch.  Activate your programmes only when they are needed without having to create a new timetable each time.

 

Can I change the temperature from degree’s Celsius to Fahrenheit?

Holding down the Min button for 10 seconds toggles between the two different temperature units of measure.

 

 

 

Want to see whats going on at your home when your not there? Receive real time notifications each time something changes or someone enters your home.

Cleverloop – Smart Home Security Evolved

 

A £2,833 bill, and still counting

The true cost of burglaries and what’s really at stake – and it’s not only the financial cost

The true cost of burglary

We often read stories and articles about home security and burglary rates across the country however what these articles fail to mention is the average cost of a burglary. We all take steps to secure our homes but are we really doing enough? Sometimes it takes a big number for the realisation to really hit home – in this case that number is £2,833. This accounts for the loss and repair bill that all victims end up paying after they’ve been burgled; as if being burgled wasn’t bad enough!

broken door - burgled home

 

After figures from the Office of National Statistics were scrutinised by Post Office Home Insurance, analysis revealed that on average victims lose £2,267 in stolen valuables. The bill

grows with an additional £566 having to be set aside to pay for any damage. These numbers only give a glimpse into the cost of being burgled as there is no way of measuring the emotional distress suffered from this invasion of privacy and increased sense of vulnerability.

We don’t always anticipate immediately how much repair work can cost but once you tally up a window here, a door there you soon realise that the bill can be a bitter pill to swallow. 51 % of burglary victims are required to repair forced doors, 27% for broken locks, 24% for broken windows and 7% for damage to furniture. Its hidden costs like these that often add to the emotional distress suffered by burglar victims and constrained finances at times when families are already

stretched.

The rise in expensive gadgets and technologies make them quick and easy targets as they are often laid out in plain sight. The problem with these items going missing is that the information we store on them may be so much more valuable than the  item itself; that’s saying allot when we consider that laptops now cost in the region of £700. By taking laptops and tablets burglars get access into a large variety of aspects of our lives through the numerous apps we use. I mean do we want someone to have unlimited access to our pictures, banking information, cloud storage? Its information like this that can come back to haunt us if found in the wrong hands. If used correctly someone can continue taking from us long after the burglary.

Despite the rise in technology jewellery still accounts for 38% of items declared missing after being burgled. Sentimental value often outweighs the monetary value of these items and its tragic when they have gone missing. Unlike other items sometimes things simply can’t be replaced.

Rob Clarkson, managing director at Post Office Money Insurance, commented: “Nothing can prepare homeowners for the emotional impact of a burglary – it can leave you feeling vulnerable and unsafe in your own home. At this difficult time, the last thing you should be concerned about is the practicality of covering costs for home repairs or replacing valuables. As such, it’s important to make sure you protect your home as much as possible, not just by securing doors and windows but also by having adequate home insurance in place.”

Top tips

While tragedy can strike anyone at any time, there are a few things you can do to keep your property and possessions as safe as possible. If you can afford it, the most secure course of action would be to get a security alarm. For those who don’t have the money for such a system, you could install an external light with a timer and/or motion detection function to deter burglars, especially while you’re away on holiday.

Further options to consider include extra locks, or better locks (such as a three-point locking system) if yours are a bit old and maybe easier to get through. Add some good locks to your shed or garage, too, as burglars tend to love these for their relative ease of access. Of course it’s imperative to not forget to lock your doors and windows, regardless of how fancy the locks may be or how long you’ll be away, as it can only take a minute while you’re not looking for someone to get in and take your stuff. Common sense also tells us not to leave keys outside the house, no matter how hidden you think they are, and not to flaunt your expensive belongings where outside eyes can easily see them.

Last, but certainly not least, ensure your home and contents insurance are sufficient to cover the cost of your possessions – they can tally up more than you think, especially if you’ve bought some high-priced things since the last time you reviewed your policy. With sufficient financial security in place, you can at least be sure you won’t be footing the bill should the worst come to pass.

Cleverloop – Is it the WIFI camera for me?

The CleverLoop Smart Home Security system is a wireless camera set up that gives you the ability to keep a check on your home and family when you’re away anywhere in the world you can get internet access.

 

Cleverloop – Is it the WIFI camera for me?

Clever Loop - clever home security system

The next time your homes being targeted be alerted

A security system that has the advantage of having both indoor and outdoor cameras to be able to monitor your home or other premises inside and out. To provide the wireless capability the cameras are controlled by a device known as the base station which can control up to 4 cameras.

The base station enables much of the processing to be done locally which reduces data flow across your internet connection which is great for your bandwidth. This also means the company has a learning algorithm to improve detection of suspicious motion so you are only notified of important events.

There are no monthly fees or add on services – it is all included in the price.

In our review we look at how well it provides security for your family, home, other premises and valuable items by looking at everything in detail so you can see what is good and what you

Base Station

This is the brains of the system. It controls communication between the cameras and your smart device and processes the footage from the cameras for the smart detection according to the cameras with geo fencing and scheduling settings.

It also analyses all the footage and stores up 8 GB locally. More can be stored with a larger SD card and/or an external hard drive. This analysis and storage helps to protect privacy as well as reduce bandwidth usage. Only the events seen as important (based on the learning algorithm) are stored remotely online. They say this functionality is how they can offer this solution without a monthly fee as the processing is done locally and not over the internet.

Cameras

cleverloop completeThere are 2 types of cameras – indoor and outdoor and they do differ with some of their specifications.

Indoor camera

A 720p HD camera with a 110 degree field of view giving a good range to cover a room or area and if installed in a corner (but not as good as the Piper NV 180 degree range). It has night vision that switches over automatically to allow you to continue to get coverage. It allows for two way audio so you can have conversations with anyone at home or with your pets.

These are great for keeping an eye on the inside of the home, protecting areas where high value items are kept, entranceway.

Using the indoor camera through a window will run into problems with the infra-red LED reflecting off the window interfering with what the camera records. You can turn the LEDs off but you won’t see much at night unless the area is well lit. The better option is to use an outdoor camera.

Outdoor camera

This 720p HD camera field of view of the camera is 60 degrees making this good to cover a defined areas such entrance ways or alongside a house, specific part of a car park or garden rather than large open spaces. The switch between day and night visions is automatic and fairly seamless. At night the length of vision is up to 65 ft with infra-red. It is weather proof.

These are great for watching your doors, garden paths and gates. At the front door as well as keeping a lookout for people trying break and enter they can be used to keep an eye on parcels and delivery men.
Both cameras provide a clear image during the day and as night – although at night it is black and white due to the infra-red vision.

The cameras do not pan, tilt or zoom nor is there a digital capability to do this.

If you want more than 4 cameras you need to buy additional base stations that can all be controlled by the one App. For a house or apartment 4 camera sis probably going to get your entrances covered and a 2 rooms with your most important items covered.

The video quality of both cameras is very clear during daytime and night vision. You can clearly see what is going on and see faces. There is little blurring.

Remote Monitoring

The App is easy to use and fairly intuitive. This is where you control the system and set it up how you want it to work.
You can watch recorded clips, download them for safekeeping or share them with others. This is only available on Android and IOS devices. It can be done from anywhere you can get access to the internet.

You can only watch one camera’s live feed at a time – 2 of you can watch live feeds at the same time. They are planning an update in the near future to allow you to watch 4 cameras at once.

While you are watching a live feed of one camera the motion detection continues to work on all cameras. This helps with the fact you can’t watch all cameras at once if there is a security event is happening you are able to get a record of what is happening elsewhere.

There isn’t a limit on the number of base stations and cameras you can add to your account. It means you can monitor your home, business premises and a vacation home all from the one App on your phone without having to switch between them. You just need to make sure you name them so you can identify them easily!

Notification

With the learning algorithm you should only receive a notification when an important event happens when there is an unauthorized human movement in your house when no one is expected to be there.

When an important movement is detected you receive a push notification on your phone that is announced by a quick buzz. From there you can view a quick 10 second video clip of the event. You can also be notified when the base station loses connection with the cameras.

You can set up others to receive notifications. They need to open their own account and then scan the QR code at the back of your base station (provided you’ve not changed the access code). You can have as many people as you want added to the base station. They do have the same access as the owner so can make any changes they want as well as receive notifications and monitor the system – so you do need to be careful as to who you give access too.

The system doesn’t send out notifications when the system is turned on/off or when people arrive or leave home. It does mean you won’t know when your children or other arrive home while you are at work. The system could also be turned off by mistake (or deliberately) without your knowledge when you want it live.

 

Sensors/Detection

One of the annoying things with motion sensors and alerts is that you can end up with many false alerts buzzing your phone during the day as it picks up your pet moving around or the wind moving trees or cars moving on the street.

Often the way to fix this is to turn down the sensitivity or to tell the camera to ignore movement in certain sectors.

Cleverloop instead uses a learning algorithm to split the motion detected into two types: important, known as alarms and unimportant known as movements.

The movement is recorded for both types but only important events generate an alert to your mobile device.
Alarms are for motion seen as people who are in the field of view when the camera is armed and movements are for events such as pets moving around or trees moving or cars driving past.

When a motion is determined by the system as an alarm it sends a notification to your phone and records it locally and to the cloud (which can be disabled). It will continue to record the 10 second clips and notifications while the event continues – there is no period of reset as there can be with other security systems.

Recording starts at the same time movement is detected.

When it sees a movement (not important) no alert is sent to your phone and this is recorded locally only. This recording can still be viewed remotely with your phone.

You can help it to learn by letting it know it has done something wrong by pressing “Mark this is as movement” or “Mark this as an alarm.” It needs this help to become more accurate with its “decision making.” These improvement statements are found underneath the clips as appropriate.

As well as learning from what you tell the system it also learns from the anonymous feedback of other customers combined together which help it to get “smarter” to give less false alerts.

You reset the algorithm by pressing “Forget all learned patterns” which you probably only want to do if you move the camera to a new location.

Learning algorithms are new and can be subject to problems with them not actually “learning” and giving you false alerts anyway. However, there is no indication that CleverLoop is doing that but it will probably need “tweaking” by the company to get it right as well as your own feedback.

It doesn’t have face recognition so it sees all people as people – so if you mark movement of family member as unimportant it will mark all movement by people as unimportant not just family members – to avoid this the geo fencing and scheduling can help reduce alerts.

The fact it doesn’t totally ignore movements and stores them locally gives you more chances to provide more feedback which is great so if it does miss something important, such as someone breaking into your house you still have the video albeit it is recorded locally.

Most companies that have a learning algorithm do charge for this so at some stage they may find they need to charge a monthly fee to continue this service.

 

Video Storage

There are 3 ways you can store video.

In the cloud. It stores up to 7 days of motion clips with the clips deleted as they get to 7 days old. You can download any video stored in the cloud on to your phone so nothing important should be erased without you having a backup. There are no options for longer storage at present.

On SD Card.
this stores all motion clips – important and other events as deemed by the learning algorithm.

External Hard Drive.
This is the way to go if you want continuous storage and still get important motion clips stored in the cloud. You plug the hard drive into the USB slot on the base station. This storage starts to work as soon as you plug it in. A 1 Tb hard drive can record up to 45 days of one camera at 720p resolution.

There is a limitation on the use of the external hard drive. You can only record to it continuously when the camera is in stay disarmed or auto disarmed. When it is in stay armed or auto armed mode the continuous recording stops and only record important motion clips.

Another issue is that you can’t view the external hard drive video using the App but have to disconnect it and connect to another computer to watch it.

Contract

There is no contract to sign, nor are there any fees to use the system or store video on the cloud.

Included in the purchase price, at no additional cost you get cloud storage, remote monitoring, software updates and the learning algorithm.

They don’t offer any upgrades or additional services at this stage.

Alarms

There is no audible alarm at this time that may change in the future. Without an audible alarm an intruder will continue without know they’ve been detected – most burglaries only take minutes. A siren can disorient them momentarily plus most criminals don’t like attention or the possibility that there might be noticed and leave quickly.

To help with this it is possible to install a DIY home security system that you manage yourself in the same way as you are doing with cameras. They don’t interact with the cameras but can give you the opportunity to cover more entry points and also more rooms with a more economical solution.

When you receive a notification from the cameras after you can sound the alarm or if the security system notifies you can check with the camera if you can see what is happening before taking further action.

Wireless or Wired

The base station is plugged into the router but the cameras work wirelessly for communication. All the devices do need to be plugged in for power.

Installation

To set up the system you need spare ports on your WiFi router 2.4 GHZ, a mobile device (Android 4.1 above and/or IOS 6.0) a power supply with 27.5 ins of where you are installing the base station.

The setup of the system is straightforward – it takes a few minutes after plugging in and connecting the base station to your router, downloading the App and activating your account.

You follow along to a video and you are soon up and running.

It does also involve plugging in the cameras to the router initially to get them set up before they work with the WiFi

The cameras can be set anywhere you can get a WiFI signal and have a power supply to plug into within 9.8 ft (you can extend this with a power extender).

Indoors this is probably not an issue but outdoors you may run into issues with having to run power to them or running the cord through the wall or eaves into the attic.

The mounting hardware needed for installing the cameras is included in the box.

 

Battery

Batteries are not required for the system as all components require to be plugged in for power.

Setting the Cameras

The system can be set/armed/disarmed in a number of ways by doing this with the phone or by setting up scheduling or using geo location.

To arm/disarm with your phone you use the App to do this and it is straightforward to do.

The scheduling is where you set when the system is armed for recording and disarmed based on you and your family’s lifestyle so you don’t need to remember to arm/disarm as you leave.

Geo fencing uses your phone’s location which can help in ensuring the cameras are on when you’re not there and turn off when you get home. It works with your smart device and others that are assigned to it. When the last device leaves the cameras will be set to record when motion is detected, and when a device returns they can be set to turn off. In this way it can avoid the problem that could happen if someone forgets to turn on the system when they leave. Your phone does need to be turned on and you are logged into the App.

Each base station supports up to 3 indoor/outdoor cameras, to control more cameras you need to buy another base station.

At the back of the base station is where you plug in the power, the USB port for video storage, Ethernet cable for connecting to the WiFi router and SD card slot for video storage.

 

Pros

  • Indoor and outdoor cameras are available
  • Can monitor remotely using IOS and Android devices
  • Multiple choices for storage of video – cloud, SD Card or external hard drive
  • No monthly fees payable or contract to sign
  • Learning algorithm will help to cut down on the number of false alerts to your phone
  • Sends notifications to your phone when important motion is detected
  • No cabling needs to be laid to connect cameras to base station
  • Cameras and base station allowing them to be take with you when you move house
  • The App is easy to navigate around to get to live feed and reviewing recorded events
  • Easy to set up
  • Is expandable with purchase of base stations
  • Multiple locations can be controlled by one App
  • Easy to add as many people as you want to monitor and receive notifications
  • Can use scheduling and geo fencing to automate arming/disarming the system
  • Can choose where to record video locally or remotely on supplier’s servers
  • Recording starts, and notifications are sent immediately when a security event is detected and this continues until movement stops being detected

Cons

  • Limited to only 4 cameras per base station. You need to buy additional base stations as well as cameras if you want more.
  • Not compatible nor able to integrate with other smart home devices
  • There is no battery backup for use in the event of a power outage.
  • When there is a power outage the system stops working
  • No audible alarm when motion detected
  • Cameras need to be installed with an available power supply which may limit where you can place them outdoors
  • Can only have continuous recording to USB flash drive or hard drive when in disarmed mode
  • Only records a 10 second video clip when set to motion record
  • Cameras do not pan/tilt/zoom (nor digitally)

CleverLoop Smart Home Security System Price

The 4 cameras can be configured how you want as a mix of indoor or outdoor cameras or all the same.
When looking at similar cameras – such as the Nest Cam Security Camera which doesn’t have a learning algorithm but does have more environmental sensors, 1080 HD, 130 degree field of view and integrates with Nest. You are required to pay a monthly fee to access video storage. The pricing for the CleverLoop is similar and for 4 cameras is better by about £60.00.

The 4 camera system can be used for a house and a business – it can probably cover two entrances and your backyard or a car park but isn’t going to give you complete coverage. This can be enough for an apartment.

For a home as a minimum there are four areas you probably want to cover with cameras are the front door, back door, off street windows.

Also you probably want to cover areas that have items of high value such as a master bedroom (or at least in the access to the bedrooms) and garage.

The 4 cameras can give you coverage over the backdoor and front door and one other important area (indoors or outdoors) to give you coverage of the places criminals target first for entry and looking for valuable items.
You can add the additional cameras if you want to provide more coverage but you do need to buy a base station when you want more than 3.

Review Summary

CleverLoop as a home monitoring system does a very good job.

There are some areas of concern with the lack of back up (seems to be an issue with most systems), that everyone added to the system has the same rights to make changes to the system, you have to buy a base station every time you want to add more than 4 cameras.

The camera themselves provide a good clear image of what is happening and who is doing it. It does make it very easy to keep an eye on your home through notifications and live feeds.

The Cleverloop passes our tests and is right up there with the best of the WIFI Camera’s out there.

 

 

 

 

 

Moving home, Mortgage calculators – don’t overlook home security

Moving in to a new Home – Don’t Neglect your Home security.
Moving into a new home is the perfect time to think about security

New Home – New Home Security

It’s that time of year where we all like to check our mortgage calculators and plan our year ahead. For those of us moving home it can be a stressful time and we often overlook some of the most important things associated with that move – home security. For those of us staying where we are, planning how to keep burglars away is just as important as those monthly mortgage repayments. Below are a list of steps that we should keep in mind as we begin 2017.

Alarm systems

Make sure your alarm system is working. This may seem obvious but even if one connection is loose at an entry point your home becomes unsecure. Burglars can enter from that entry point and your alarm system will fail to ring. Noise has proven to be one of the most effective ways of scaring burglars once they have entered your home so making sure your system works has never been more important. The rise of smart home technology and smart cameras has now made it even easier to monitor your home whilst away. New inventions like the clever loop home security kit ensure you’re doing everything in your power to protect your home.

Locks

Ensure all your locks are secure and not old and easily broken. Locks are one of the few things we change regularly and we shouldn’t have to either. However its always good to have a look at all the locks whether your moving into a new home or staying in your existing home. Make sure that it’s difficult to forcibly break into your home. New home purchasers often find that locks are not always as secure as they had hoped with them being something that’s easily overlooked when moving in. we suggest using British standard locks. In order for any lock to be classed as a ‘British Standard’ lock they must have been through rigorous testing including strength, durability and of course security, these products are also re-assessed and re-tested to ensure you have complete confidence in the safety, quality and reliability of the locks you have installed in your home. A higher quality lock such as a British Standard lock can act as a great deterrent against burglary as it will make it a lot harder for the intruder to gain entry.

Secure the perimeter

Fencing, hedging and walls around your home can attract or deter thieves. It’s always a good practice to comb over your surroundings and look for any possible entry points. Large walls and hedges though in theory are good they have proven to increase home insurance premiums for one simple reason; once a burglar has got passed them they are free to work without the fear of being interrupted from onlookers. It’s therefore advisable to have smaller hedges and walls that make it difficult but don’t obscure the view of anyone passing by too much. Thorny hedges under your windows and around the home have always proven to be effective ways of deterring burglars.  Gravel and stone driveways are also good as they create noise when passed over drawing attention to any uninvited guests.

Lights –Burglars are in search of houses with no one home. To reduce your home’s risk of burglary at night, install motion lights on the front and on the rear of your house wherever possible. To be extra cautious, try to position the lights at the corners of your residence so the motion detectors can catch someone approaching from the side. Make sure the lights are positioned at a height that someone cannot disable them by easily reaching up and unscrewing the bulb. Also use lighting within the home to give the perception the home is not empty. The light switch timer is a programmable timer that controls your existing mains lights when you’re away. If your home looks occupied then a burglar is more likely to strike elsewhere.

Protect your valuables – Don’t leave your valuables (Laptop, jewellery, mobiles etc.) where they can be seen from a window, consider drapes or blinds so that any view of the interior of your home is restricted.

The illusion of being home

If you work evenings or know you are going away on holiday for a number of weeks there are a number of cheaper options available that when used give the illusion that someone is still in the property.

  • Light switch timer – programmable timer for your mains lights
  • TV Simulator – Simulates the light of a LED TV.
  • Pay for Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ Service to ensure any post you receive whilst you’re away doesn’t pile up; this can be a tell-tale sign that your property isn’t currently occupied.
  • Introduce your self to the neighbours.

Timer plugs – Can they still keep my home safe?

Going away on holiday or out for an evening has always been an exciting prospect but do we do enough to secure our most prized possessions whilst away; in short the answer is yes and no. We often take precautionary measures like asking a neighbour to watch over the home, have somebody home sit, install locks and alarms and most importantly use lighting and timer plugs to project activity whilst were away. Timer plugs for a very long time have been the go to product when leaving our homes unoccupied.

timerplug

Timer plugs when your away

 

Using timer plugs has a number of advantages:

  • Timer plugs have been designed to give the impression that we’re in when we’re not
  • TImer plugs can work with a number of connected appliances
  • We can programme lights, radios etc. when were away for extended periods of time

 

Nevertheless using timer plugs also has its limitations:

  • Timer plugs can now only be used on lamps
    • Most of us tend to use the mains lights when at home so using lamps all of a sudden without any main lighting activity can be a little conspicuous.
    • Using timer plugs on radios has become outdated with new and improved technologies such as smart phones and tablets.
  • Timer plugs have been on the market for a very long time; home owners as well as burglars have come to learn when timer plugs are used and for what purpose.
    • In the case of home security burglars use this information to understand who may be away.
  • Timer plugs are not compatible with all lights and bulbs – specifically energy saving bulbs
  • Timer plugs require mains electricity so whilst away socket plugs cannot be turned off – this makes timer plugs not very cost efficient.
  • Potentially means leaving lamps in places where they could be a fire hazard

 

Though timer plugs have traditionally been the answer to home security there are a number of potential flaws which have been raised above. These are starting to take precedent over the positives that can arise from them . The concept of the timer plug still remains appealing and still resonates with the security conscious, however identifying a more effective tool to deterring burglars has become the end goal. A product that provides home security whilst also addressing the negative aspects of the timer plug such as cost efficiency, practicality, flexibility and safety.

 

The smarter solution is to time the lights you use on a daily basis, i.e. the mains lights.  Why bother setting artificial lights on timers when you can just as easily programme your mains lights at home.  With different mains lights coming on and off it really does look like your moving around the home.

 

The Mydome Light Switch Timer

The light switch timer illuminates the home just as it would if we were still there, giving a true illusion that were still home. The programmable timer is a police approved and endorsed product that is battery operated. Siting directly on top of your existing light switches the light switch timer is programmed when your away, whether that be on holiday or as short as an evening out. Awarded with the 2016 best innovation award it is the only timer switch which can be fitted to the 1,2 or 3 gang light switch on your wall without the need to make any changes to your switches or perform any wiring. The Timer Switch is an easy and reliable way to turn your existing light switch into a programmable timer light switch. The battery operated timer switch allows you to have your house lights come on and off at different times on different days to align with your regular routine and make it appear like your home.

 

When purchasing home security products like timer plugs and switches it is important to keep in mind the reason why we want and need them. Home security touches beyond protecting our expensive electronics and jewellery it’s a canvas term used to include our cherished memories and peaceful living. With this in mind the light switch timer presents itself as the practical upgrade to the traditional timer plug and the new go to solution for all holiday goes and security enthusiasts.

 

Timer plugs how effective are they?

Timer plugs Lamps, how effective are they?

Quick Programming Guide Light Switch Timer

The clocks have changed, Its time to secure your home easily with our quick programming guide for your light switch timer.

During the Cold Winter months the clocks go back 1 hour as the nights get longer. Our homes are left exposed in the dark for allot longer than we would like – but they don’t have to be!

As summer comes in and the clocks go forward we love to make the most of the good weather out in the sun either on holiday or on evenings out. Our homes are left empty and look unoccupied to hawking burglars – Its time to make your home look like a less vulnerable target!

Light Switch Timer – Quick programming guide

Do your part, be security smart. Quickly programme your light switch timer

Light switch timer – quick programming guide

Protecting the things that matter most to you and your family when it matters the most. Take a look at the following post to find out how we look after you.

Setting the clock – quick programming guide

  • press enter – then use the day/ hour / min buttons until correct time is displayed.
  • Press enter

Programming

  • Press prog button select the day / hour /min you want the light(s) to turn on – press enter
  • Then select the day / hour /min you want it to turn off – press enter
  • Press prog to complete

*To select multiple days continue pressing the day button. You can select groups of days so a single program can turn lights on every day at the same time.

*Repeat for as many programs as you want.

 

Additional features

How do I stop my programmed schedule from running without erasing all the programmes manually?

By holding down the hour button for 10 seconds you will see a bar appear on top of the word ‘Auto’ on your LCD screen. This signifies that your saved programmes are not active. The programmed timetable still remains in the memory of your light switch timer for the next time you wish to use it. In order to activate the programmes again please press the hour button until the word ‘Auto’ no longer has a bar above it.

This feature is ideal because it allows you to keep your light switch timer on the wall all the time using only the manual On/Off feature  like a normal switch.  Activate your programmes only when they are needed without having to create a new timetable each time.

 

Can I change the temperature from degree’s Celsius to Fahrenheit?

Holding down the Min button for 10 seconds toggles between the two different temperature units of measure.

 

 

 

Home Security That Won’t Break The Bank

Home security systems which monitor 24-7 are great once installed. They give a good picture of your homes security and offer that peace of mind that your home is relatively safe. However the cost of installation, the equipment that’s needed and the continued servicing and monitoring can often be obstacles which cause such systems to be out of reach on tighter budgets. Nevertheless there are a number of different ways that we can secure our homes and get that peace of mind on smaller budgets.

Home Security That Won’t Break The Bank

Security Lighting

Burglars like to work in the shadows and the dark where they know they won’t be seen and have the time to do what they intend, so the best thing to do is to take that luxury away. One of the most effective deterrents to a burglar is light both in the home and outside. The use of motion sensor lights attracts attention to any passer-by and are particularly difficult to get around without being detected. Any one attempting a break in will be quickly scared off knowing that they can now be seen by others and potentially reported. Having motion sensor lights around the entrances of your home and garage are great ways to ensure your home is lit when someone is approaching.

Lamps, how effective are they?

Lamps, how effective are they?

Lighting in the house is also particularly important. This gives the illusion that somebody is home deterring a burglar from the offset targeting your home. Keeping lights on each time your away can become expensive but there are alternative solutions. Timer plugs for lamps have proven to be effective however given the length of time they have been around their effectiveness is beginning to diminish over time. Most individuals use their mains lights whilst at home and lamps while away, something burglars are and have begun to realise, for this reason there effectiveness is slowly dropping. Nonetheless light switch timers seem to have picked up the baton and are proven to be highly effective, addressing the concerns outlined above. The light switch timer controls your main lights on a timing programme so now it’s the main lights that switch on and off rather than your lamps. With a range of different programmes to choose from the police approved light switch timer ensures that anyone scouting a neighbourhood cannot identify a specific routine or pattern. The aim of the light switch timer is to deter a burglar from entering from the very start before they prepare to weigh up the pros and cons of entering a particular home.

Effective lighting products for home security can range from £4.99 – £29.99

TV Or Radio

Why not make it look like your at home watching TV – with a the clever Fake TV, which make people think your sat at home watching the telly.  Very effective if your out during the evening to add that extra  impression some one is home.

from 14.99 – 24.99

Windows

Windows statistically are the most frequent point of entry for burglars according to official police statistics. Ensuring that you have taken steps secure them is therefore very important. There are a range of ways to secure your windows effectively on tight budgets without having a top of the range alarm system. Glass break detectors have become increasingly popular over time with them constantly improving. They usually work through vibrations or when contacts are broken and are very effective in producing loud alarms to scare off the intruder. Newer models are also accessible through apps which offer notifications to keep you informed and possible actions i.e. call the police or a specific contact.

Effective window products for home security can range from £6.99 – £19.99

Locks

Reinforced locks are a must and we all ensure we take measures to make sure entering through the front door is as difficult as possible however its interesting to note that official statistics point out that many a time burglars have not needed to force an entry. i.e. something was left open by accident. This can have major repercussions on us from both a personal perspective and even a financial perspective with many insurers having clauses to protect themselves from such situations.

Electronic locks for this reason are becoming very popular. They cause the door to close and automatically locks itself when done so. This ensures you never forget to lock a door when leaving or worry about the children running out quickly without closing the door. Electronic locks feature a number code which is used to then enter but many models also have a key slot in the door handle to ensure the traditional option is resent for those who wish to use it.

Effective locks for home security can range from £49.99 – £129.99

Cameras
Clever Loop - clever home security system

The next time your homes being targeted be alerted

Security cameras are very reliable and easy to use. Cameras should be made visible to burglars so they are aware the home is being monitored but there should also be others that are hidden in the event they still choose to enter. Security cameras have proven to be very effective in burglary cases, they often deter someone from trying to enter but they also offer the chance to catch the culprits if they do. Many security cameras now offer Wi-Fi accessibility with remote control access using an app. Much like other security gadgets accessed using an app, notifications can be sent to the user so they are kept informed when something happens in their absence.

Effective security cameras for home security can range from £32.99 – £74.99

Protecting Your Home When You’re Away

If you leave your home unoccupied while you are on holiday, it can be an irresistible target for thieves. Protecting your home when your away could not be more important. There’s plenty of things that you can do to make your home, and possessions more secure while you are away.

protecting your home with the light switch timer

76% of homes burgled are dark and empty at the time. Use lighting to give the illusion your at home

Protecting Your Home When You’re Away

A home that looks like nobody is in can be an irresistible target for thieves. The ideal solution to this would be to get a reliable friend or relative to house-sit for you. If this isn’t possible, you should take steps to make it look like your house is occupied.

First off, you need to cancel any regular deliveries, such as milk or newspapers. Not only will this save you a bit of money, it will also prevent the uncollected items on your doorstep from building up, giving a clear signal that the house is unoccupied.

Another thing that can be highly effective in creating the illusion of occupancy is to install some timer switches. These can be set up to turn lights on and off at certain times. Leaving all your curtains closed can also be a bit of a giveaway, but you don’t want thieves peering into your living room either. A good compromise is to use blinds. These will let some of the light from inside through without allowing a clear view of your rooms from outside. Blinds are only necessary on clear windows. Frosted or textured glass often found in bathroom windows, will create the same effect.

Installing or upgrading door and window locks can make it more difficult for a thief to gain access to your property. Breaking a window or door will make a lot more noise, which might be detected by neighbours. Thieves are reluctant to do this unless there is no other way in. Exterior doors should be fitted with a minimum of two locks; one of which should be a secure mortice lock with five or more levers. Good quality window locks are also a must, and of course you should be sure to completely close all your windows. Remember even a small opening may be enough to allow a thief to gain access.

Lighting is the most effective deterent to burglary

Don’t let everyone know your away. Have your mains lights turn on and off as normal.

Installing a burglar alarm system can act as an effective deterrent to thieves. If you are broken into, it will draw attention to your property and hopefully scare off a thief. These come in various guises, from cheap ‘dummy’ alarms that won’t trigger but may act as a deterrent, to pricier fully-integrated systems. You can also install CCTV cameras to act as a deterrent – again, fake ones may do the job but with real ones you can get a video record of any suspicious activity.

Finally, you should make sure that the contents of your home are fully insured before you leave. If you do fall victim to burglary, you will be compensated for the loss of any items. This also protects your possessions in case anything else should happen to your home while you are away, such as fire or flood damage. In most cases, items will be replaced on a new for old basis, so you will be provided with brand new items of equivalent specifications as replacements for your lost or damaged possessions.

 

I Was Burgled – What Should I Do?

Though they can be difficult to identify there are usually subtle signs indicating our homes are being targeted by burglars. It’s never nice to know that someone unwanted has been through our peaceful abode. Sometimes the damage can be detrimental to us. It is important to understand that burglars have a strong tendency to scope out a neighbourhood or a particular home in detail before planning their attacks. Remaining vigilant is a must. Here a three potential signs that your home could be targeted.

Burglars use codes that we often overlook

Be sure to look out for odd markings.

Strange vehicles

Cars and vans with dark tinted windows are most frequently used in burglaries. Strange vehicles continuously doing rounds of a street or neighbourhood at odd times can be a clear sign that something is out of the ordinary. To initially find a suitable target burglars will identify the weakest homes. Once identified you may find that these vehicles are then parked nearby or simply continue to return during random periods of the day and night. There main aim is to identify the occupant’s routines. The neighbourhood watch should remain vigilant and inform one another of their suspicions.

Individuals out of place

An individual jogging or walking down the street for exercise purposes is usually dressed in suitable exercise attire i.e. they fit the profile of a jogger. Their intentions are clearly displayed to any onlooker; likewise someone walking their dog will be nicely wrapped up and casually walking. Most individuals act in a manner appropriate to their intentions and burglars are no different. If you find an individual has suddenly started to take walks down your street paying close attention to yours and other homes then you can be sure they are not there to simply stretch their legs. It’s important to observe their actions and identify the patterns or frequency of their stroll down your street. If they walk slowly taking particular care to intently observe surrounding areas during different periods of the day then take precautions as they may be looking for patterns and vulnerabilities in your routine.

Individuals approaching your home

To invite a stranger into your home under their pretence of offering a service or doing a job can be very dangerous. We often find that burglars use a range of aliases to enter a home and get a better view from the inside. They come in the form of handy men, door to door sales people and even police. They take the opportunity

Your home may be empty but from the outside it looks like your watching TV

An energy efficient security device that mimics the lighting effects of a TV. Make it look like your home watching TV

to enter a home and identify the best possible targets. It’s very important that you always ask for identification. If you find that an individual has made a second return to your home without being invited and with no particular reason then you can be pretty confident they returned assuming you would not be home. They will not hesitate to quickly leave however details of the encounter should be passed on to the police and the neighbourhood watch as suspicious activity.

 

Deterring a burglar is the best way to ensure you’re not burgled.

There is no way to guarantee that your home will not be burgled. However appropriate steps can be taken to substantially reduce that risk. Remaining observant is one of the simplest ways to avert a burglary. Close communication with your neighbours ensures collectively you’re all vigilant together.

Burglars have a tendency to strike when your home is empty. Remaining observant must be matched by not giving away too much information. Take special care not to leave an obvious routine or pattern for potential burglars to use against you. According to the London Metropolitan Police lighting is the strongest measure that deters burglars. Ensure your home is well lit when you’re away with  the  police approved light switch timer  or the TV Simulator.