Category: Home Security Tips

Timer Switch – Do I Need A Timer Switch For My Light?

Allot of people ask if you really need a timer switch and if they work as a burglar deterrent. The following questions might help.

Are Timer Switches a useful burglar deterrent.

QUESTION:  If you leave early in the day know that you won’t be back until after dark, why cant you leave your lights on all day so there’s a light on when I come home?  Why do I need a timer switch?

ANSWER: Do not leave your porch light on during the day as it simply a sign that you are not in and wont be back till late.  Leaving a visible light on during the day only signals a burglar that you are out and intend to be gone until after dark. 

Criminals know from experience that people leave their lights on during the day when they intend to be gone all day until after dark.  Daylight burglaries are also more common now and the light is like an invitation to the criminals.  

 

It is better to use a timer switch or dusk to dawn sensor which will turn the lights on whether you’re home or not.  This way the burglars will not know for sure whether you’re at home or not.

QUESTION:  Why can’t I just leave my lights off.  

ANSWER:  Leaving no lights off when its dark makes it clear you are not home.  So think about it, if you’re a burglar are you going to go for a dark house or a house with the main lights on.

QUESTION:  I have an alarm.  

ANSWER:  An alarm is really essential – but the light act as the first line of defence and a light may help protect your property from the damage caused by attempted entry.

QUESTION:  Isn’t leaving a light on a waste of energy..  

ANSWER:  Using today’s efficient energy saving light bulbs and LEDs mean light bulbs use very little energy. So you should only be using a few Watts for a few hours

How To Stay Safe When You Go On Holiday – Home Security Tips

Holidays are a time to relax and unwind.  So here are a few tips to help you relax on holiday by ensuring your home is left safe and secure and keep to help keep you and your family safe whilst you are there.

Holiday checklist

Holiday planning

Before you go.

Lock up and double lock the doors.

Hide any keys you keep in the house especially your car keys

Do the obvious fridge emptying and turning off all unused appliance.

Set your light switch timer to make your home look occupied.

Ask a neighbour to park a car in your driveway

Going by plane.

Take pictures of your passport on your phone

Take a picture of the back of your credit cards so you have to contact number of your credit card provider in case you loose them

If your like me and don’t recall peoples mobile numbers any more it is a good idea to write down key contact numbers for people back home in case you loose your phone

Keep paper copies of your tickets in a separate location to your passports.

When your there

Ward off jet lag by eating less on the plane and changing your clock as soon as you get on the plane – Being alert when you arrive will keep you safe

I always try to eat some local yogurt as soon as I arrive.  Not sure of the science but they say the local live bacteria helps avoid tummy trouble.

Don’t keep all your valuables in one place.  I always keep a money belt for my really important valuables.  That is my passports, one credit card and some cash.  Do this once you clear customs.

Taxis.  Never put your stuff in the boot while the driver is sat in the driver’s seat. Ask him to give you a hand.

Have a great holiday!!

Should You Leave A Light On When You Go Away On Holiday?

Police and security experts would all say yes, but which lights should you leave on.

Lamps, how effective are they? Holiday

Its a well known fact that burglars prefer to target empty homes. So to minimise the risk of being targeted whilst your away it makes sense to make it look like your home is occupied. Lighting has been highlighted as the most effective way to create this illusion of presence when away. However it is important to remember that maintaining the same lighting routine as normal is integral for the illusion to really work.

To give an example If you always use the mains lights when at home having your hallway lit with a small lamp may just be a tell-tale sign that your actually away.

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

We recommend setting two of your mains lights to go on and off whilst your away. This helps build the illusion that your not just home but your actively moving around it. Programme your downstairs lights go off when you normally head upstairs and program the bedroom to come on. The trick is to mimic your normal routine so nothing looks different in your absence.

Setting lights to turn on and off multiple times a day across a 7 day week helps reinforce the idea your still there. Programme your lights on a minute to minute basis so no light is turning on at an identical time across multiple days of the week when your away.

Which Lights should you leave on when you go away?

You want to recreate the lights you use when you are at home.  This means you should have at least a couple of lights turning on and off, multiple times in the evening.  A simple lamp in the Hall really inst going to make a burglar think you are home.

Think like a burglar.

Don’t give them any reason to stop outside your home and investigate.

Lighting up the front of you home will also stop them wanting to hang around outside your home and risk being seen. Most outside lights if not on a sensor are connected to a wall switch inside the home. So if you have external security lighting – it is a good idea to put them on a timer too.

 

The mydome light switch timer is a retro fit easy to install timer that enables you to programme your mains lights. It does not involve any wiring during the installation process and provides a solution to your lighting predicament the next time your not at home. Please visit about light switch timer to learn more.

Visit The Crime Prevention Website

Grab a coffee and visit the Crime Prevention Website.

this is really the best information site we have seen.  Packed full of practical insight and advice.

This really is a great resource for information about crime prevention. Written by Calvin Beckford, a retired Metropolitan police officer and author, with many years of crime prevention experience this website has been created as a security resource for all members of our society and contains some really helpful advice.

The site contains crime prevention advice to help you improve your home and personal security, covering locks, windows, security devices, alarms and more.

It includes contributions from retired and serving police crime prevention staff, security professionals and academics and is reciprocally linked with many Police Services, Police and Crime Commissioners and Neighbourhood Watches.

What is the Internet of Things?

The ‘internet of things’ has become one of the most popular search terms of this year. IoT gives individuals the ability to control devices through internet applications and is now making huge advancements at an exciting pace. This is most evident is in the home automation field, so what does this mean for home owners?
The IoT is beginning to transform home security. According to recent information released by the London Metropolitan Police the number one reason for break-ins is the ease of accessibility. As technology improves and the IoT grows, authorities believe that homes will become more difficult to enter and burglary rates will fall as a consequence.

Home automation

Through the internet of things has been one of the strongest upsides to home security. Home owners now have the freedom to control various aspects of their homes whilst they are away. This includes lighting, locks, plugs and cameras. The IoT devices allow homes to appear occupied when in fact they are empty. This has been proven to be the biggest deterrent to burglars.
Gone are the days when you have to spend a lot of money for a good system, in fact the days when you have to pay a lot of money every month for a good security system are quickly going away too. IP Camera Hosting is quickly dropping in price, and with it a whole new array of opportunities is starting to appear. No longer will you need some kind of server to store the camera data, it will all be stored on the cloud from now on. This will make it easier and cheaper to run home security in the future.
Fingerprint Scanning Devices ten years ago seemed like a distant idea for the rich class only. Now days this is something that exists on smart phones, tablets, laptops, and a few homes as well. The technology still has a ways to go, but in the next few years we will start to see it entering homes, and when it does it will make picking locks much more difficult than it already is.
As technology that catches criminals improves the expense keeps getting cheaper. Gone are the days when companies had to hire security guards to constantly be on watch. Many companies are switching over to services where a third party is alerted whenever there is suspicious activity, and that third part can than decide on the course of action. What this does is it cuts down on costs as well as false alarms. As these companies continue to come up with better surveillance technology we will start to see a large drop in price as they are able to take on more customers. This means that these services will no longer be locked in with big companies, but will now be an option for the common house owner as well.
One of the biggest changes that the internet of things has brought to homes is the ability to control your home while you are away. You can now change the temperature, lock the doors, turn off the lights, and even turn on your T.V. while you are away. One security benefit of having this technology is the ability to know if anything is removed. For instance if a burglar enters your house and removes your T.V. suddenly you could receive a message on your phone, that tells you someone has unplugged your T.V. These types of messages can be programmed so well that you can receive for just about anything, for instance if your front door opens while you’re away on vacation. Now imagine that you also have control over your home alarm, you can check your IP hosted camera and see who is in your house and then sound the alarm if you need to.

The possibilities are endless, and the low cost involved in setting up these types of protections will allow the majority of households to set up powerful home security systems in the future.

Fake TV – Secure Your Home

Winter is fast approaching and with shorter days and longer nights on the horizon coupled with late working hours we leave ourselves vulnerable to intruders and break ins.

Fake TV

Now that the holidays are over and were all set to go back into routine it’s always good to know that everything we hold dear, is safe and sound, particularly our homes. Statistics from the home office have shown that burglaries and break ins are most likely to happen over the coming months.  The question we all ask is how do I secure my home to minimise the risk of this ever happening? It’s usually the most obvious things that we forget and today its precisely them that we will be discussing.

A fake TV or TV Simulator is a novel solution; a small easy to use security feature that imitates the lighting features of a TV giving the impression someone is present in the home and watching tv.

TV Simulator

Appearance is always the most important and that always starts from the exterior of the house. If your home looks like a target then your risk profile increases. Exterior lights are important and motion sensor lights are a great place to begin. Having these situated around the home, shed and garage can deter a burglar because they immediately draw attention to that area, making it a focus point. Without ringing alarm bells it simply highlights activity is going on in that area and any passer-by will naturally look towards it.

Alarm systems are a must but don’t advertise which alarm system you are using. Burglars often scope out a neighbourhood before they attempt any burglaries. They will look for any weak points or information that can help them and security system stickers go a long way in doing this. Stickers such as ‘protected by ADT’ offer valuable information to a burglar and rather than act as a deterrent they more often than not offer vital information on how to best tackle the problem of disabling a security system. By using a generic sticker the burglar is unaware of the system being used and is therefore unable to prepare.

Displaying items of value in the home only entices a burglar. Make sure all electronic devices and valuable items are hidden away and out of plain site. If a burglar can see something they like then they won’t hesitate breaking in to get it. Most thieves like to ‘smash and grab’ so having to look for items of value can deter them from ever entering.

Finally give the appearance that someone is home and never give away your routine knowingly. A thief likes to know when to best enter a home and your routine is a focal aspect of that. However if they think you are home it can eliminate the risk of entry. There are a number of security products on the market now that help with this problem. There is the traditional wired light timers that switch on at predetermined times. These can be a pain to install. Alternatively the new wireless light switch timers are easy to install and also do the same job.

A fake tv simulator

A fake tv

Ensure you take every step possible to make a burglar think twice about targeting your home let alone breaking in and entering. The aim is to make your home less attractive to a burglar and this usually translates into a lower risk of burglary.

Heatwave Hitting The UK

Summer Burglary

The highly anticipated heatwave hitting the UK is being welcomed by many but how do you stay comfortable when the heat starts to climb?

When the sun comes out everybody’s attentions are focused purely on making the most out of summer as we like to enjoy the moment to its fullest. That includes fresh lemonade and ice cream or a day out in the parks, for some a nice pleasant afternoon in the outdoors with a book is more than enough to keep us relaxed and enjoying the weather to its most. Whilst having all this fun we sometimes overlook simple ideas that can make us slightly more comfortable when the heat begins to rise. Here are a few simple ideas which can sometimes be overlooked.

Don’t be afraid to get a little wet! According to Cambridge University physicist Lisa Jardine-Wright ‘the most obvious way to cool down is to dampen your clothes’. The natural process of your body allows the body to cool. When water changes from its natural liquid state to a gas, a source of heat energy is required to cause evaporation. This energy comes from within the body to cause a cooling effect on the skin as a result cooling the skin. So encourage your children to have a water fight and it might not be too farfetched to picture yourself joining in. “When I was cycling in France it was more than 40C and I soaked my T-shirt in water before I went out. But that’s a bit extreme,” Jardine-Wright adds. “Anything that involves evaporation is going to take the heat away from you.”

We all dream of diving head first into an outdoor swimming pool when the sun is scorching over our heads but sometimes it’s not always possible, so what can we do? To throw your hands into a bucket of cold water is the closest alternative. According to Mike Tipton, professor of human physiology at the University of Portsmouth the sudden change in temperature will help cool you down; but why your hands? He goes on to explain that when the core body temperature rises blood is sent directly to the surface. “Your hands have a high surface area – it’s like you have five radiators sticking out of your palm,” says Tipton. “As soon as the deep body temperature returns to normal, it slows the blood flow to your hands and you’ll feel cool.”

Circulating cool air is always important. We often use fans in the room or open our windows and doors to let in the fresh breeze and cool down our homes, but why not make use of them both? A fan in the centre of a room simply moves around the air which on a hot summer’s day is obviously warm. It does help cool you down as your sweat evaporates but there’s a better method says Jardine Wright. It’s much more effective to leave a fan next to an open window. This helps to circulate cool air from outside and bring it into the building. “You’re taking the cooler air from the outside and propelling it inside,” she says. “If there are no windows or doors open you’re just circulating the hot air.”

When the heat is sometimes too much the thought of a nice cold shower can be an entertaining thought but this does not have the desired effect we wanted and bring our body temperature down. Our bodies naturally react to sudden dramatic changes to temperature, so in the event you jump under a freezing shower the bodies is inclined to preserve its heat. “If I’m hot and I go under a cold shower, I’ll shut down the blood flow to the skin and trap the heat inside me rather than let it escape,” says Tipton. “It’s better to have a warmer shower that is cool enough to lower the deep body temperature but is warm enough to allow the blood to the surface of the skin.”

Open Windows and doors

Dont forget – open windows are and doors offer an easy entry point into your home.  It easy to forget when your in the back garden and your windows are open that a burglar can quickly enter – take the keys, phone etc and quietly exit through the front door in seconds.

Also leaving windows open at night is another security risk.

Finally if you chose to go away for a few days and enjoy the sun then don’t forget to read our article on home security tips and our award winning light switch timer.

 

BBQ Dragon & BBQ Grill Mat

With Summer Finally Here, it is probably safe to pull out the BBQ.

We recently found two great products whilst over in the US of A at the Las Vegas National Hardware Show.

Do you have trouble lighting your charcoal grill??  The BBQ Dragon is probably what you need. It is a great fire-starting tool so simple and yet revolutionary that it is literally changing the way you start your barbecue. It can reduce the start time of charcoal grills to less than ten minutes and supercharges the starting of all kinds of other fires. It works by blowing large amounts of low-velocity, cool air at the fire.

Yes it is a fan but what makes it stand out is it is It’s battery-powered, hands-free, micro-USB rechargeable, and looks fantastic. It works on anything: charcoal grills, fire pits, fireplaces, wood stoves, smokers – even campfires.

With the BBQ Dragon:

  • Charcoal ready to cook in 10 minutes!
  • Eliminates the need for lighter fluid or chemicals
  • Save charcoal by heating up dying coals.
  • No more blowing and waiting on smoky grills – the BBQ Dragon works for you.
  • Charcoal grills are now ready faster than gas grills- and hotter!

You can use the BBQ Dragon anywhere you want to light a fire. It clips to any type of charcoal grill, but that’s just the beginning. Ceramic cookers like the Big Green Egg, or the Primo Grill are some of the most popular new ways to grill, and the BBQ Dragon works perfectly with them. Clip the Dragon on leg of your ceramic smoker, aim it up the vent, and in minutes have the grill hot enough to cook pizza.

Second Up was the BBQ Cook mat.

Yes a mat which you can place over the BBQ coals,

Reusable and reversible allowing you to use Oil- and fat-free cooking: on the BBQ without worrying about those small items falling though the grills. Things don’t stick to the grill and it’s easy to clean with no need to scrub or

Scour, easy wipe or wash clean

  • Ideal for grilling vegetables, meats, fish, seafood, pizzas, shish kebabs, sausages, sticky marinated food, chicken wings, ribs, eggs, etc.
  • Keeps small and delicate foods on the grill and out of the fire
  • Ideal for BBQ camping, BBQs on boats, etc.
  • Can be put on top of a hotplate to keep it clean

Neither is currently available in the UK and we are seriously thinking about getting them over!

What do you think??

2014 Burglary Statistics

2014 just like any other year was subject to a high level of crime. From murders to highjacks to all sorts of other things that make us feel unsafe in our streets and even in our homes. The worst feeling is being burgled. The amount of possessions taken always has the same effect regardless but it’s the feeling of insecurity they leave behind that scars its victims the most. Not feeling safe in your own home is a feeling no one should have to go through. Sadly a lot of people went through it in 2014.

The patterns are the same year on year but they are showing slight decreases from 2013. Without question the highest number of burglaries were made nearer Christmas. November showing very high levels at around 37,982 burglaries in the UK in 2014. When put into context the total burglaries from December 2013 to November 2014 is standing at 390,451. Going by year on year stats the total burglaries in November 2013 was 40,391.

Looking at these figures of November alone we can see that there has been a decline in burglaries by around 3000 hits but at the same time this a lot of crime still running around the UK.

On researching the burglary hotspots for last year there is a large amount located in one city. London. Hotspot postcodes for burglaries last year there are at least half a dozen, if not more, all located inside the borough of London. This is surprising as this is the territory of the metropolitan police. The sheer size of the force and their regular patrols of the streets makes it questionable as to why there are still substantial amounts of burglaries happening in those areas. Postcodes such as N11 and E9 are highly featured amongst many others.

Other hotspots indicated by insurance companies are postcodes in Leeds, Doncaster and Birmingham. However the city that came out on top out of all the locations was Manchester with a staggering 45,000 claims of burglary in 2014. Working out to be about 865 a week!!

So if you live in a burglary hotspot or want to feel safer in your home it’s time you checked all your locks and windows and got yourself some extra safety cushions. One great thing you can do is to install a light timer switch. A lot of burglaries happen when you’re not at home which means 9 times out of 10 your house is watched. A scary thought but if you have a timer on your lights they can trick the thieves in to thinking that there is still someone at home. Even when you leave how do they know there isn’t someone else still indoors?

So install a timer switch or do something as simple as leaving a radio on to sound like people talking from the outside to make sure your abode and all of your possessions are safe from prying eyes and crowbars.

What Cuts In Policing Means When It Puts Your Home At Risk

Recent news stories reflect on the fact that national policing budgets are 5% smaller than last year’s budget, meaning that policing levels in local areas will inevitably drop. Despite all 43 police forces in England and Wales suffering from the challenges it already faces news reports escalate that we are being told that the forces will still be equipped with all the resources they need. However the same sources indicate that response times for 999 calls are in fact 30% slower. But what does this mean when it relates to your safety in your home?

Budget cuts are never a good thing as it means somewhere whenever it’s needed urgent help is not there quick enough. Although we’re being told that all forces across England and Wales will get the same percentage cut it will affect everyone in different ways. Cities suffer as they generally have more crime. Smaller locations suffer as they may have to wait considerable lengths of time until help arrives.

Home security

In the defence of your home and your assets these cuts could also cause problems. If the help isn’t there fast enough what will happen if you suspect something and it turns out to be right? This means that the security of your home will need to be on the top of your list of priorities more than ever. Although policing cuts are probably not going to stop anytime soon it’s best to make sure your home is secure as much as it can be in case something should happen.

Simple tasks such as checking all of your doors and windows are essential in keeping your home safe. Double locks on doors are a good start on securing your entrances. Although it means another key and another lock this will help to keep your doors closed tight. No harm comes from being protective of your home and possessions. It can even act as a deterrent. If your home is seen as being completely secured thieves will look for an easier target.

However despite the cuts there are some special funds being given to areas of national policing interest.

It has never been more important for home owners to take ownership of their homes security and take reasonable steps to protect themselves and their property.

Simple steps such as ensuring good Police approved locks are fitted, and security lighting is employed such as the lightswitchtimer.co.uk. Ensuring keys are kept safe and valuables not left on display or insight during the evenings. Burglars don’t like to be caught with tools on them so they often look for these in an unsecured shed or in the garden. Don’t leave that garden spade lying around.

Schemes like neighbourhood watch will be highly beneficial during the times of cuts as we can all look after each other. Tools such as social media can keep communities in touch with any activities or news that may affect them and their neighbours. Stretched police units would also benefit from the extra pieces of evidence collected to help with their enquiries. So when your home needs protecting support your local community and they’ll support you.