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The Homebuilding and renovating show – London

ExCeL London  22-24 SEPTEMBER

Home Build show  Stand G140

The London Homebuilding & Renovating Show is the go-to exhibition for self builders and renovators.

No matter what stage your project is at, there will be sessions, experts and exhibitors at the show to help you bring your project to life.

 

 

Grand Design Live – Show Update

Wow – What a Great 9 days at Grand Designs Live this year.  We Had our newly designed stand right next to the grand Theatre for this years event and were offering demonstrations to customers showing them just how easy & quick it was to install the light switch timer, and answering questions.

Grand Designs Live 2017

It was also great speaking to previous customers who had purchased the product at the last show and were delighted they were with the products.

Grand Theatre – its going to get Busy

What a difference 2 hours can make.

Opening day of Grand designs

Grand designs

Light switch timer grand designs

 

Many thanks to all the visitors to the show – Till next Year

 

 

Grand design Light switch

 

 

 

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.

 

Winter Burglary Season Has Started

The winter burglary season is once again here.

Are you home or away?

Halloween – a scary time of year

The clocks have gone back and Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas are all around the corner.
Burglaries and malicious domestic damage increases by 160 per cent during this time of  year. Bonfire Night is statistically the worst night of the year for burglaries and car theft, research has shown.

The dark nights, fancy dress costumes and noisy big bangs are the ideal way for a burglar to hide in plain sight. This highlights the the importance of keeping your home protected.

With homes empty and lots of masked guests arriving on your doorstep its no surprise that the London metropolitan police highlight Bonfire night and Halloween as the busiest time of year for burglaries.
Police advice is to create the illusion of occupancy through the use of lighting.  Leaving lights on all day can be counter productive and expensive. A light left on during the day is often a good indicator that the home is empty. Its best to have your light turn on when it gets dark only. Programme your mains lights to tun on and off in your absence with the police approved light switch timer.

 

Wireless Alarm Systems WIFI Cameras

 

Research conducted by the crime prevention unit reiterates the importance of burglar alarm systems. Experts have identified through post arrest interviews that a burglar is less likely to attempt to enter a home with an alarm system installed. These very same alarm systems have now evolved with the advent of the digital age.  Wireless alarms have become more sophisticated and reliable over time and are now more mature and reliable.  Systems are being created at an astounding rate with each and every system surpassing its predecessors in both design and functionality.

CleverLoop

Smart Security – Its time you was told straight away if your being burgled rather than find out when you return!

WI-FI Camera Alarms

Wireless alarm systems are quick and easy to install conveniently blending in with aesthetics of the home without the need to disturb the decor.  Many modern systems now take into consideration the aesthetics of the sensors and the centralised control panel making them look attractive and in sync with the contemporary home decor. The absence of wires also gives users the ability to mount the system in any desired location within the home.

The modern alarm systems no wire no hassle characteristics can save a huge amount of effort and time. This reinforces the idea of easy and clean installation.

The technology utilises battery powered sensors that directly connect with radio signals. (over RF frequency).  Various sensors are available including PIR, door, microphone, smoke etc making them very expandable. The sensors all communicate with the control panel and can trigger a siren and alert the owner.

The new systems present an added benefit to those individuals that rent a house. The portability feature allows the user to install and remove the system without any wiring.

The system is not limited to just protecting your home but can incorporate a number of added features to maximise its use and improve usability. Wireless key fobs are amongst the most popular. Rather than have to enter key codes that can be forgotten, the fob can simply activate and deactivate the system remotely. The centralised control panel can also be programmed to detect smoke and flood maximising its potential to perform more than one function at any given time. The new wireless system aims to improve overall home security by centralising whilst also simplifying all security features into one network and product.

There are two main types of Wireless alarm systems, on the market.  one is a stand alone system which will only communicate with the owner via a connection to the owner’s existing telephone line.

Smart technology – changing the way we view our homes

Smart home technology is an idea that’s beginning to gain strong traction around the world. As individual needs and wants continuously change people are quickly adapting to an ever growing home automation range, helping them become more efficient and even more connected. The smart home movement is changing the way we take on new tasks, interact with our belongings as we all aim to build a better quality of life. In doing so what we are starting to do is change the way we view our homes. Smart home automation has grown in popularity because of their easy DIY applications. Most smart products now only require a user and a smartphone making the technology accessible to pretty much anyone now.

The development of smart home technology signalled a big shift in home security as homeowners began to receive a greater control in their fight against criminals. Smart security systems give real-time updates so a user can be far away from his or her home and still be completely connected.

What is a smart home security system?

To enable interconnectivity you have a base station that communicates with a number of cameras over your wifi network. Cameras are available for indoor and outdoor use, and can run off the mains or batteries.

The other end of the system is an app on your smartphone. This lets you set up, and control the security system as well as receive alerts and footage when something is happening in your home.

How you can take control

With a smart home camera security system, you get control in ways that were never possible with burglar alarms.

  • Being based around your existing Wi-Fi network means that setting the system up yourself is easy
  • You choose where cameras are located, inside or outside, and you can easily move them as your needs change
  • Many systems have low, or no ongoing costs
  • Smart learning and clever settings can help minimise false alarms
  • Geofencing lets many systems know when you are home and the cameras turn off
  • Alerts go to your smartphone, so you can keep your home safe no matter where you are
  • You decide if alerts are important, and you decide what happens about them. Ignore the courier dropping a parcel at your front door, call the police for the person that just crowbarred your back door
  • Cloud storage of footage means that even if the thieves get smart and try to disable or steal your cameras and security system, you have still got the incriminating evidence to show the police.

What it means for you

The bottom line is that home security is no longer complicated, expensive or ineffective. With a smart wireless system, it’s simple, cheap, flexible and highly effective.

Best of all it puts you in control.

More advanced systems now connect to the user’s home router allowing remote access via a smartphone or tablet.  These give users the ability to view alerts and arm the system remotely.

Newer Phone Based wireless ssystems are also making there way onto the market.

The Ring Doorbell, for example allows you to see who is at your front door & talk to them from your phone.

Other wifi camera based systems offer remote viewing with smart alrts when movement is detected.  Cleverloop system camera system will automatically alert you any time movement is detected in your home.

 

 

Summer Holiday Burglary – How To Protect Your Home

Don’t want to return from a fantastic few weeks away in the sun to realise your home has been burgled?

It’s easy to forget what you’re leaving behind in the excitement of going away and were all guilty of doing this including me. Were in such a rush to get our sunglasses on, sit on a plane and enjoy the luxuries of a well earned well needed break in the sun that we overlook what’s most important to us, our homes security. 78% of burglaries take place when nobody is at home.

Don’t Let More Than The Breeze In This Summer

Longer evenings are here, burglars are ready.

Burglary rates rise in the UK

How safe is your postcode?

Burglaries often increase during the Spring and Summer months, when burglars take advantage of people leaving doors and windows open during the warmer weather. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the change in weather but it’s important to keep the burglars out.

According to Halifax Home Insurance, opportunistic thieves ramp up their activity during summer, resulting in a 10% increase in domestic burglaries and a 40% increase in outdoor thefts.
The majority of offenders look for the path of least resistance when attempting to gain entry to a property, and finding a door or window unlocked presents them with an attractive opportunity.
Even if you’re just nipping round to the neighbours for five minutes, hanging out the washing, or doing a spot of gardening, you should get into the habit of locking all doors and windows before you leave your home.

You should never leave windows open during the night if they can easily be used to gain access.

A senior police officer has been criticised for suggesting some burglaries should not be investigated if doors and windows have been left open.

Phil Kay, assistant chief constable of Leicestershire police, said he would “far rather” officers focus on preventing crime and protecting the public than investigate break-ins where carelessness may have played a role.

The senior officer posed the question while discussing a high rate of burglaries.

Remember also to lock your doors properly as it may void your insurance policy and you will not be able to make a claim should the worst happen and you are burgled.

  • If your away at night use your mains lights to give the impression your still at home
  • Make sure your doors are double locked all day especially when you are in the back garden
  • A Visible alarm box make burglars think twice – make sure you switch them on when you go out.
  • Lock garages and sheds
  • Be alert to strangers loitering in the street.  If you don’t recognise them or they are acting suspiciously, call the police on 101
  • Police also suggest using prickly plants around the fence line to deter access.
  • Install passive security lighting.
  • Mark tools bicycles with a a UV Pen using your postcode and house number

 

If you don’t have an alarm it might be a good time to think about getting one installed.

Another option is to get some IP CCTV cameras which alert you when they are activated and send a message to your phone.

 

 

Remember  to adjust your light switch timer schedule to reflect the longer days and shorter nights.

Click here for our quick programming guide

8 Burglary Facts – Change Your Mind Set

Everyday life continues day by day with the vast majority of us thinking nothing bad could ever possibly happen. If a crime is committed we watch or hear about it and then move on with our lives. However according to some insurance companies a large proportion of us are careless about looking after ourselves and our properties.

One – A figure that will you shock you is that an astonishing 64% of people attaining property insurance admit that they do not always lock their front door and windows when heading out. The most common entry point is an open window or unlocked front door.

Two – A distinctive statement that burglars have been known to make is that burglar alarms are hugely ignored and unarmed most of the time. People can be naïve in thinking they will never need it with 34% in a poll admitting their alarm doesn’t get used. In addition in a separate poll another 33% of homeowners admitted that they ignore any sounding alarms in the street.

Three – The most common target for burglars is a semi-detached (38%) bricked (51%) house occupied by a family with young children. The house has three bedrooms and is situated in an urban location (59%). A garden at the back of the house (82%), approximately 160 sq m and surrounded by fencing (66%). Usually with no garage (63%) at the property but there is one car sitting on the drive (32%)

Four – Only 22% of burglaries happen when the property is occupied so any measures that can be taken should be. Even small measures such as keeping your keys away from letter boxes and leaving a radio in inside can easily defend your home. And of course not leaving lights on during the day advertising that you are out and won’t be back till after dark.

Five – The cost of repairing the damage and replacing the stolen goods costs on average £1,730 – very few ever getting their stolen goods back.

Six – It isn’t uncommon for a burglar to hit the same house more than once. After all, they know the vulnerabilities, may have keys and are expecting you to replace your stolen items with an insurance claim. If you’re the victim of a break-in, improve your home security, if you haven’t don’t wait until you are!!

SevenUnfortunately, burglaries are hard to solve. Three out of four crimes are going unsolved, the lowest clear-up rate for five years. So your chances of recovering your property are even less likely to happen.

Eight – Burglary rates are likely to be under reported. Many burglaries are not reported either because they may be very minor or the victim doesn’t want to bother the police.  Sometimes victims are insured and so doesn’t see the point in reporting the crime.

The lessons, do the obvious easy things to protect your home,

  • Lock windows and doors.
  • Use your alarm
  • Keep sheds and gates locked
  • Use a lightswitchtimer.co.uk when its dark