Electronic Gate Safety

Added security and protection with an automatic gate

Automatic gates give greater convenience and controlled access to all types of property –  from homes and businesses, through to major organisations and institutions. At the same time they offer valuable protection to:

  • Stop children and animals running out on to busy roads
  • Manage, monitor and control access to a site
  • Deter intruders and make access to the property difficult
  • Deter car thefts from drives

They can also help to reduce a home/commercial insurance premiums and can enhance the aesthetics of a property.

 

New technology

New technology in recent years have made automatic gates far more sophisticated and user-friendly, for example when it comes to controlling access they can:

  • Alert assigned fixed intercom or landline/ mobile phones, which can be responded to remotely by the property owner or a receptionist – they don’t have to be on-site to give/decline access
  • Enable the property owner to see the person at their gate, even if they are not on the premises – via two-way video-calling functionality linking to mobile phones
  • Programme permissions into the Gate’s access systems so dedicated people can gain entry. Permissions can be time-specific to permit entry at fixed times.
  • Number-plate recognition and other hands-free permission options – so, for convenience, the gates automatically open to approved people. They in turn don’t have to type in an access key, present a fob or buzz the intercom
  • Integrate with other security measures on a premises, for example CCTV and fire detection (in the case of the latter, so they don’t cause obstructions when people are trying to evacuate the premises, delay the emergency services or prevent a lock-down operation running smoothly)

 

Health & Safety considerations

Automatic gates tend to come in two varieties:

  • Electronic – Those which are controlled by access passes, intercoms or fobs and then open automatically
  • Manual – Those controlled by access passes, intercoms or fobs which then require a person to push them open

In the case of the first, health and safety regulations are in force to minimise the risk to people and things of getting trapped as the gate opens or closes.

This legislation focuses on aspects such as the gate and its system’s:

  • hinges
  • safety/pressure edge
  • photocells/ safety beams
  • support posts
  • control cabinet
  • warning mechanism

Home owners have a legal responsibility to ensure that their gate is safe for anyone using it. All commercial property is legally required to maintain automatic gates to meet current Health & Safety requirements – that includes multi-occupancy housing, schools, rented property and premises managed by companies.

So it is important to maintain your Electronic Gate (for example via a regular servicing regime). This will ensure its parts remain fully functional and compliant with the latest industry standards.  When looking to a maintenance/servicing company, ensure the engineers are Gate Safe trained and accredited.

 

Find out more

If you are interested in automatic gates, or want to check if your current gate complies with the latest Health & Safety regulations, please contact the Sales Team on tel 01483 791500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk 

 

 

Keyless car theft precautions

How to protect your car from theft at home

Over recent years there has been a rise in keyless car systems being hacked and cars being stolen. In many cases thieves using technology to fool keyless entry systems into thinking that the key is nearby, this is known as relay theft.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to stop the signal from your car key being amplified to the thief’s device, which puts your car at risk.  In this article we answer some of the common questions around relay theft and give tips on how to prevent it.

 

What cars are at risk of being ‘hacked’?

Only cars that have a passive keyless entry system are at risk. These allow drivers to open and start their cars without removing the keyless fob from their pocket.

Cars with standard remote fobs are not at risk. If you have to push a button on the fob to gain entry, it’s not a keyless system and your car is not vulnerable to relay theft.

 

How does relay theft work? 

Thieves take advantage of a vulnerability in the keyless technology by finding a car parked close to the owner’s house – where the car key is usually kept.

Car thieves often work in pairs in relay attacks. One criminal will hold an amplification device up against the front wall of a home searching for a signal from the keyless fob. The device then relays the key’s signal to an accomplice, who is holding another device against the car door.

This fools the vehicle’s keyless entry system into thinking that the key is close by (usually these keys have a range of two meters), enabling one of the thieves to gain entry to the car.

 

What can I do to protect my car?

Here are 5 simple ways to protect your car from theft at home.

  1. Ensure that your car is properly locked and consider low-tech security measures, such as a steering wheel lock or locked gates, which can make life harder for thieves and could act as a deterrent for criminals who may move on to try to find an easier target.
  2. Keep your car keys as far away as possible from doors and windows and, if possible, shut inside a drawer when you are at home.
  3. You can also purchase Faraday pouches and containers to keep your keys in, which can help block the signal given off by your keys.
  4. Some keys also have the option of turning off the wireless signal. Consult your vehicle manual or contact the manufacturer to check if your key comes with this feature.
  5. If the worst should happen and your car is stolen, having a tracking device fitted can help your vehicle to be recovered.

If you would like to learn more about protecting your possessions, please contact our team at e sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk or tel 01483 791500.

Protecting your property and possessions in the longer nights

Now the days are getting shorter, the longer nights give burglars a chance to do their work hidden by the cover of darkness.   So to help you protect your property and valuable possessions this Autumn and Winter we have a dozen tips to help you keep things safe and secure.

1. Ensure access to the rear of your property difficult.

Lock side gates with a secure lock (Bluetooth ones are now available), not just a simple bolt. Burglars love a dark, secluded rear access to a property along with an easy escape route. Try and avoid playing to their wishes and make your property difficult to access.

2. If you have gaps in your fence or perimeter, consider filling them

…with everygreen, spiky plants to again make entry and exit difficult,

3. Routinely check your alarm is working properly

…and most importantly don’t forget to turn it on when you leave the house. At night when you go to bed, try and remember to use the ‘part set’ mode. Most alarm systems have one.

4. Consider adding CCTV to your home’s security

– many systems come with night sensors as standard and the cameras act as a powerful visual deterrent to a potential intruder.

5. Check your security lighting…

…is working on a regular basis. It’s often sensible to give the lights a clean or service from time to time as insects and spiders sometimes build their nests in them and cause glitches in their functionality.

6. Make sure all window locks are correctly locked…

…and don’t forget kitchen or bathroom windows as many people do.

7. Where you can try to make the property look as if it’s occupied…

…when you are not there by leaving a light on or a car in the drive. If you are going to be away for a while, invest in timer switches and call on the help of a neighbour or relative to check on the house, draw curtains at night and move any obvious build up of post or packages left at the door.

8. Consider having an electronic gate…

…to control access to your property.

9. Keep expensive valuables out of view from your windows…

…so they don’t attract the interest and tempt an intruder. If you are going to be away for some time, consider locking your valuables in a cupboard or safe preferably within a room protected by an intruder alarm detector.

10. Avoid broadcasting you’ll be away on holiday on social media.

Some intruders look out for messages such as these to alert them to empty properties.

11. Beware of callers at your door asking unusual questions.

Take a note of their description and notify the Police or your Neighbourhood Watch. They could be a burglar on a reconnaissance.

12. Invest in a security system

… (intruder alarm, electronic gate, CCTV etc) that comes with an app so you can ‘check-in’ and view your property’s status whilst you’re away.

 

Put your mind at rest by following these simple precautions and ensure you divert an intruder’s attention elsewhere this winter.

For more advice or help protecting your property or possessions, call The Absolute Security team on 01483 791 500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk

home outbuildings security

Protecting your home’s outbuildings

We’re often asked by homeowners how best to protect the outbuildings on their land, for example, barns, stables, garden sheds, workshops, home offices and their contents.

 

The wonders of wireless

With wireless technology, intruder alarms, CCTV and access control systems can be extended to cover your outbuildings as well as your main property.  In most cases you will need to have an electrical supply to the outbuilding that requires additional security, however, emerging solar technology is becoming more widely used as a substitute for remote buildings where getting a permanent hard-wired electrical supply is not practical.

With many remote detection systems, a detected event will trigger an alert to an app on your smart phone so you can initiate a prompt response, or view the incident real time via your CCTV.

 

Further security measures

There is also the option of smart Bluetooth padlocks to give added protection on outbuilding doors. Do also invest in good security lighting around your property. Many burglaries take place in the dark and security lighting helps to deter intruders.

And for home offices it is good to consider having a safe for important documents, disks and other vital things you need to work effectively.

 

Summary

Theft from outbuildings hasn’t lessened in recent years and it’s important to give those buildings as much protection as your main property.  The good news is that your main security systems – intruder alarm, CCTV can be extended to cover those buildings. Contact one of our team for a free survey or for more information – tel 01483 791500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk

Have you got the right cash rating safe for your valuables?

euro-grade safes montage

When it comes to selecting the right safe, many customers find the fact that safes are graded by a cash content value or ‘cash rating’ slightly confusing.  In some cases home insurance policies stipulate the exact grade of safe required, in other cases it’s up for the homeowner to decide.

So in answer to the many questions we receive, here’s a basic explanation of what a safe’s cash rating means.

The cash rating in a safe’s grade represents what they’re expected to protect and who is likely to attack it. It’s an indicator of the security strength of the safe and the highest amount of money that should be kept in it.  Cash ratings can vary according to risk and the location of your home.  It’s always worth checking out with your home insurance provider, what grade of safe would best protect the valuables covered by your policy.

Whatever the cash rating of the Safe, ten times that sum is usually acceptable to insurance companies for jewellery or other valuables.

You can purchase safes with a ‘cash rating’ grade of anything from £1500 to beyond, but it is important to select the right grade to reflect the cash and valuables being stored in it. Very commonly a £4000 cash rated safes, when installed, covers up to £40,000’s worth of jewellery and valuables.

To ensure your safe complies with your insurance policy’s stipulations it has to be installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

At Absolute Security, we have a long history of advising our clients on the best safes to meet their security and insurance policy needs.  Contact us on tel 01483 791500  for more information.

 

Smart video doorbells

Added home security with smart video doorbells

We have seen a lot of customer interest recently in Video Doorbells. These let you respond remotely to visitors at your front door, using your smartphone, tablet and PC and feature an in-built HD camera. 

Video doorbells give you a clear view from your front door or gate, day and night and are ideal for those who want greater protection and screening from nuisance calls or for those in a property alone by themselves. They bring a reassuring layer of additional security as well as convenience.

Flexible to work on any home and property, typical features of video doorbell systems include:

  • 2-way talk functionality – so you can speak to the person through the system via the built-in speakers and microphone, and without opening the door.
  • Crystal-clear 1080HD video so you have a sharp picture of the person at your door.
  • Instant mobile alerts and two-way talk, you can answer the door from your smartphone, tablet and PC.
  • The system’s capability to record images – so you have a record of a visitor.
  • Wireless technology which means you do not need wiring for the installation –you can have the device/bell on any gate or external door within your home’s WIFI range.
  • Motion detection and alerts – these send out an alert if people are loitering close to your property
  • The system runs off rechargeable batteries.
  • A quick and easy installation.

To learn more and find out our current prices for supplying and installing a video door bell in your home  contact the Sales Team on tel 01483 791500.

Bluetooth smart padlocks

As part of National Home Security Month, the Absolute Security Systems team are highlighting various ways to keep your home and possessions secure

The padlock reinvented

One exciting innovation has been Bluetooth ‘smart’ padlocks from Master  Lock®. They offer total control when protecting the most important valuables. This is because Bluetooth Padlocks can only be unlocked using an app on your smartphone. This versatility allows you to unlock the lock and give friends or relatives access when needed.

They are ideal for giving added security to garages, gates, sheds, bikes, outbuildings, storage units etc.

The related app with the lock allows you to control access to your designated area and review the entry log from the comfort of your phone. Bluetooth Padlocks can also offer temporary access when required and inform you of tamper alerts via e-mail when an unauthorised attempt to open the lock is made.

The padlock is battery operated and comes with a low battery notification and reminders on the padlock and in app. The battery is easily replaced and an inbuilt battery jump allows for temporary access if the battery dies while locked.

Beneficial for businesses and homeowners alike

The Bluetooth Padlock is beneficial for both businesses and homeowners looking to protect stock, equipment and possessions.

In addition there is also a Bluetooth Lockbox. This is ideal for those having to manage many locks and users.

Access to the Lockbox is gained via your Smartphone Backup using a numeric code on the lock keypad and you can share access with others on a temporary or permanent basis.  The Bluetooth Lockbox has a Master Lock® Vault Enterprise IOS or Android app to control access. It too comes with low battery notification and includes mounting hardware for easy hardware. It is ideal for those looking for a large secure storage capacity for keys and access cards.

Contact us to learn more

If you would like to learn more about smart padlocks of added security for your possessions, please contact the Absolute Security Systems team on t 01483 791500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk

Home network security tips

Increasingly we find more and more homeowners favouring devices which run off their home networks. This no longer just includes laptops, mobile phones and tablets – CCTV and intruder alarms as well as smart TVs and some household appliances have the capability to integrate within a home network.

Security tips for your home network

The security of such networks has recently been in the spotlight.  We wanted to reassure customers that, when it comes to our installation of security systems on a home network, we follow best practice security guidance.  We also wanted to share some simple but valuable tips to help homeowners further protect the security of their home networks.

  1. Choose complex passwords – wherever possible select passwords for device logins which have a minimum of 8 digits and include a mixture of upper and lower case letters and numbers. Avoid using dates of birth and obvious numbers instead of letters (for example 3 for Es and 5 for Ss).  Give each device a separate password and change passwords regularly.
  2. Storing passwords – avoid having a list of passwords on your computer, phone or tablet. If you really need to write down passwords to remember them, do so on a bit of paper and store this in a safe in your home.  Better still, use password manager software to create and securely manage complex passwords.
  3. Anti-virus software – ensure your anti-virus software is up to date for your home PCs, and that it is a reputable one with a proven track-record and good reviews.  When downloading any software, ensure it is from a reputable source.
  4. Be more wary with emails – ensure all family members are wary of any emails requesting the re-keying in of login credentials, as these may be phishing. If you give your login details to a third party you can be liable for any adverse consequences and fraudulent activity which happens on your account.
  5. Public WIFI – when out and about, avoid using public, unsecured, WIFI networks to connect to sites which have your personal details such as online banking, security apps etc.
  6. Regularly back-up your data – adopt a regime of regularly backing up your data to minimise any disruption should a computer/device fail. If you are just relying on a Cloud-based back up consider storing an alternative on an external hard-drive device or USB stick which is stored in a safe in the home.
  7. Two-factor authentication – for some devices such as access control systems, consider having a two-step login, such as a security fob and access code, or a security fob and fingerprint swipe. This gives you added security.
  8. Fingerprint authentication – fingerprints are becoming a popular alternative to passwords and are a feature of many computer and mobile phone security. If you are keen to use this route, ensure only your fingerprint is designated in the system for your key sites.  Be careful of adding other family members, especially children.
  9. Suppliers and contractors – if you are having suppliers and contractors around your home be careful about giving them access to your home network WIFI. Also, if you’re going out, ensure all computers and devices auto-lock after a few moments of non-use.
  10. Check your insurance cover – if loss of data could have serious consequences for you (for example if you run a business from home), explore if your insurance policy covers this and increase cover if necessary. Also, check that devices sitting on your home network are covered by your policy and comply with any security conditions your insurer stipulates.

Can we help?

And if you are looking to integrate CCTV, access, intruder and fire detection systems in your home, please talk to one of the team about the most secure ways of doing this.  Call 01483 791500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk

October is National Home Security Month

Home security systems’ specialists – Absolute Security – are celebrating the start of National Home Security Month.

With the pressures of day-to-day life, home security is often overlooked which is why National Home Security Month (NHSM) was set up in 2013. It seeks to raise awareness around the importance of home security so people can be safe in the knowledge that their home, family and belongings are protected.

This national campaign takes place every year in October and offers advice, information and support on how to secure your property.

 

Keeping homes secure for over 30 years

The Absolute Security team has over 30years’ experience helping local homeowners protect their properties, families and possessions. Throughout October they will be sharing lots of home security tips and advice on their website, twitter, LinkedIn and facebook pages.

As Home Security experts, the team has a wealth of knowledge to draw on from their specialisms in:

  • Intruder alarms
  • CCTV
  • Automatic gates
  • Safes
  • Access control
  • Fire detection
  • Smartphone control
  • Monitoring – including Police response

 

Committed to the latest best practices

Absolute Security has always been passionate about gaining the highest accreditations with all major security and fire detection professional bodies.  It is an NSI Gold Member and a member of The BSIA (British Security Industry Association), BAFE, FIA (Fire Industry Association) and Constructionline.

 

Free survey

The team are offering homeowners a free home security survey throughout October – for more information contact the Sales Team on t 01483 791500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk

Protecting your home and possessions in the longer nights

Traditionally there is a rise in burglary offences at this time of year due to the longer nights and increased spending in the lead up to the Christmas period. Here’s a reminder of seven simple actions you can put in place to help protect your home.

 

  1. Make your property look occupied when you are not there by setting lights on a timer switch – vary which lights come on and when so it doesn’t become obvious that you are out

 

  1. Move anything of value out of view of your windows – go outside and see what an intruder may find enticing.

 

  1. Lock side gates of your property with a secure lock, not just a simple bolt and make sure all your windows, patio and conservatory windows are locked. Remember to lock kitchen and bathroom windows before you go out – these often get forgotten

 

  1. In the run up to Christmas store presents in a locked cupboard, preferably in a room protected by a burglar alarm detector/sensor

 

  1. Check your security lighting is working and consider CCTV if there is easy access to the rear of your property which an intruder could take advantage of. There are affordable infra-red versions that operate in the dark

 

  1. Once it is up, avoid putting wrapped presents under your Christmas tree, especially if they are visible through your windows

 

  1. Don’t leave keys for cars or back doors visible through windows or right by the doors in your property.

 

If you are concerned about the security of your home and possessions, contact the Absolute Security team for a free survey. Tel 01483 791500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk