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

smash and grab home security

Burglars opting for smash and grab tactics for speedy getaway

Over the past year there have been numerous reports in the press of burglars targeting businesses with smash and grab tactics to steal stock and cash.  Increasingly we’ve heard of homes succumbing to this brutal form of burglary too.  In an effort to make a speedy getaway, burglars are smashing through patio doors or windows to quickly grab valuable possessions, then run away.  It would seem speed (not un-detection) is of key importance for them.

There are a number of things homeowners can do to prevent being targeted in this way.  From our many years’ experience, and having worked closely with the Police and Crime Reduction Officers, here are five practical security precautions to put in place around your home.

 

Five security tips for your home

1   Opt for toughened glass or window film on large windows and patio doors which may be attractive to a burglar as an access point into your home. These make it harder for them to shatter the glass and create a hole/entrance to climb through.

2  Don’t leave valuables visible through your windows. Put them out of view when you’re not at home – preferably in a safe.  You may find that your insurance company require you to have a safe as part of your policy’s criteria.

3  Create layers of security (like an obstacle course) around your home so it’s difficult for a burglar to quickly get in and out. Think about the security of your gate and fencing, prickly/sharp plants in vulnerable access points to your site, security lighting, CCTV, intruder alarm and sensors and safes.

4  Make it look like you’re in when you’re out. Leave a vehicle on the drive, lights on timers and ensure deliveries aren’t left in a highly visible location.  Burglars are getting more sophisticated in their surveillance to plan a raid, so if you see someone acting suspiciously around your property, contact your local Police. In fact our range of Intruder Alarm Systems can now turn on lights, activate your radio or even turn on the television if the alarm is activated.

5  Invest in remote monitoring so if your alarm sensor is activated a speedy response can be initiated. This can be linked up to CCTV too so you have evidence of the intruders.

 

Summary

All burglaries are distressing for the victims involved and smash and grab tactics add a more disturbing element.  It is therefore important to try and avoid your property attracting an intruder’s attention.  The more complex and involved it is to break in to, the more likely you will put a burglar off in targeting your home.

For more home security tips and advice – or to request a free security survey of your property, contact the Absolute Security sales team on 01483 791500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk

 

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.

Keyless car theft precautions

Protecting your car from a keyless theft

Over the last two years vehicle crime has been on the rise in Surrey and Hampshire and a particular focus of criminals has been the theft of high value cars like BMW and Landrover who feature keyless systems. Detective Inspector Dee Fielding of Surrey Police recently said, “Keyless car theft is a crime on the rise and something that has been affecting the whole nation. Unfortunately criminals have adapted to the technology now available in cars.”

 

The different approaches to keyless car theft

Thieves are using different wireless technology gadgets to capture vehicle key fobs’ radio transmissions and over-ride them. They can do this in a number of ways including:

  • Signal jamming – here they intercept the key fob’s signal and jam it. This ensures the car remains unlocked, even though you think you’ve locked it. Whilst the thieves may not be able to drive the car away, they can use the opportunity to steal valuables in your car.
  • Signal relaying – in this case the thieves’ technology transmits with your key fob and either clones or instructs it to unlock your car’s doors and allow the ignition to work. They can then drive the car away.
  • Key programming – every car comes with a standard diagnostic port. Computer hackers have developed devices that plug into the port, boot up a vehicle’s software and then programme a blank key fob. In keyless cars this can be used to start the engine as well as unlock doors.

 

Taking preventative measures against keyless car theft

There are a number of steps you can take to help prevent your car being stolen:

  1. Make sure your car is properly locked and keep keys away from doors and windows. Surrey Police recommend placing them in metal tin or a signal blocking pouch which can prevent criminals copying the necessary access codes in the keys’ technology to gain entry to your vehicle.  Do test your blocking pouch properly works as some have been found not to offer significant protection.  Another effective storage location is a microwave.  Microwaves’ faraday cage technology blocks radio control signals and will hamper a criminal attempting to clone your keys remotely.  Just remember to take the keys out before you cook!
  2. Surrey Police also recommend checking your car manual or speak to your dealer to find out if your key has combination button presses to switch its signal off.
  3. Add physical barriers to your car’s protection such as a steering wheel lock, a driveway parking post, electronic gate or wheel clamp.  We’ve recently seen a big interest in electronically operated bollards as well as manually operated units.
  4. Get a vehicle tracker added to your car. This may in fact be a criteria of your insurance policy. It means that, if your car is stolen, you and the Police will be able to track down its whereabouts more easily.
  5. Consider adding security lighting and CCTV to your home and driveway’s protection. This can act as a deterrent but also, if your car is stolen, CCTV gives you the evidence to help Police track down the criminals.
  6. Talk to your car dealer to see if the keyless element of your vehicle’s system can be disabled.

 

Act fast

Clive Wain, head of police liaison at Tracker, a company that traces stolen cars, said it is important to act fast if your car is stolen as thieves work quickly and authorities often have just hours to trace the car once it’s stolen. “Many vehicles will be shipped to Eastern Europe,” he said, “while police have also found an increasing number of chop-shops where prestige cars are broken down for parts within hours.”

 

Summary

Car manufacturers are responding to the rise in keyless crime and developing new systems. In a recent article, Richard Billyeald, chief technical officer at Thatcham Research, the UK insurance industry’s research body said, “Manufacturers are already working on new systems. A few new models already have set-ups that aren’t vulnerable to relay attacks. The functionality is the same, but they cannot be fooled by relay devices.” If you are looking to purchase a new vehicle, it is worth checking which models give you greater protection.  Do, however, continue to take security precautions.  As manufacturers develop more secure solutions, criminals will research and develop ways to over-ride them.

 

Can we help?

If you would like to discuss physical measures to help protect your property, such as electronic gates, safes and CCTV, contact the team on t 01483 429111 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk

A great 16 months of security solutions

James Lewis, Business Development Manager at Absolute Security, reflects on an exciting period of innovative customer projects and cutting-edge security solutions from the team.

 

James Lewis – Absolute Security

As I look back over my first 16 months at Absolute Security, I’m delighted by so many highlights that spring to mind.  For some they’ve involved cutting-edge security innovations – with the team devising solutions to respond to the increasingly sophisticated security challenges our customers face.

Other highlights stem from the relationships I’ve formed with key customers and contacts, and how we add value and support them as their preferred security specialist.

So, whilst in a reflective mode, I thought it would be good to share some of those highlights in this post.

 

Overhauling the fire and security system at popular racing/event venue

A key project this year is the work we are undergoing, upgrading and improving the fire and security systems at a popular racing event venue.  This is to ensure they comply with the latest regulations.  It has given the venue a far more manageable solution, as well as faster reporting and more precise alerts to potential incidents as they arise.  It will greatly aid their speed of response going forward.

 

Damage-proof fire suppression for luxury car enthusiast

It was also great to help a customer who wanted a fire suppression system to protect his fleet of luxury cars.  The 31 cars are housed in an underground car park in his home and he wanted a fire suppression system which would extinguish a fire, but not damage the vehicles in any way.  Conventional systems using water or foam were clearly not suitable.  We therefore designed and installed an inert gas suppression system. This uses specific gases to extinguish a fire and, at the same time, leaves the vehicles unscathed.

 

State of the art security system for sizeable property development

Another highlight is our involvement in an extensive single dwelling property development. Here the home owner wanted a state of the art security system.  Our solution involved high-tech perimeter security, thermal imaging PTZ CCTV, security lighting and integration with their home building management system. This is so intruder detection, fire and access control integrates into the central Audio-Visual hub for the home and is managed from one source.  One safety example of this integration is that when the fire alarm is activated, all media systems throughout property automatically silence to alert the home owner.

 

Home building management systems become all the rage

In fact we’ve seen a lot of interest amongst home owners for home building management systems.  You can see the attraction for them of bringing elements such as home entertainment systems, phone, access/gate systems, heating/air conditioning as well as security and fire protection into one central control.  And many of these systems enable the home owner to view the status of their property and possessions when they’re away, via app technology.

 

Discreet fire detection

Another highlight this year was to work with a new manufacturer to Absolute Security.  Wagner, specialise in air sampling solutions – a smoke detection system that works through discreet capillary holes in the ceiling. It assesses the air quality throughout the property, raises the alarm and is room specific on the area of the activation.

 

Working with great teams

It’s been great to support our customers over the past year – not just with security solutions, but also in finding other ways to support their business.  One particular example of this was participating recently in Park Garages’ Cricket Day. The event brought together all their staff, customers and suppliers for a great day of this summer sport.

And of course it’s been brilliant to work with my not so new now, fellow colleagues at Absolute Security.  Their commitment to quality and care of our customers is impressive.  Care also extends to our role in the local community and environment.  It was really good to see a number of the sales team switching over to electric hybrid cars in 2018.

The time has certainly flown by and I’m now looking forward to my next year with the team. Given how fast security and fire prevention technology evolves, and the need to help customers protect their properties and possessions, I’m sure it’ll be another exciting year.

If you’d like to get in touch about any of the solutions I’ve described here, please contact me on t 01483 791500 or email me.

Integrating your home security systems

homeOver the past few months we’ve experienced a rise in interest from homeowners keen to integrate CCTV, access, intruder and fire detection systems in their home.  This essentially gives them just one central home protection system to manage.  Also, when systems integrate in this way you gain more precise information about incidents in and around your property.

The systems typically utilise wireless and IP technology to keep cabling and impact on décor to a minimum. Most also provide an app option to enable homeowners to check on their home and possessions whilst they’re away.  In addition to this the systems can provide useful logs of activity to help homeowners check up on who has accessed their property and when (for example cleaning, childcare or delivery people).

In the case of people experiencing anti-social behaviour or neighbour disputes, CCTV and security lighting working in conjunction together has proved to be an effective deterrent.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of integrating different security and fire detection systems in your home, contact the team on 01483 791500.

 

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.

 

Rural Property Crime Prevention

Recently we have heard of a number of cases where rural properties have been specifically targeted by thieves. Often the isolation of these homes and businesses gives added appeal to potential intruders.

It is therefore important to put robust security measures in place to protect your equipment, stock and possessions.

Here is a checklist of simple tips we have devised.

  • Invest in good security lighting around your property. Past research has found that a majority of rural crime takes place in the dark.
  • Leave lights on in the property (ideally on timers) when you are not there and make sure, from the outside, it looks as if the property is occupied.
  • Do not forget outbuildings, sheds and garages when it comes to your CCTV or intruder alarm system. Many can be incorporated into the system, especially those utilising wireless technologies.
  • If you are away a lot, consider adding remote monitoring to your security system. This will help to ensure any alert is dealt with promptly.
  • Ensure all windows and doors are properly locked.
  • Consider investing in automatic gates and check the boundary/fencing of your property is as secure as it could be. Use defensive (prickly) plants and bushes to help strengthen your perimeter and make it off-putting to an intruder.

For more security tips and advice for rural properties, contact the sales team on tel. 01483 791500 or email sales@absolutesecurity.co.uk.

Do also check out the latest rural crime prevention advice from Surrey Police

Pet friendly alarm systems

In response to a recent enquiry we received, we thought it was worth debunking the myth that intruder alarm systems and pets don’t mix!

In actual fact there are many systems on the market which can factor in the family pet being on the premises and yet offer significant security protection for the property.

When designing a pet friendly alarm system solution, we discuss with the owner where the family pet is free to roam in the premises and establish the security system’s sensors to accommodate this.

At the same time we balance the needs of the pet with the importance of protecting the property and the family’s possessions.

Often owners are worried their pet will inadvertently set off the alarm when they are out, but different types of sensors can be used around the property to create a robust ring of protection without overly restricting the pet’s movements and freedoms.

If you would like to learn more about pet friendly alarm systems, please contact our sales team on tel. 01483 791500.