Where are your keys? Wait! Where is your CAR?
In the last week I’ve heard of 3 cars being stolen. All of which were done by someone entering the home and stealing the car keys or handbag. This is quite a common theft these days but particularly during the dark evenings as the intruder can get about undetected.
To make matters worse, it can cost a small fortune to have your car locks, house locks and all other locks changed at the same time but it’s necessary once a bunch of keys have been stolen. And with no sign of forced entry your insurance company won’t be too happy to pay out.
The first bit of advice is to lock all doors and windows even when you’re at home. Keep keys in drawers or cupboards away from the doors. And be observant; these people are watching you come and go from the home and take note of things such as putting keys in your coat, bag or pockets.
Thee are preventative measures you can take such as:
1. Install security lights to detect people approaching your property
2. Have your alarm system chime when the doors open (we can modify all existing alarms to do this)
3. Lock the doors at all times, you can have Sash Jammers installed so that keys aren’t needed
4. Make your security system obvious. Whether it’s alarms. CCTV, locks or lights, make them obvious
5. Have a professional security company give you advice and free quotations on how to make your security measures work to protect you, but also be easy to use and comply with your insurance policy.
If you would like a free consultation please contact us, no matter where you are from, we would love to help.
So the dark mornings and nights are here. If there’s one thing burglars don’t like, its light. It isn’t exactly safe to break into a house while a spotlight is shining on you, and even worse if there are several lights that alert the home owner.
It’s true more burglaries are being commited during the daylight hours than previously. But dark nights allow more time to break into houses and go unnoticed. It also means the burglars can take their time to unload the loot from the house
At almost every house where we carry out a security assessment we recommend a security light, usually 2, unless they already have one.
At this time of the year however, the hardest thing to understand is when people post on twitter or facebook that they have been christmas shopping! Burglars live for this time of year. Keep your goods out of site, out of the way of being spotted through the window, out of the car, and keep your doors locked, even during the day.
Get a security assessment from a pro, because they dont look at keeping people out, they look at how to currently get in to a house.
So you have a dark garden or driveway, or maybe just a dark area at your front door. Or perhaps your lights work fine but they don’t get the right area or annoy the neighbours?
When you install security lighting you need to think about what you want to acheive.
A good spotlight should be placed high up and look straight down at your doorway. This will stop burglars tampering with locks for any length of time as they obviously don’t want to do it in the spotlight. It also makes it easier for you to find your key and the lock when arriving home. You may also have a light at the garden gate or driveway entrance to help announce visitors arriving. You could even have a chime sound inside the house that rings when the light is activated, these also chime during the day even when the light is set not to come on. No reason to miss the post arriving or a parcel delivery. The light itself should not be easily reached, even with a stick. Thieves will try and move it so it doesn’t detect them when they return. They may even try and smash the bulb. A ‘cage’ can be supplied if the light must be fitted lower down.
A dusk to dawn light is a must in our opinion. It comes on when it gets dark, goes off when it gets light and runs on a set fraction of the bulbs capacity, say 50%. If it detects movement it then lights to 100% of the capacity, so you have a low ambient glow anround the area all through the dark hours and instant light when needed. No reason to trip on the door mat, and plenty snails will thanks you for it! They cost pennies in running costs and add security as well as safety. Again a ‘cage’ may be fitted around it to stop it being damaged. Although there are also some very nice ornamental designs around too!
A good torch should always be handy at the bed side. You never know when you might wake up during a powercut, or if you hear a noise you want to investigate without waking up the whole house with bright lights.
Night lights for cildren can help tem feel better about being leftalone in the dark. You also may find them usefull when you go to check on the kids and avoid standing on small or noisey toys.
Whichever lights you are going to use. Always remember that cables should not be visible outside unless suitably protected. The right kind of cable should be used in the right areas too. Plastic coated cabling is broken down by UV light outside so coatings, conduit and other protection is important. A little silicone over screw heads and fixings will keep the rust away and make changing bulbs easier; just peel the old silicone off, do the maintenance on the light, and reapply silicone for the next time. There is an example of this on our face book page in the photo albums found at: www.facebook.com/groundlock
There should also be a switch you can use to turn the light on and off. This allows different functions on the light, for constant and timed use. It also means you can activate the light from inside the house should you want to check outside. A proffesional installer knows exactly where to position the lights so to achieve the best detection and lighted area.
If you’re not quite sure what you want, just ask! Advice is free.
For the rest of September Ground Lock are going to double the security on your doors during alarm installations.
As the dark nights draw in, remember that a lot of burglaries take place from someone entering a door or window where security is a bit slack. Day or night time doesn’t really matter anymore, but shorter days offer more cover for the burglars, thieves, con artists and ‘doorstep robbers’
If you have an alarm installed by Ground Lock during september, where a upvc door has an alarm contact installed – we will also install a new lock on that door. So, a flat with one main door will also recieve a new lock with upto 5 keys. If you have 2 doors, then you get 2 new locks with upto 5 keys each, or keyed alike locks (the same 5 keys will open or lock both doors) If you have 4 doors, front, back and 2 french doors for example, then you get 4 new locks, with up to 5 keys each or keyed alike system and so on..
We can also carry out any door and lock checks and servicing while at your home, and a free security assessment.
All work is quoted before carrying out, for free. Any questions or queries you may have please do not hesitate to call at any time.
We take your safety and security seriously, so you don’t even need to think about it.
If you travel a lot chances are you see a few bumps and scrapes as well as some pretty serious road traffic accidents. You may also be in the ‘high risk’ insurance group, have limited experience driving, or loan the car to your teenage kids or partner. If its a business vehicle you may want peace of mind that your actions are responsible and you drive without negligence. This would also apply if you have several fleet vehicles.
Ground Lock have a fantastic product for you which works in a similar way to a portable satnav device. Just stick it to the vehicle and you can have it switched on, off or on auto record which turns on if the device senses your vehicle is in a collision.
2 cameras operate both during the day and night. One cam records where you are driving and the other records the driver and passengers. The data is recorded onto a memory card which once transfered to your computer can show you the recorded footage, your route via a Google map, your speed and vehicle handling such as hard breaking, tight cornering etc.
If you are in an accident you could use your footage to prove your actions and others around you. If you carry passengers it will also record what they are doing too. This device can give you an amazing peace of mind and costs less than the average Insurance Excess Fee.
Perhaps another useful point is that the device is powered from your auxiliary point (cigarrette lighter) and is portable; allowing you to take it into other vehicles without worrying about cables and connections.
If your proffession is:
A Taxi driver, Parcel delivery, Driving tutor, sales or business rep or any service provider then this really is a must have device.
Security should be easy to use, and hard to breech! Tired of fidgeting with codes at the front door while holding bags of shopping or business papers etc? Can’t even remember your alarm code? What about if you just know the code but the alarm just doesn’t work or goes off for no reason or when there’s a power cut?
Then you need to get the alarm serviced!
This could be a condition of your insurance policy too so check that you get it done annually or you could VOID your policy. (!)
A service by a pro should include getting the alarm to good working order, and checking that everything works as it should do, including checking the battery levels. The alarm should be clean and have contact details of the engineer attached to it. The siren box outside should have the engineers label on too, no labels often means the engineer isn’t a professional (he may be an electrician or know how the alarm works, but he may not have the knowledge for your system, its performance and capabilities) Professional security installers always have their own labels put up there on the siren and inside the home so that you can contact them should something go wrong.
They should also be able to teach you how to use your system and give you a valid reciept after the service (this is important as you may need it in the event of an insurance claim).
Can’t remember if you set the alarm?
Call the alarm from your mobile and check it’s status.
Decided to stay with friends over nigh and need to put the alarm on?
Call up the alarm from your mobile and swith it on.
Want a friend to call in your house to pick something up but dont want to disclose your alarm code?
Call the alarm from your mobile and swith it off, switch it on again once they leave.
Have kids that are not coming straight home from school?
Have your alarm text you once they get home and unset it.
Want to protect upstairs in your home during the day but not at night so you can use the bathroom etc?
Do Not OMIT the zones, have a program to do exactly what you need, at anytime of the day or night.
And how about if your alarm could have a PANIC BUTTON, Smoke detector, Flood detector or CO detector?
It can! and these too can be linked to your mobile.
If in any doubt, call us for free advice and quotations. You can’t afford to play with security, but you can have it working for you, and with you.
Wireless Burglar Alarms
If you’re debating on a burglar alarm system and asking whether to pursue a wireless installation… then, whats keeping you?
Heres a rundown:
Wireless alarms mean that there is no need to drill holes through walls and frames to run cables through. No need to lift carpets and flooring to lay cabling. No chance of a pet or rodent chewing through the cables and causing a problem (It does happen) No chance of damaging the cables when decorating etc and you can always reposition the detector if you change the decor or modify the room. No need to run conduit (trunking) around rooms to hide cables.
You also should find that although the systems are a little more expensive, you will save on installation costs and time.
I’m still thinking of a genuine reason here..
Batteries? Nah, Lithium-ion technology means 2-3+ years of battery life, plus they give about 3 months warning when they run low and can be checked and changed upon the annual maintenance.
False alarms/poor signals/Interferance? Nah, not with professional equipment.
I had a customer have me take out a wireless alarm, a cheap one her son bought at a DIY counter. Apparently it went off everytime the number 23 bus went past her home! I installed a professional wireless alarm in its place and it only goes off when she tests it as she has never had a burglar (The obvious but discreet siren outside and small sign indicating the alarm is afantastic detterent!)
So, in this day and age, what else might a wireless system like this do?
Well, they can call you on your mobile if the alarm is activated. Text you when the kids get home from school. They are pet friendly. They can detect smoke, floods extreme temperature variations and alert you if these happen via your mobile. They can be operated by a remote control fob (no codes to fiddle with at the door) and using your mobile you can call the system to check its status, switch it on or off from your mobile. To be honest there are lots of things you can do with them, but why not let us design a system that suits you uniquely?
If you already have an alarm system, wired or not, we can modify it to do most of these things too.
Don’t forget to get your alarm serviced annually to keep in check with your insurance policy.
Any questions or concerns you may have about security, safety or access, then please give us a call, email or text and we’ll soon get you safe and secure
Audits and Assessments are important for businesses. They help you to secure your property and contents. They help you look after staff safety. They can reduce your Insurance Premium. They can weed out the thieves that pilfer away at your profits, which is, one of the hardest thefts to trace if you don’t know where to begin.
A little while ago a company manager called me asking for urgent assistance. He asked if I could visit him the same day and relatively quietly. I obliged and upon signing in I was ushered up to the Directors office before any other staff saw me. Here he told me how someone, presumably from the company was gaining access to company documents and materials. They have CCTV which never caught anyone and oddly was sometimes switched off despite the recorder being locked up in the managers office, behind another locked door. The alarm code had been discovered as it was being upset. The keys must have been copied.
The firm deals in steel, has thousands of pounds worth of equipment, and the company was about to be bought out which was why documents were being searched for by the perpetrator.
I explained that an audit should be carried out and ‘key points’ would be highlighted for change (the pun is actually credible)
I also said that I would carry out the audit the same day, wearing my own relevant safeguards around the factory floor including a branded HiVis jacket. ‘don’t hide me, the culprit is one of the staff’ I assured him. ‘they need to see positive action being taken’
The audit took 2 and a half hours. The result was surprising. Some of his security, though intact was against safety regulations. There was a flaw in an obvious (to me) point that needed specialist attention. There was another way to improve safety on his site. And that was before we approached his problem.
I carried out some lock changes, including a master key system, new panic escape latches and resolved an issue with the alarm and CCTV. Now the thing was the alarm and CCTV were under a contract and I couldn’t make changes to them. However I did point out that the annual service by the company wasn’t being done correctly and that the changes would be cost free due to the contract details.
A month later no one had been in the building that shouldn’t have. The alarm and CCTV were monitored and were only accessed by appropriate people. Staff found getting in and out of the workshops easier. The health and safety regulation were being complied to. A month after that, same result.
The manager called me yet another month later and said how happy he had been with the service, and how secure he felt. He also said how he had since noticed things he hadn’t before. Simple things like stationary and toiletries weren’t going missing as they must have been before, yet weren’t noticed. I had saved him a fortune against what could have gone wrong, and another small fortune in areas he hadn’t counted on.
I’d say that’s a result. It’s not easy when the perp is on your own team, but nipping it in the bud is a must.
If you need any advice about security or access Ground Lock would love to help. We’re also in it for the long run and like to revisit the site a while later to ensure your satisfaction.
Your shop may sell goods or sell a service. If it’s the latter then usually you also sell goods that compliment the service.
In the last few weeks I’ve heard of 2 local hairdressers that have been broken into to have their hair products stolen, a hair extensions business that has been burgled and a gym training supplements store that had an attempted break in.
Basically thieves are now targeting shops and units where they can ‘smash and grab’ the expensive products to sell on at dirt-cheap prices. Either through lads going ’round with bags or at car-boot sales and such like. These products are fashionable and in high demand so they sell on easily.
Security audits are there to protect your staff, products and premises. If you have a store and aren’t sure about how secure it is then call us for free advice. With locks, alarms and CCTV we always can get the exact product to suit your needs.
Yesterday Ground Lock were called to a family home in Newcastle where a burglary had taken place. While the method of entry isn’t unknown to us, some of you would never contemplate the idea.
The family had been away from home for a few days, and had left a key on a wall hook near the front door. The intruder had probably been watching the house having noticed the family car had been gone for a few days and took their chance. A long stick had been dabbed in superglue and put through the letterbox, wedged against the key and left to set. The intruder had then returned, lifted the stick and key out of the letterbox and made entry.
Unfortunately they then had plenty of time to loot the house.
A burglar alarm may not have stopped their entry but once inside the alarm would have sounded and the thief would have soon left with minimum swag. Thankfully the thief did leave behind the stick and key which were proof of unlawful entry, if the key had not been left behind it would have been difficult for the family to prove they hadn’t simply left the door unlocked and therefore void their insurance.
There are measures to stop and hinder intruders and even increase the chance of conviction once caught.. But in the mean time please learn from this families loss and put your keys safely away.