With the advance in mobile technology we can now monitor home devices like our heating as well as security! The modern life we live demands fast and easy solutions to hectic lifestyles. Whilst this is extremely convenient to us, our personal data stored on our devices can be compromised. If someone accesses the data it could put your safety at risk.
It is possible for someone to pick up your lost mobile device, access your GPS history to find your home address. They can then visit your location of residence and potentially log into your automation system to unlock doors and disarm camera monitoring systems. The perfect scenario to be inside your home.
You can protect your device from compromise. Here’s how below.
1. Enable a Lock on Your Phone & Apps
Set a password to lock your device once turned on or after a short period of inactivity. Technology has advanced so much that you can now set up fingerprint ID on your mobile. Once set up only your fingerprint will unlock your mobile device. Secondly you should set passwords to apps that hold personal information. This includes social media pages, personal banking apps, emails and home security apps. This gives your device added protection.
Be sure to follow password guidelines and include special characters, uppercase letters and numbers for a strong code.
2. Be Download Cautious
Downloading third party applications can put your device at risk. Not all apps are vetted for security. You should download apps where possible from trusted sources, generally by using your devices standard app store. When you download an app you will be asked to grant the app certain access. Make sure to read this properly as you could be granting access to photos, your friend contact information or even your location. Log out of the app when not in use. You can keep your apps up to date by opting in to automatic app updates. Updates usually include extra security features so take advantage of these.
3. Clear Device Data if Lost or Selling
You can now remotely clear your mobiles data if it is lost or stolen. You can also back up your data to your computer desktop or online using The Cloud. If you sell your phone you can perform a factory reset to clear data.
3. Don’t Connect To Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi at locations like restaurants, airports and hotels are not secure. You shouldn’t use them to access your personal applications like mobile banking or social media. It is possible for someone to hack into your devise using the unsecure connection. In your personal Wi-Fi settings, you should select to disable automatic connection to Wi-Fi other than your home Wi-Fi, so you don’t unknowingly connect to unsecure networks.
Millions of UK elderly adults live alone. This vulnerability can make them a potential target for a burglary. There are steps that can be taken to minimise the risks and ensure a secure living environment.
Monitored Alarm Systems
A security system that can be monitored by family and friends is a great way to ensure your loved one is safe. It enables the continuation of independent living whilst knowing they can relax in their own home. Some alarm systems can also trigger emergency services to respond, making them a vital home security solution.
Personal Emergency Response Alarm
Being alone and venerable means it’s not always possible to get help fast when needed. Let’s say a senior fell over and was unable to reach a telephone, how long would they lay helpless and injured? A Personal Emergency Response Alarm is a small, light-weight device that can be worn as a necklace. Here’s how it works:
Push the button on the device. It can be a necklace, keychain or wristband.
It will call operator services on loudspeaker and ask your emergency.
The operator will get you help and can contact anyone in your saved contacts list.
You can even pre-record messages to remind yourself of daily tasks like taking medication.
Mobile Phone Solutions
More senior adults have mobile devices that every before. It’s a great way to stay connected to the world, especially when living alone. Security can be monitored by family and friends whilst on the go, making it a super convenient home security solution.
Monitor; Log in and watch your cameras live.
Alerts; Receive alerts in real time when motion sensors are triggered.
Manage; Arm and disarm your system whenever you like.
Installing a doorbell camera or a peephole will allow you to view who’s knocking at your door and decide whether or not you should open. If paired with a smart lock system a senior with limited mobility can view the door camera on a mobile phone or tablet device and unlock the door without having to physically get up.
The maintenance of your home security system is important to ensure all elements are working correctly. Whether you are conducting routine testing on your system or changing alarm batteries, you should perform regular maintenance checks.
Is your security system picking up clear, in focus images? Do images appear blurred on mobile devices? You will need to clean the camera lens. Follow these simple steps:
Turn off the power
Wipe the lens clean carefully with a microfibre cloth
Turn power back on
Check your imagery on all devices
You should also check your cameras leads regularly to ensure they are not loose or worn as this can also result in a faulty system.
When your alarm batteries are running low you will experience a frequent beeping sound. To fix this check each alarm with a battery tester. If batteries are not the issue you may need to disarm and reboot the system. If the problem persists then your wiring may need checking.
Sensors are generally placed on doors and window frames and are triggered by break ins. Your sensors should be maintained regularly to ensure they are working at optimum performance. On occasion the adhesive that holds sensors in place can become loose over time, triggering a false alarm. Weather conditions such as humidity and cold temperatures can also affect the adhesives effectiveness.
To ensure your sensors maintain best performance avoid these installation areas:
Near fans or vents
In low areas where children could reach them
In low areas near pets
Near moveable items like curtains or blinds
Call a Professional
If you have carried out all the above checks and are still experiencing issues with your security system then it’s time to call a professional. To do this:
Go to the ‘contact us’ page on the 1st Ace Security website
Either fill in the contact form and we will get back to you
Call us for quick customer service
Or visit us at one of our branches to book a maintenance appointment
Following any of the above methods will ensure you can book an appointment with a security system professional. We will work with you to troubleshoot the issue and carry out all necessary checks or repairs to fix the issue.
Remember to rebook your next maintenance appointment so you can keep your system working at maximum performance.
Over the festive period consumers launch into full spend mode, purchasing millions of pounds of products in the run up to Christmas day. With busy schedules and general hectic lifestyles, we are very rarely at home to take delivery of our goods. What does this mean? Our packages are often left on our doorstep in full view for everyone to see and unfortunately deliveries left in this way by couriers are likely to be stolen by opportunist thieves.
You can take a few simple steps to prevent your deliveries from being left on your doorstep.
1. Leave Instructions For Your Courier
When placing an order you can leave a message at the checkout with specific delivery instructions.
Notify of a safe space; Add specific delivery instructions like ‘Please leave inside the BBQ’
Change delivery address; Send your parcel to your workplace, friend or neighbour and collect later.
Send Signed For; Sending your parcel with a signed for service requires your signature on delivery.
Live Tracking; Some couriers allow you to live track your parcel so you know exactly when it’ll arrive.
2. Utilise Home Surveillance Home security surveillance can protect your deliveries.
Install a camera; Having a video camera pointing directly at your doorstep is sure to deter thieves.
Add Smart Locks; Using smart locks enables you to lock and unlock your door remotely, meaning you can ask a neighbour to take your parcel inside.
Receive notifications; Receive notifications that your camera has been triggered
Utilise Camera Microphones; Once you receive notification that your camera has been triggered you can speak directly to the courier through your camera, as if you were actually home.
If you suspect your delivery to be stolen you can take measures to recoup your loses. Firstly, you need to contact your courier company and find out if delivery was successful. Secondly if you have paid just that little bit extra to insure your package you should have no issues with claiming a refund or replacement item. Still at a loss? File an official complaint with your courier and start a claims process. A claims process can be lengthy. To ensure you will be covered make sure you send insured!
When it comes to securing your home what do you think of securing? We usually think of securing the outside of the building to prevent break ins, adding surveillance equipment and secure locking systems to the exterior. If you are a new parent you may not have thought about securing the inside of your property. We know we would do anything we could to protect our children from potential harm so securing the inside of your home is a must for any new parent.
It is impossible to be with our children 24/7, whether we are in the home or not. Below we detail 3 top security must haves for new and existing parents to ensure you can keep tabs on your children always, when present and away.
1. Video Surveillance Camera’s
Install video surveillance cameras to keep tabs on your children when you cannot be in the room. You can verify the safety of your child from anywhere in the house and only enter to check on them when necessary.
Conceal power cords; Use covers to hide cords.
Set motion sensor; Turn on motion detection to alert when movement is detected.
Place at safe distance; Place out of reach from a baby’s cot.
Consider vantage point; Make use of space by positioning camera at optimum vantage point.
2. Image Capture Sensors
Enable image sensors to keep track of your child around the home. Connect to your mobile device to receive instant image notifications.
Image sensors allow you to
Detect movement; Detect movement in the nursery and address immediately.
See instant images; See images when other security devices are triggered, such as a door alarm.
Receive notifications; Receive notifications when your child leaves a room or enters areas off limits.
3. Safety Locks
Install safety locks to prevent children from entering dangerous areas. Safety locks can be placed on cabinet doors that contain medicines or cleaning substances. Also use to prevent children from entering hazardous areas like the kitchen or utility room.
Check lock installation; Ensure the locks are secure at all times.
Use a professional; Use a trustworthy professional to install or check installation of the locks.
General safety tips
As well as securing the inside of your home consider more general safety tips to ensure a maximum safe environment.
Secure furniture; Add brackets to wardrobes, cabinets, dressers and TVs to prevent them falling.
Be first aid aware; Take a course in CPR for life threatening emergencies and learn how to unblock airways.
Install fire guards; Add guards to open fires or fireplaces.
Install safety gates; Partition rooms with gates to prevent access to restricted areas.
When you think about home security, you think locks and gates, security guards and CCTV. We very often overlook fire detection, and fear intruders far more. But as the past has taught us, flames have the power to cause the type of damage no human ever could.
There are plenty of different noisemakers on the market – alarms triggered by smoke and heat – so in the very unusual instances that we do consider fire detection, we simply opt for the cheapest. What we fail to consider and are all too quick to overlook even when pointed out, is how useless a fire alarm is if it isn’t monitored.
Our homes are left unattended all the time. And it only takes a second or so for something to catch fire and spread. If we’re in the house and an alarm goes off, great – it’ll wake us up when we’re asleep and alert us to either address the situation or get out. If we’re away, on holiday say, then… what?
The chances of a neighbour hearing, let alone acting quick enough, are very slim. It is for this reason that we always suggest a monitored system that comes as part of your home security package.
The Benefits of Adding Monitored Fire Detection to Your Alarm System
Non-monitored smoke alarms don’t have the ability to summon assistance. Sure, you’ll meet most building codes and regulations but this won’t help you if ever you find yourself at home, overcome by thick smoke, or away trying to catch a break unaware of an emergency!
Besides the protection of your possessions and family members, there are pets to consider – many of which are left home alone all the time. The last thing you want is for them to be trapped in a burning building with no one to rescue them.
Fire monitoring will help you to avoid the horrific repercussions a house fire can have. It could also work well in your favour when it comes to getting yourself a good home insurance deal.
Everything You Need to Know About Heat and Smoke Sensors
The best alarm monitoring systems rely solely on security cellular connections. Not all wireless devices will run off this – some use a phone line or Internet connection. The most secure is the cellular, so look for a device that combines that with these three following fire detection technologies:
The smoke detection aspect uses photoelectric technology, which is able to sense airborne particulate. The sensor basically samples the air and if it discovers smoke or ash, it’ll let you know immediately – possibly before you could even smell it see it yourself.
Fixed temperature sensor
Heat is detected uses a fixed temperature sensor, which triggers an alarm at 135 degrees F. This aspects is a crucial one, but could not be used as standalone safety technology – hence the smoke detection and rate of rise temperature sensors to support it.
Rate of rise temperature sensor
The rate of rise temperature sensor works by determining if a room temperature is increasing at a dramatic rate (over 15 degrees F within a 60-second period). If this sensor detects an unusual rate of rise in temperature like this it will activate its monitored alarm.
You will find plenty of fire detection options that contain one of the above, but again the trick is to look for one that combines all three and utilises cellular connections.
The Best Places in the Home to Put Your Smoke and Heat Sensors
It’s a common misconception that you should put smoke and heat sensors in the corners of your home, where the wall and the ceiling meet. Though this won’t hinder the effectiveness of the sensor altogether, it’s not the best position. We recommend placing them on high on the wall or actually on the ceiling, as this is where you will get the most accurate response.
Many people believe that, as there is often an open flame in the kitchen, this is a good location for a smoke and heat sensor. Though this is the case, it is also true that there’s a heightened possibly of a false alarm in this area. We advise saving your fire detectors for hallways, bedrooms, staircases and main living areas. Bathrooms are also ones to avoid, as sensors can often misinterpret the steam as smoke.
So there you have it. A full breakdown of the reasons why fire detection is just as an important part of home security as intruder alarms, and a guide on what to look for when it comes choosing the right system for home. We hope you’ve found this post useful and ask that you kindly pass the link onto your friends and followers using the links below if you have!
With thousands of homeowners and renters already using Air BnB as a means of making some spare cash, it’s becoming increasingly important to weigh up the risks involved.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of guests hosting crazy parties and opening up pop-up brothers. And we think it’s safe to say that these types of mishaps are something we’d all like to avoid.
But just how easy is it?
Today we’re going to share some of our top tips for protecting your home, including everything ranging from insurance & valuables and rules & expectations. We’ll also run through a few smart security solutions, to ensure you’re covered for all eventualities.
Ready to be hostess of the mostess?
Insurance & Valuables
Even though AirBnB has its own insurance system that’ll cover certain types of damage, they don’t protect your debit or credits cards, financial papers, cheques, jewellery or birth certificates.
The best way around this without spending a heap of money looking for an all-inclusive policy is to simply store your valuables in a safety deposit box, either at the bank, on your person or in a discrete place within your property.
Of course, for a safety deposit box to be of any real value, you must ensure it is kept under strict lock and key – at all times!
Rules & Expectations
To book a reservation at any Air BnB, guests must agree to their hosts’ lists of house rules. These often include off-limit areas, pet policies and smoking arrangements.
If a guest happens to break a house rule, the host is able to cancel their reservation without penalty, which is why it’s incredibly important to compile a comprehensive list with all specifics for the upmost protection.
Failing to do so means that you could have to house guests that have no respect for your home or the possessions within it. The ability to set out clear rules means that you’re able to better manage expectations and therefore attract the right visitors.
Tech & Tools
While smart security solutions do have a real purpose in the Air BnB market, it is of paramount importance that you’re aware that the company prohibits hosts from using hidden cameras or any sort of surveillance system to spy on guests.
The presence of any such device must be disclosed clearly, or you face penalties. See the official statement for assurance:
“If you’re a host and you have any type of surveillance device in or around a listing, even if it’s not turned on or hooked up, we require that you let guests know by including this information clearly in your listing description and photographs. If a host discloses the device after booking, AirBnB will allow the guest to cancel the reservation and receive a refund. Host cancellation penalties may apply.”
Nevertheless, there’s an abundance of technology you can and should make great use off. These include:
To ensure your private letters aren’t picked up and opened by nosey guests.
To verify identities of guests, even when you can’t physically be there!
To provide you with full access control and allow for seamless key exchanges.
To keep a keen eye on specific areas, such as font and back entrances.
To take a less invasive approach to home security by alerting you of decibel spikes.
To keep you posted whenever a surface with valuables on it is disturbed.
To secure your router and protect yourself against cyber thieves.
Do you have experience as an Air BnB host? Share your stories with us on one of the channels below! Alternatively, call us today for a home security overhaul and ultimate peace of mind.
As a landlord or holiday house owner, you can’t always be on-site to ensure the safety of your rental property. But, as we know better than most, this doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to deter burglars looking for an easy break-in. So, without further adieu, let’s explore some practical ways to protect your rental property from intruders…
Secure All Entrances
Of course your property has a door, maybe even a few! But are these doors safe, installed with double-cylinder deadbolts? If you’re not sure the answer to this question then you must check all entrances, making sure the locks are secure and the doors aren’t hollow. Metal and solid wood doors are your safest bet, as they are incredibly sturdy and hard to kick through without spending lots of time making a huge racket.
If you are a landlord, you should also encourage tenants to take their own safety precautions – suggesting that they leave certain lights on at certain times of the day/night when they are out and providing door jammers for added, simple precaution.
In addition, you’ll also want to consider changing the locks upon evicting a tenant to certify the safety of newcomers. Even if you have been able to obtain the keys, you cannot be sure the tenant hasn’t had them copied. This will give you peace of mind and is good practise.
Install A Security System
If you leave your rental property unoccupied for long periods at a time, or simply want to take responsibility for the protection of your property, it is worth installing a security system. Security systems are often deemed a big investment, but they become priceless in the instance of a break-in. Consider the price of your property and the possessions inside and you’ll soon see why it’s a vital asset to have…
The are a variety of different options on the market to choose from, so finding on to fit within your budget shouldn’t be an issue if you’ve got an idea of what you need in mind. Many modern security devices are self-installed and able to be integrated to operate on your smartphone, so if your tenant looses their keys you’ll be able to let them in.
Tenants are likely to be willing to pay a little extra for added security measures, so if you can’t afford to fork it out it may be worth asking them to contribute.
Hire A Property Manager
If you own a large property, like a block of flats or sizeable house, that serves several tenants, then hiring a property manager is definitely something to look into. You can employ someone part-time or full-time, whichever you feel will work best.
The idea of a property manager is to have some presence on the premises that you can rely on. This is off-putting to burglars and reassuring for renters, not to mention a huge comfort to landlords unable to perform regular upkeep of their own.
Property managers can be trained to screen tenants before you take them on, produce reports of the local area and make note of suspicious activity. Dependant on the area, this may be more necessary that one would hope.
Rentals can be a great investment, but only if you keep them safe and retain their value! If you’re ready to squash your security issues, get in touch with 1st Ace Security for more advice and professional products.
Whatever your reason for moving home is, the chances are you want the process to run as smoothly as possible. Relocating is renowned for being a stressful, chaotic time but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hope for the best and do our best to arrange what we can to ensure anxiety is kept to a minimum. One of the most overlooked things to consider when putting a plan of action together for the big move is the security of your new home, your old home and all of your precious possessions.
Today we thought we’d give you a helping hand, highlighting some of the biggest risk factors to be aware of and advising how best to ensure they do not affect you and your overall experience! Ready? Grab and pen and notebook, you’ll want to remember this:
Why does moving house put us at risk?
OK, so stress is a factor that puts us at risk immediately. We all know that the more overwhelmed we are, the more forgetful and carefulness we become. It is really easy to be distracted when you’re in the mist of moving house, picking up boxes, moving things around and loaded one or maybe even two removal vans – it’s a lot for anyone to manage, even professionals.
But stress isn’t the only risk. Your front door is likely to be unlocked and your home left unaccompanied for much longer than it usually would be. The chaos attracts opportunists, and it only takes a few seconds for someone to turn their back and a burglar to grab whatever they want…
How do I protect my household possessions during this chaotic time?
It takes awesome organisation skills, to put it simply. Be hands on, even if you have hired a team to do all of the heavy work for you. After all, the ultimate responsibility lies on your hands, and a failure of any kind will affect you the most. The best tip of ours is to create an inventory of boxes and note exactly what values are in which box. A more obvious tip is to load the boxes from the house directly into the van, without leaving them outside for even a short period of time unattended.
You’ll have to be really cautious of the removal van also, as it can be tempting to leave it unlocked or unattended while concentrating so much on your possessions. The ideal scenario would be for you to get a driver, friend or family member to keep a watchful eye over both the van and the items at all times. Of course, extremely valuable items, important documents and fragile items are best kept on your person at all times. This includes jewellery, passports and birth certificates.
How do I know what the risks are in if I’m new to an area?
To add to all of the above, you also have to give thought to the security risks in your new area. You know what to watch out for (to some extent) in a neighbourhood you know, but this may not be so clear if moving to a completely new location. Our only advice here is to make friends with the neighbours as soon as you can, research the local crime rates and even ask the question in private online forums.
You can’t predict someone else’s actions, ever, but you can obtain a fairly accurate idea of the level and types of crime in a specific area, which will indicate trends that you can compare to your current area and therefore apply the correct safety measures.
What do I do to protect my new home upon arrival?
Again, this is no time for faffing about making a scene – you have a job to do and it certainly doesn’t involve unloaded boxes just to leave them pilled up outside… Take them straight on through to a safe spot in the house, preferably somewhere away from a window or at least that will be easy put up some makeshift blinds/curtains for the night. Don’t unlock the back door unless you’re using it and have a close eye on every entrance.
Also, take the precaution of changing all of the locks, as it is impossible to tell how many duplicate keys were cut (and lost) by previous owners beforehand. The new house may have an alarm system already installed and you’ll want to know exactly how to use it, especially if you have no idea of its existing password used by the previous owners. Contact the seller for a manual and ask any questions you may have. If you’re due an update, don’t prolong it. And if the house is a blank canvas, without any alarm, protective gate or other home security measures, get in contact with 1st Ace Security to see how we can install safety features that will give you utter peace of mind today…
William Golden, an ex-offender, started stealing from high street stores when he was just 14 years old. With his mother struggling with her diagnosed HIV and his sisters complaining of hunger, he turned to burglary as a means to feed his family.
In 2012 William’s luck ran out as he was spotted robbing a house. A neighbour caught a glimpse and quickly rung the police to turn him in. He has spent over a month in prison for aggravated burglary and now calls himself a “changed man”.
In the hope to somewhat give back what was lost due to his actions, he is now sharing his top home security tips for those looking to safeguard their home from thieves….