3 Ways To Avoid Being Locked Out Of Your Home This Winter
Many people have experienced being locked out of their homes. In the winter weather being locked out can be even more dangerous in the freezing temperatures.
1. Make Sure A Trusted Person Has Spare Keys
Can you rely on trusted neighbours or friends to keep a set of keys for you? They can be your point of help if you get locked out. Another benefit can be to check on your property whilst you are away on holiday.
2. Keep A Spare Key In Your Car
This method will only work if you have access to your car during a lock out. Consider keeping your house and car keys on separate keychains to avoid this situation. If you do decide to keep your spare key in your car then keep it hidden from view. You should also keep any personal letters that contain your home address away from your vehicle.
3. Install Smart Locks
Consider installing smart locks to prevent a lock out. This will eliminate the need for key entry as you can access your home remotely via smartphone or tablet application. This adds a layer of protection when you are away from your home. If you ever needed someone to access your home you can unlock and lock the property remotely without ever needing to give them a key.
What Are The Potential Dangers Of Facial Recognition Technology?
Facial recognition used to only be seen in science fiction movies. With the advance in technology bringing this once fantasy idea to reality, we now see facial recognition features in our everyday lives. From social media auto photo tagging recognition to smart phone unlocking, government and medical applications, facial recognition technology is at the forefront of technological advancement.
1. What Is Facial Recognition?
Facial recognition is similar to other forms of bio metric technology. It uses a computer to recognise data and match it. Similar to fingerprint technology and voice recognition.
2. How Is This Technology Used?
You may have noticed when you use social media, specifically Facebook, that when you upload a photo of people it will auto suggest who these people are and suggests named tags for you to add. This is a prime example of facial recognition technology. Due to this amazing advancement this software can now be used to track criminals captured on CCTV or camera in public places.
Apple now uses either fingerprint recognition technology to unlock iPhones or facial recognition, meaning your devices are now so much more secure than previous years.
3. Is The Technology Safe?
Facial recognition is advanced but there is still a long way to go in terms of fool proofing the security. Facial recognition on phones can be confused with users wearing scarves, hat or sunglasses.
The security can also be hacked. An example of this was a Vietnamese security company that managed to enter through the facial recognition lock using a 3D printed mask.
3. What Can Be Done To Strengthen The Security Of This Technology?
To ensure your data and privacy is safe when using new technology there are a few things you can do.
– Add 2 step verification
You can implement 2 factor authentication on many log ins. This prompts you to sign in but you would need to use 2 different types of sign in methods to pass security. For example, you could use your facial recognition log in as 1st authentication and then a security code as 2nd authentication. This could be sent to the mobile device attached to your account as 2nd authentication.
– Don’t connect to public Wi-Fi Public Wi-Fi connections are not secure. Make sure to disable automatic connections within your Wi-Fi settings.
– Install Anti-Virus Software to Devices Make sure you have up to date anti-virus software on your computer and devices.
Autumn is soon approaching. With the change in the weather meaning darker nights at earlier times. All of these changes can correlate with changing security concerns.
Below we outline how you can prepare your house and security this Autumn.
1. Your Garden
Something you may not have considered is the fact a potential burglar may target your home based on the design of the garden. If the front of your house is hidden by bushes these can make it easy for a thieve to hide or sneak in undetected.
A few useful tips to protect from break ins: – Reduce landscaping that blocks neighbours view. You may like the privacy it provides but your neighbours are a second pair of eyes to look out for signs of trouble.
– Neaten up and trim down bushes especially ones blocking the view of your front door and window.
2. New School Schedule
September marks the beginning of the new school year which means your family may be going through a change of schedule. As an example children are getting home from school before parents finish work. If your home doesn’t have a security system in place consider purchasing one. Homes with no visible security systems are more likely to become targets for burglars. To make things easier for everyone in the household you can install the security app to your phone. By doing this you will be able to:
– Watch your security camera live meaning you can double check when they are home safe.
– Adjust the temperature on your heating so you can warm up the house before the family return.
– Lock and unlock doors for your children so you know they are safe.
3. Change In Weather
As the days get colder going into the winter months you’ll more than likely be using appliances that use natural gas to heat up your home. These types of appliances increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Leaking boilers or furnaces are one of the top causes of carbon monoxide poisoning each year. You could consider a security system that incorporates carbon monoxide detectors. At the same time include energy management systems to keep track of your energy usage, spend and carbon footprint.
Juggling work, housework and school runs is hard work. When you feel your children are old enough to walk home from school alone your stress is only maximised by worry. You want your children to be safe at all times. Many working parents are unable to get back for school pick up times with standard finish times for work in the UK being around 5pm. Teaching your children about security will mean they can stay safe until parents get home.
After School Routine
– Go straight home.
– If out with friends ensure they know to stay close to home. – Install smart-locks if you are not ready to give your child a set of keys. You can unlock and lock the door remotely for them.
– Remind them to never open the door to strangers, no matter who the person says they may be. You could install doorbell cameras so you can see who is at the door and speak directly to the person, as if you were home. Operating The Alarm System
– Remember when installing certain features of your security system to place within reach of your child, for example the keypad to arm and disarm the alarm. It will need to be out of sight of the window so the code input cannot be seen by potential intruders.
– Set up your system to sync notifications to your mobile phone so you can be reassured when you child arrives home safely.
– Test the alarm with your children and show them how to disarm it if needed.
Knowing What To Do If There Is A Break In
You must discuss with your child what should happen if there is a break in, especially if you are not present.
– Dial 999. Children must know the procedure for calling emergency services.
– Can your child recall your address details for the police? Make sure they know.
– A safe space. Locate a safe space for your child to wait until the police arrive.
– Locate entry and exit points to evacuate.
– Get your neighbours phone number so your child can call them in an emergency for help.
Monitored security with instant alerts is one of the safest forms of home security.
Mobile security cameras do not require internet or electricity. They are a type of system that can be implemented in homes and businesses. They work by connecting to your mobile network data. Due to this functionality they are sometimes referred too as 3G/4G/5G cameras.
Below we outline how mobile security systems can improve your home security.
The Safer System
Standard security systems can make home owners feel safer but intruders have methods to disrupt the signal. They can be hacked through the home internet. Wired security systems can be easily broken with a quick snip of the cables. Homeowners can box cables in to make them inaccessible but a mobile security system is another option.
Here are some of the benefits of having one: – They connect to your mobile data – They are battery operated or solar panel
– Due to these features they are wireless and difficult to hack
– They can be used during a power cut, due to being battery or solar operated
View From a Remote Location
Mobile security systems integrate well with modern day technology. We now have the capability to download apps to our phones that integrate with our cameras. Without the need for Wi-Fi you can view a live camera stream from anywhere. Make sure your security provider app is password protected, making it safer to use.
With no need for cables and wires your mobile security system can be placed anywhere within the home. This makes it a lot easier to find the best vantage point to place your camera.
Summer is the most amazing time for children. 6 weeks without school and as many fun days out as us parents can manage whilst still working! Juggling childcare, days out and summer club runs can be exhausting and makes us lose sight of our home security.
Ensure you enjoy a stress free and safe summer by being prepared in advance. Below we outline a few top security tips for your family this summer.
1. Lock Your Property
Crime tends to rise in the summer months. Maybe we are a little less cautious and care free in the nicer weather. It may sound crazy but take the extra time to ensure you have locked up your property. If your little ones are looked after by a childminder make sure they know how to secure the property.
You could install extra security equipment for maximum protection:
﮲Smart Locks; Connect your smart locks to your mobile app and control its usage from here. Set up unique passwords for different people, example childminder.
﮲Window & Door Sensors; They can alert you to a break in even when you are not present.
Talk through how to use the equipment and what each item is used for to your family and anyone else staying at your property to prevent false alarms.
2. Stay Vigilant
Install surveillance cameras around your property so you have all entrances covered. Use a system that has real time video streaming from your mobile. You should also consider installing cameras inside the property in places like the living room and bedrooms. This is where we generally keep expensive items plus you can also keep track of the children whilst you are away.
You could install a doorbell camera. This will enable you to communicate with any visitors or couriers. If you are not present you could specify a safe place to leave parcels.
You can keep track of your property on the go by linking your system to a mobile app. You will be able to see the camera stream live and some apps allow you to speak through the camera and turn the camera in any direction. This is a great way to have control of your property.
Consider becoming part of your local neighbourhood watch program. This is a great way to meet your local community and ensure that everyone can look out for each other. Let your locals know when you are away and make them aware of the security you have in place but ask to be alerted of any unusual activity.
3. Make Yourself Available
Make sure you are available for contact on your mobile device at all times in case of an emergency. Inform your neighbours and any childcare providers of your up to date contact information.
Purchasing a Doorbell Camera? Ask Yourself These 4 Questions
Doorbell cameras are a great investment for any home security. You may be away on holiday or out for the day when a thief could potentially strike. New smart technology enables you to be alerted on your mobile device as soon as your doorbell cameras are triggered. With any investment you need to research the right option for you.
Below we outline four questions you may want to ask yourself before investing in a doorbell camera.
1. How Does a Doorbell Camera Work?
Doorbell cameras can feature many components, such as:
﮲Microphones & Speakers; You can respond to the person as your door by speaking with them directly.
﮲Bell; The standard bell as we know it to alert you of someone’s presence.
﮲Camera’s that can be controlled; Potentially moveable cameras and night vision.
﮲Motion Detection; Alerts sent to you every time the cameras sense movement.
2. How Is a Doorbell Camera Installed?
Doorbells cameras can be battery operated, wired or wireless. If looking for a less expensive option a battery powered doorbell requires minimal maintenance and could be installed without the need for a professional. A downside to battery operated is your device could lose power and stop recording. With any smart doorbell system you should be able to connect your doorbell to the internet and your mobile device. This will ensure you are always alerted when someone is present.
3. Can the Doorbell be Integrated With My Existing Security System?
With the ever advancing smart technology available it is possible to integrate your doorbell with your existing security system and apps. Features could include smart locks that open when prompted by yourself through your app once you have seen someone you know on your doorbell camera. To ensure that your chosen doorbell could integrate with your current system be sure to contact your current provider.
4. Is the Doorbell weather & Theft Proof?
Again with smart technology If someone were successful in removing your doorbell camera system many devices now archive recordings on the cloud. Meaning up to the point of destruction, your cameras recordings will be backed up on your mobile app, ready to present to the police.
With some devices you can purchase additional protective cases to surround your equipment and protect from harsh weather conditions.
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.