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Top Summer Security Tips - 1st Ace Security

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 Our Top Safety Tips For Summer Security

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 - 1st Ace Security

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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.

How To Secure Your Mobile Device. - 1st Ace Security

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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.

Home Security Solutions For Seniors Living Alone - 1st Ace Security

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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.

Video Surveillance

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.

How To Troubleshoot & Maintain Your Security System - 1st Ace Security

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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.

Cameras
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.

Alarms

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

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.

Protecting Your Home Deliveries In The Run Up To Christmas - 1st Ace Security

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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!

How to Child Proof Your Home (for New & Existing Parents) - 1st Ace Security

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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.

Tops tips

  • 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.

Top tips

  • 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.

Home Security Is Equally About Fire Detection As It Is Intruders - 1st Ace Security

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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:

  • Smoke detection

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!

Air BnB: How To Protect Your Home and Guests - 1st Ace Security

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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:

Mail Guards

To ensure your private letters aren’t picked up and opened by nosey guests.

Smart Doorbells

To verify identities of guests, even when you can’t physically be there! 

Keyless Entry

To provide you with full access control and allow for seamless key exchanges.

Video Sensors

To keep a keen eye on specific areas, such as font and back entrances.

Sound Sensors

To take a less invasive approach to home security by alerting you of decibel spikes.

Tilt Sensors

To keep you posted whenever a surface with valuables on it is disturbed.

VPRN Router

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.

Research & resources:

https://www.safewise.com/blog/5-cool-home-security-gadgets-for-airbnb-hosts/

https://blog.getkisi.com/top-3-safety-security-tips-airbnb-hosts/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laiza-king-/5-tips-to-protect-yoursel_b_13920834.html

https://getpiper.com/6-safety-tips-for-the-airbnb-host-in-you/

https://getsafe.com/airbnb-home-security-tips/

3 Simple Steps to Keeping Your Rental Property Safe - 1st Ace Security

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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.