Burglaries are on the rise. An increase of 11% last year on the previous year and continues to rise (Office For National Statistics UK). You must ensure you have a working home security system that is maintained regularly.
Use our maintenance checklist guide to ensure the smooth running of your system.
1. Test Control Panel Regularly
Its often easy to get caught up in the grind of life and forget about important tasks. Try to organise regular checks as part of your normal routine to avoid any costly repairs or system faults.
If you are unsure on how to perform control panel tests or need a system maintenance check then get in contact with us, 1st Ace Security, for advice.
2. Check All Batteries
An easy way to maintain continuous function is to regularly check the batteries on your system equipment.
This could include;
Better Home Security This Spring With Top Cleaning Tips
Spring is just around the corner. This is the time of year when everyone decides to have that much needed spring clean!
If you have a security system within your home then spring cleaning is more than just removing clutter from your home, your system will need cleaning too.
Below we detail indoor and outdoor cleaning tips for your home this spring for better home security function.
1. Home Security Outdoors
Home security starts with the security on the outside of your property. You should consider these tips when spring cleaning this year:
﮲ Examine your outdoor security cameras; Winter weather can damage outdoor security cameras. Ensure you clean the lenses of any dirt or water marks and ensure there no cable damage.
﮲ Check outdoor security lighting; Check all battery operated lighting and bulbs incase replacements are needed.
﮲ Maintain the home landscaping; Ensure any overgrown bushes are trimmed back as these can be potential hiding places for intruders. Also check any security gates are intact and working correctly.
﮲ Make your door number clearly visible; Make sure your front door number can be seen from the roadside for emergency responders.
2. Home Security Indoors
Once your homes exterior is checked and secured its time to think about the interior.
﮲Clean your security equipment; Remove any dust and dirt from lenses and cable entrances.
﮲Check batteries on smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms; Fires within the home can be fatal. Its important to take measures to alert of fire or carbon monoxide.
﮲Check window and door locks; If any locks are loose then tighten or replace them.
3. Test Your Entire Security System
You should regularly test your home security system for any faults and ensure any necessary updates are carried out. Every security system will be different depending on the model and set up but within the menu functions should be the option to test the security system. This will detect any faults within its operation. Remember to contact 1st Ace Security if you have any questions regarding your system with us.
Ways to Tell If Your Home Security System is Not Working Properly
Homeowners feel safer and more comfortable with a security system in place. If your home security system stops working, you could potentially be at risk.
Having a faulty home security system leaves you, your family, your property and possessions at risk from harm and danger. Listed below are some indications that your home security system may be faulty.
If you can hear continuous bleeping from your home security system, you may have one of the following issues that needs maintenance:
– Reset your security system then press the status button on your control panel. – Replace the current batteries with a new set.
– Your wiring may be corroding, use a voltmeter to determine if this is happening.
Experiencing False Alarm’s
False Alarm’s can be another indicator that your home security system is not working as it should. There are several factors that can result in this, here are a possible few:
– Poor power supply or low batteries. – Damage to circuits and wiring.
– Inadequate user training.
– Human Error.
To avoid false alarms and keep your home security system running smoothly, it is advisable to perform regular maintenance, which includes updating the system software and codes.
If you keep experiencing false alarms, contact your home security system supplier and request a full maintenance check.
This will be the most obvious indication that your system is not working and is experiencing a system failure, once all the necessary steps to correct the system have taken place and all threats have gone undetected, this would indicate that you may have a faulty security system or equipment.
It is always advised that you preform regular tests, testing your home security system will vary depending on which make and model your control panel is.
If you have any concerns, always contact your home security system provider for a scheduled maintenance appointment.
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.