HOMEOWNER SECURITY ADVICE
Solid advice on how best to protect your home and family
Find below tips and guides on small actions you can take to dramatically decrease your chances of being targeted by crime.
TIPS & GUIDES
10 things you can do to protect your home
Installing a modern burglar alarm system is our best piece of advice for protecting your home and family from break-ins but there are plenty of things you can do in addition to keep the thieves from your door.
1. Get friendly with the neighbours.
Ideally give them your mobile number so they can call you if they hear or see something suspicious.
2. Avoid the obvious.
Don’t leave keys under the mat or on a side table inside the front door where they can be accessed with a long pole. If you have to leave keys outside, be more creative than under the pot next to the door.
3. Lock up.
Use a strong mortice lock as latches can be prised open too easily. Insurers may make this a condition. Lock all the windows too, including the upstairs ones.
4. Seek advice.
Find out about the crime rate in the area and get advice from the local policing Safer Neighbourhood team, who will inspect your home and provide recommendations.
5. Be discreet.
Don’t turn your sitting room into a burglar’s window display. If your ground floor rooms have valuables in view, draw the curtains when you are out.
6. Don’t advertise.
If you buy an expensive packaged item like a TV, don’t leave the box outside with the rubbish. Burglars are very alert and opportunistic. If you still get a doorstep milk delivery, cancel it when you are away. And don’t order large parcels if there is a danger the goods will be left outside.
7. Light up.
Invest in lighting timers that automatically turn the lights on and off at preset times. These are a key defence mechanism as they create the impression that someone is in when they’re not. Site them in different parts of the house, front and back and set at different times.
8. Don’t forget the shed.
Burglars love ladders, garden equipment and especially tools. Lock up sheds and garages and store the valuables in your home when you go away. Many of our customers extend their alarms wirelessly to include a sensor in the shed or garage.
9. Keep schtum.
Don’t announce you’re going away on holiday on a voice message or through social media. This gives a clear window when the house will be unoccupied.
10. Be ready.
Half of all break-ins take place when people are home. Make sure you have a panic button close to hand as part of your intruder system and investigate any strange noises. At night use the part set facility on your alarm so that the ground floor is alarmed while you sleep safely upstairs. Ideally get a monitored alarm so that you are guaranteed a response in the event of an activation.
TIPS & GUIDES
Wired vs Wireless alarms for the home
If you’re looking for a burglar alarm for your home, one of the first choices you’ll have to make is whether to go for a wired or a wireless system. Below we lay out all the facts to help you make the right decision.
While the parts for a wireless system are more expensive, the installation time required is a lot less than for a wired system (typically half). As a result, we can now install a wireless alarm in homes for less than the cost of a wired one in most instances.
Wireless systems run on batteries, which we recommend changing every two years. These have a cost over and above the price of maintenance and the price of the panel battery used as a power back up for both wired and wireless systems. How much more depends on the number of detection devices on your system but it is not normally a large number and it is only every other year. Replacement parts are more expensive for a wireless system than for a wired one; however, all our parts come with a one year guarantee.
Wireless alarms used to be notorious for false activations. However, after more than 10 years of research and development they have more than caught up with their wired counterparts. In most people’s opinion both systems are as reliable as each other.
Disruption and Aesthetics
This is a clear winner for the wireless system. No wiring means a far tidier installation. No ugly cables have to be fitted around doorways or hidden in unattractive plastic trunking and there is no need to drill holes through walls. It also means a much shorter installation time (for wireless systems we are in and out in under a day) so less disruption for the customer.
Extensions to a wireless alarm system are simple. We can install the new detector, programme it into the system and it’s done. Wired systems are more complex, disruptive and time-consuming. With a wireless system, detectors can be located in the optimum positions, whereas wired systems are often restricted by cabling issues.
Given that both systems are equally reliable, we advise the majority of our domestic customers to install wireless alarm systems. They are cheaper, faster and easier to install and once installed they provide greater flexibility for system extensions.
Overall winner: Wireless
TIPS & GUIDES
Bedtime checklist for fire prevention
Public information from Kent Fire & Rescue reveals that just three breaths of smoke from a house fire can be fatal – and around 30 children are killed each year due to house fires. Here are some fire safety tips to keep in mind when you’re kissing your loved ones goodnight.