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Christmas Security Tips

Posted on 13 December, 2015 at 15:15 Comments comments (1)

Make sure Santa Claus is the only person sneaking into your home over Christmas by following these festive security tips:


As Christmas approaches, homes will be filled with gadgets and expensive gifts. But just as you are looking forward to giving and receiving those festive goodies, burglars are looking forward to stealing them from you.


Research from Halifax Home Insurance has shown a 25% increase in December theft claims, with an average of nearly 50 claims made each day over the Christmas period.


So, there's never a better time to step up your home security – here are 10 festive security tips compiled with the help of the DIY security company Swann.


1. Hide presents

Even if you don't have children to hide presents from, make sure criminals can't see them through your windows and doors by hiding them in cupboards and under beds.


2. Look lived in

If you're going away for Christmas, make the house look lived in. Turning on lights when no one's at home in winter can deter burglars. You can buy timers that will turn lights on automatically, or just ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your property, open and close curtains and put lights on.


If you're going away, ask a neighbour to park their car in your driveway to make it look like someone's home.


3. Look out for suspicious behaviour

Keep an eye on any suspicious behaviour in the neighbourhood. Security cameras for inside and outside the home can enhance your home security and peace of mind, but as they're not within everyone's budget, being vigilant has to be the next best thing.


4. Triple check your locks

Make sure all windows and doors are firmly shut and locked when leaving home. Leaving an entry path slightly open is a temptation for a burglar.


5. Don't leave notes

Don't leave notes for couriers saying no one's in. Make sure you've sent instructions about where to leave parcels if you're out.


6. Hide packaging

Make sure all packaging is ripped up and buried in bins, so criminals can't easily see what’s been added to an already festive-filled house.


7. Keep trees and gifts away from windows

Don’t openly display your Christmas tree and gifts in the front window so it’s easily visible from the street. It can be tempting for criminals to smash the window and grab wrapped packages.


8. Give a trusted neighbour a spare key

Burglars know to look for the hidden door key near the front entrance. Don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to a trusted neighbour.


9. Don't run electricity cords through window cracks

Burglars prefer to enter through unlocked doors or windows, so an electricity extension cord running through an open window to exterior Christmas lights can be an open invitation. Hire an electrician to install an inexpensive exterior outlet for festive outdoor lights.


10. Check your home phone's answering machine message

Make sure your family name isn't visible outside your house, like on a mailbox. Criminals can get your number from directory enquiries and call your home to confirm there's no one in. And don’t leave descriptive telephone answering machine messages like “We’re away skiing for Christmas, please leave a message.” Burglars love to hear they have plenty of time to ransack your home.

74% of homeowners fail to change locks after moving

Posted on 16 September, 2015 at 17:50

A survey has revealed that a staggering 74% of homeowners do not call a locksmith to change the locks when they move into a new property, potentially leaving them vulnerable to break-ins by someone who obtained a key during the previous ownership.

Survey participants were asked if they had their locks changed within a fortnight of moving in to their current home, only a quarter said ‘yes’. This basic security measure is recommended by leading home insurance providers such as Churchill, as most insurance claims are valid only if there are clear signs of breaking and entering, so the insurer will not pay out if the intruder was able to let themselves in with a key.

According to the Office for National Statistics the number of recorded burglaries has been gradually falling year on year for the last decade, but there are worries that this positive trend can only be sustained if homeowners remain vigilant and don’t take unnecessary risks with their home security. British Crime Survey statistics from The Crime Prevention Website show that people who have been living in their home for less than a year are twice as likely to be burgled as the average.

(According to Issue 27 of the Locksmith Journal -

Getting your locks changed should be high on the list of priorities for anyone moving into a new home. You have no way of knowing how many keys the previous owners lost or gave to other people, and this does leave your home vulnerable. Replacing the locks will not only ensure that you know exactly who has a key, but will also ensure your locks are new and adhere to British Standards. Please get in touch and our Locksmith's will be able to make your home safe and secure so that you can enjoy your new home. 

Home Security Tips

Posted on 16 September, 2015 at 0:55 Comments comments (3)

We all want to keep our homes, our families and our valuables safe from loss and harm. Here are some tips on making your home safe & secure:

1. Look at your home through the eyes of a burglar

Where are the weak spots?

If you have forgotten your keys but can still get in, so can a burglar.

Could someone break in to a part of the house without being seen?

2. A fifth of all burglaries are through an open window or unlocked door

Lock your doors and windows - even when you are at home.

Don't leave the keys in the locks.

Keep keys out of sight in a safe place (but so you can find them in an emergency).

Never leave your keys under the doormat, a rock or even on a piece of string inside the letter box - burglars know all the hiding places!

3. Homes without any security devices are most at risk

Fit double or deadlocks to your doors.

Add windows locks if they do not already have integrated hardware.

Fit a burglar alarm.

Fit security lights with a timer or sensor switch.

Don't forget that getting out in an emergency is just as important as preventing criminals getting in.

4. The attempts of forcing locks is on the rise, particularly through the 'mole grips' method or 'bumping' method of breaking cylinder locks

Secure doors and windows as much as you can by choosing the most modern construction which has in-built security features, for example cylinder guards or anti-bump cylinders.

Fit double or deadlocks to your doors.

5. Make sure you are insured!

You can save money on your home insurance by fitting good quality windows and locks.

Be savvier to what Insurers will ask to get the best possible quote or even a discount.

Insurers may reject a claim if you have not taken the necessary security precautions - often this is because consumers do not have the right information.

6. Don't let anyone in you don't know

Fit a door chain, bar or spy hole so you don't have to open the door fully to check who is calling first.

Ask for ID and look up a number in the phone book to ring and verify their identity.

If in doubt - don't let them in and report it to the police.

7. Moving home

If you move to a new home, change all the external door locks immediately.

9. Going away

Ask a friend or neighbour to collect the post and check the house.

Use an automatic timer to turn on lights and appliances when you are out.

Cancel milk and newspaper deliveries.

Hide your valuables or lock them away.

Lock all external doors and windows - from the inside and out.

Set your burglar alarm.

If you need any advice or assistance in making your home safe & secure for you and your family please get in touch.