Month: September 2019

Homebuilding and Renovating Show – Excel – Free Ticket Offer

The Homebuilding & Renovating Show offers a wide range of free talks including topics on self-build, renovating, innovative products, extensions, conversions and DIY projects.

All the products and services you need in one place
The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show hosts exhibitors based across the country. Whatever the product, there’s nothing quite like seeing it in real life.

My dome will once again be exhibiting at the show, and look forward to speaking to customer on site.

Free Ticket Offer – enter code B105500 at the booking screen

A £2,833 bill, and still counting

The true cost of burglaries and what’s really at stake – and it’s not only the financial cost

The true cost of burglary

We often read stories and articles about home security and burglary rates across the country however what these articles fail to mention is the average cost of a burglary. We all take steps to secure our homes but are we really doing enough? Sometimes it takes a big number for the realisation to really hit home – in this case that number is £2,833. This accounts for the loss and repair bill that all victims end up paying after they’ve been burgled; as if being burgled wasn’t bad enough!

broken door - burgled home

 

After figures from the Office of National Statistics were scrutinised by Post Office Home Insurance, analysis revealed that on average victims lose £2,267 in stolen valuables. The bill

grows with an additional £566 having to be set aside to pay for any damage. These numbers only give a glimpse into the cost of being burgled as there is no way of measuring the emotional distress suffered from this invasion of privacy and increased sense of vulnerability.

We don’t always anticipate immediately how much repair work can cost but once you tally up a window here, a door there you soon realise that the bill can be a bitter pill to swallow. 51 % of burglary victims are required to repair forced doors, 27% for broken locks, 24% for broken windows and 7% for damage to furniture. Its hidden costs like these that often add to the emotional distress suffered by burglar victims and constrained finances at times when families are already

stretched.

The rise in expensive gadgets and technologies make them quick and easy targets as they are often laid out in plain sight. The problem with these items going missing is that the information we store on them may be so much more valuable than the  item itself; that’s saying allot when we consider that laptops now cost in the region of £700. By taking laptops and tablets burglars get access into a large variety of aspects of our lives through the numerous apps we use. I mean do we want someone to have unlimited access to our pictures, banking information, cloud storage? Its information like this that can come back to haunt us if found in the wrong hands. If used correctly someone can continue taking from us long after the burglary.

Despite the rise in technology jewellery still accounts for 38% of items declared missing after being burgled. Sentimental value often outweighs the monetary value of these items and its tragic when they have gone missing. Unlike other items sometimes things simply can’t be replaced.

Rob Clarkson, managing director at Post Office Money Insurance, commented: “Nothing can prepare homeowners for the emotional impact of a burglary – it can leave you feeling vulnerable and unsafe in your own home. At this difficult time, the last thing you should be concerned about is the practicality of covering costs for home repairs or replacing valuables. As such, it’s important to make sure you protect your home as much as possible, not just by securing doors and windows but also by having adequate home insurance in place.”

Top tips

While tragedy can strike anyone at any time, there are a few things you can do to keep your property and possessions as safe as possible. If you can afford it, the most secure course of action would be to get a security alarm. For those who don’t have the money for such a system, you could install an external light with a timer and/or motion detection function to deter burglars, especially while you’re away on holiday.

Further options to consider include extra locks, or better locks (such as a three-point locking system) if yours are a bit old and maybe easier to get through. Add some good locks to your shed or garage, too, as burglars tend to love these for their relative ease of access. Of course it’s imperative to not forget to lock your doors and windows, regardless of how fancy the locks may be or how long you’ll be away, as it can only take a minute while you’re not looking for someone to get in and take your stuff. Common sense also tells us not to leave keys outside the house, no matter how hidden you think they are, and not to flaunt your expensive belongings where outside eyes can easily see them.

Last, but certainly not least, ensure your home and contents insurance are sufficient to cover the cost of your possessions – they can tally up more than you think, especially if you’ve bought some high-priced things since the last time you reviewed your policy. With sufficient financial security in place, you can at least be sure you won’t be footing the bill should the worst come to pass.

What is relay theft and why is it a problem?

Relay theft, also referred to as keyless car theft is becoming a growing problem in the UK. Criminals can exploit a vulnerability in keyless car entry and start systems using a digital theft technique called the relay attack. Due to the simplicity and ease of doing this more and more criminals are starting to use it.  According to leading publications such as the BBC these hacking devices can be bought for as little as £100 online and when used can take as little as 20-30 seconds to be successful.

Consumer watchdog Which? Conducted a study where they found that 4 out of the 5 most popular vehicles on the UK road were susceptible to this new auto theft technique. These include the ford Fiesta, Volkswagon Golf and Nissan Qashqai. The problem was not limited only to these cars with brands in the premium market experiencing the same problem on more occasions.  Light commercial vehicles are also becoming targets with many suggesting that the tools they hold maintain a certain value.

Keyless car theft is a growing concern and measures should be taken to avoid or at least reduce the chances of it happening to you.

Why do we need driveway sensors?

Preventing keyless entry

Individuals should increase the level of security around there home. Driveway sensors, motion sensors and floodlights should be installed. As with other crimes criminals don’t like an audience or light shone on their activities. With a whole range of smart and non-smart home security devices on the market, homes can be quickly and affordably transformed to more secure premises.

Most individuals understandably mentioned not being aware their car was being stolen. Though many had CCTV cameras installed this merely provided evidence of what had gone on the night before. From those interviewed a high proportion agreed a notification was needed in some capacity.

Driveway sensors are a simple, yet effective method to deter car theft. Not only do they act as a visual deterrent; when a PIR sensor is activated a signal is sent to a receiver inside the home which provides a clear audio and visual notification. This simply draws attention to what is happening outside.

How do I secure my house leading up to Christmas?

Checklist of how to keep your home safe whilst you are away.  The following will give you some tips on how best to keep your home safe so you Don’t return from a fantastic few weeks away in the sun to realise your home has been burgled?

It’s easy to forget what you’re leaving behind in the excitement of going away and were all guilty of doing this including me. Were in such a rush to get our sunglasses on, sit on a plane and enjoy the luxuries of a well earned well needed break in the sun that we overlook what’s most important to us, our homes security. 78% of burglaries take place when nobody is at home.

Home security holiday Checklist

  • Locks – Double lock everything
  • Keys – Hide them away
  • Lights – put them on a timer
  • Alarm – Arm it
  • Neighbours  – Let them know
  • Post – make sure its not visible & piling up
  • Garden – trim it before you go.
  • Bins – make sure they are empty and put away neatly
  • Car – get a neighbour to park in the drive
  • Safe – Put valuables inside it
  • Plugs – Switch off unnecessary appliances.
  • Heating – Turn it off

Leaving your home empty

A home that looks unoccupied presents an irresistible temptation for thieves and measures must be taken to prevent this temptation from ever materialising. In an ideal world we have a neighbour or relative keep a watchful eye and house sit from time to time. If this isn’t possible precautions must be taken to give a perception the house is not empty. Your first priority should be to cancel any deliveries you may have coming to your house, i.e. milk or newspapers. A build up of uncollected post and deliveries gives a clear sign that your home is unoccupied, enticing individuals we would rather keep away.

An old habit of ours is to draw the curtains so nobody can see inside our home, and though this prevents having people look through our windows we soon realised it does pose as a big sign saying this house is empty. Blinds can often be a discreet compromise.

To truly give an illusion your home is occupied the use of lighting can act as a great deterrent to burglary.

If someone thinks that you’re at home they will think twice about entering it. Light switch timers are a must. They can be used to switch on your lights around your home according to your specified settings. Simple yet highly effective; the feature allows you to pre-programme light timing sessions, so unlike most timing switches the lights do not turn on at the same timetabled daily time. This makes it even more difficult for any individual to assess what times the home is unoccupied, let alone know you’re out on a beach without any care in the world!

It may be obvious but making sure your locks and alarms are secure and working can deter a burglar. The harder it is to gain entry into your home the more reluctant they will be to enter. The last resort for a thief would be to break in through a window or a door. This creates unwanted noise and attention alerting your neighbours or passers-by, not to mention triggering your burglar alarm. Therefore installing or upgrading good quality window locks are required and strong secure exterior locks will defiantly not do you any harm.

Finally ensuring your home is fully insured has multiple benefits, not just in the event of a burglary but also fires and floods. If something unexpected happens you can rest assured that you are fully covered and will be compensated for any damage or theft that happens in your absence.

To summarise don’t present an opportunity for someone to ruin your holiday! Take precautions and prepare yourself so you won’t find any nasty surprises when you return to your home.

The cost of a burglary goes way beyond the monetary loss

A dampening reality sets in when your home is broken into. There’s no ideal time to have your home burgled but to return home and find its happened can leave an empty feeling in the pit of your stomach. “Why did my neighbours not hear anything”. “How did this happen, why did this happen to me”. “Did I do everything in my power to prevent it happening before I left”. Within a few moments all the serenity of being on holiday is washed away and the empty pit in your stomach is filled with a deep regret and stress as you work to pick up the broken pieces again. Not what we envisioned a holiday would do for us. So what can we do? It’s pretty simple and cost effective.

Protect your home this summer holiday

8 Burglary Facts – Change Your Mind Set

Everyday life continues day by day with the vast majority of us thinking nothing bad could ever possibly happen. If a crime is committed we watch or hear about it and then move on with our lives. However according to some insurance companies a large proportion of us are careless about looking after ourselves and our properties.

One – A figure that will you shock you is that an astonishing 64% of people attaining property insurance admit that they do not always lock their front door and windows when heading out. The most common entry point is an open window or unlocked front door.

Two – A distinctive statement that burglars have been known to make is that burglar alarms are hugely ignored and unarmed most of the time. People can be naïve in thinking they will never need it with 34% in a poll admitting their alarm doesn’t get used. In addition in a separate poll another 33% of homeowners admitted that they ignore any sounding alarms in the street.

Three – The most common target for burglars is a semi-detached (38%) bricked (51%) house occupied by a family with young children. The house has three bedrooms and is situated in an urban location (59%). A garden at the back of the house (82%), approximately 160 sq m and surrounded by fencing (66%). Usually with no garage (63%) at the property but there is one car sitting on the drive (32%)

Four – Only 22% of burglaries happen when the property is occupied so any measures that can be taken should be. Even small measures such as keeping your keys away from letter boxes and leaving a radio in inside can easily defend your home. And of course not leaving lights on during the day advertising that you are out and won’t be back till after dark.

Five – The cost of repairing the damage and replacing the stolen goods costs on average £1,730 – very few ever getting their stolen goods back.

Six – It isn’t uncommon for a burglar to hit the same house more than once. After all, they know the vulnerabilities, may have keys and are expecting you to replace your stolen items with an insurance claim. If you’re the victim of a break-in, improve your home security, if you haven’t don’t wait until you are!!

SevenUnfortunately, burglaries are hard to solve. Three out of four crimes are going unsolved, the lowest clear-up rate for five years. So your chances of recovering your property are even less likely to happen.

Eight – Burglary rates are likely to be under reported. Many burglaries are not reported either because they may be very minor or the victim doesn’t want to bother the police.  Sometimes victims are insured and so doesn’t see the point in reporting the crime.

The lessons, do the obvious easy things to protect your home,

  • Lock windows and doors.
  • Use your alarm
  • Keep sheds and gates locked
  • Use a lightswitchtimer.co.uk when its dark

Winter Burglary Season Has Started

The winter burglary season is once again here.

Are you home or away?

Halloween – a scary time of year

The clocks have gone back and Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas are all around the corner.
Burglaries and malicious domestic damage increases by 160 per cent during this time of  year. Bonfire Night is statistically the worst night of the year for burglaries and car theft, research has shown.

The dark nights, fancy dress costumes and noisy big bangs are the ideal way for a burglar to hide in plain sight. This highlights the the importance of keeping your home protected.

With homes empty and lots of masked guests arriving on your doorstep its no surprise that the London metropolitan police highlight Bonfire night and Halloween as the busiest time of year for burglaries.
Police advice is to create the illusion of occupancy through the use of lighting.  Leaving lights on all day can be counter productive and expensive. A light left on during the day is often a good indicator that the home is empty. Its best to have your light turn on when it gets dark only. Programme your mains lights to tun on and off in your absence with the police approved light switch timer.