Category: Home Security Tips

Cleverloop – Is it the WIFI camera for me?

The CleverLoop Smart Home Security system is a wireless camera set up that gives you the ability to keep a check on your home and family when you’re away anywhere in the world you can get internet access.

Cleverloop – Is it the WIFI camera for me?

Clever Loop - clever home security system

The next time your homes being targeted be alerted

A security system that has the advantage of having both indoor and outdoor cameras to be able to monitor your home or other premises inside and out. To provide the wireless capability the cameras are controlled by a device known as the base station which can control up to 4 cameras.

The base station enables much of the processing to be done locally which reduces data flow across your internet connection which is great for your bandwidth. This also means the company has a learning algorithm to improve detection of suspicious motion so you are only notified of important events.

There are no monthly fees or add on services – it is all included in the price.

In our review we look at how well it provides security for your family, home, other premises and valuable items by looking at everything in detail so you can see what is good and what you

Base Station

This is the brains of the system. It controls communication between the cameras and your smart device and processes the footage from the cameras for the smart detection according to the cameras with geo fencing and scheduling settings.

It also analyses all the footage and stores up 8 GB locally. More can be stored with a larger SD card and/or an external hard drive. This analysis and storage helps to protect privacy as well as reduce bandwidth usage. Only the events seen as important (based on the learning algorithm) are stored remotely online. They say this functionality is how they can offer this solution without a monthly fee as the processing is done locally and not over the internet.

Cameras

cleverloop completeThere are 2 types of cameras – indoor and outdoor and they do differ with some of their specifications.

Indoor camera

A 720p HD camera with a 110 degree field of view giving a good range to cover a room or area and if installed in a corner (but not as good as the Piper NV 180 degree range). It has night vision that switches over automatically to allow you to continue to get coverage. It allows for two way audio so you can have conversations with anyone at home or with your pets.

These are great for keeping an eye on the inside of the home, protecting areas where high value items are kept, entranceway.

Using the indoor camera through a window will run into problems with the infra-red LED reflecting off the window interfering with what the camera records. You can turn the LEDs off but you won’t see much at night unless the area is well lit. The better option is to use an outdoor camera.

Outdoor camera

This 720p HD camera field of view of the camera is 60 degrees making this good to cover a defined areas such entrance ways or alongside a house, specific part of a car park or garden rather than large open spaces. The switch between day and night visions is automatic and fairly seamless. At night the length of vision is up to 65 ft with infra-red. It is weather proof.

These are great for watching your doors, garden paths and gates. At the front door as well as keeping a lookout for people trying break and enter they can be used to keep an eye on parcels and delivery men.
Both cameras provide a clear image during the day and as night – although at night it is black and white due to the infra-red vision.

The cameras do not pan, tilt or zoom nor is there a digital capability to do this.

If you want more than 4 cameras you need to buy additional base stations that can all be controlled by the one App. For a house or apartment 4 camera sis probably going to get your entrances covered and a 2 rooms with your most important items covered.

The video quality of both cameras is very clear during daytime and night vision. You can clearly see what is going on and see faces. There is little blurring.

Remote Monitoring

The App is easy to use and fairly intuitive. This is where you control the system and set it up how you want it to work.
You can watch recorded clips, download them for safekeeping or share them with others. This is only available on Android and IOS devices. It can be done from anywhere you can get access to the internet.

You can only watch one camera’s live feed at a time – 2 of you can watch live feeds at the same time. They are planning an update in the near future to allow you to watch 4 cameras at once.

While you are watching a live feed of one camera the motion detection continues to work on all cameras. This helps with the fact you can’t watch all cameras at once if there is a security event is happening you are able to get a record of what is happening elsewhere.

There isn’t a limit on the number of base stations and cameras you can add to your account. It means you can monitor your home, business premises and a vacation home all from the one App on your phone without having to switch between them. You just need to make sure you name them so you can identify them easily!

Notification

With the learning algorithm you should only receive a notification when an important event happens when there is an unauthorized human movement in your house when no one is expected to be there.

When an important movement is detected you receive a push notification on your phone that is announced by a quick buzz. From there you can view a quick 10 second video clip of the event. You can also be notified when the base station loses connection with the cameras.

You can set up others to receive notifications. They need to open their own account and then scan the QR code at the back of your base station (provided you’ve not changed the access code). You can have as many people as you want added to the base station. They do have the same access as the owner so can make any changes they want as well as receive notifications and monitor the system – so you do need to be careful as to who you give access too.

The system doesn’t send out notifications when the system is turned on/off or when people arrive or leave home. It does mean you won’t know when your children or other arrive home while you are at work. The system could also be turned off by mistake (or deliberately) without your knowledge when you want it live.

 

Sensors/Detection

One of the annoying things with motion sensors and alerts is that you can end up with many false alerts buzzing your phone during the day as it picks up your pet moving around or the wind moving trees or cars moving on the street.

Often the way to fix this is to turn down the sensitivity or to tell the camera to ignore movement in certain sectors.

Cleverloop instead uses a learning algorithm to split the motion detected into two types: important, known as alarms and unimportant known as movements.

The movement is recorded for both types but only important events generate an alert to your mobile device.
Alarms are for motion seen as people who are in the field of view when the camera is armed and movements are for events such as pets moving around or trees moving or cars driving past.

When a motion is determined by the system as an alarm it sends a notification to your phone and records it locally and to the cloud (which can be disabled). It will continue to record the 10 second clips and notifications while the event continues – there is no period of reset as there can be with other security systems.

Recording starts at the same time movement is detected.

When it sees a movement (not important) no alert is sent to your phone and this is recorded locally only. This recording can still be viewed remotely with your phone.

You can help it to learn by letting it know it has done something wrong by pressing “Mark this is as movement” or “Mark this as an alarm.” It needs this help to become more accurate with its “decision making.” These improvement statements are found underneath the clips as appropriate.

As well as learning from what you tell the system it also learns from the anonymous feedback of other customers combined together which help it to get “smarter” to give less false alerts.

You reset the algorithm by pressing “Forget all learned patterns” which you probably only want to do if you move the camera to a new location.

Learning algorithms are new and can be subject to problems with them not actually “learning” and giving you false alerts anyway. However, there is no indication that CleverLoop is doing that but it will probably need “tweaking” by the company to get it right as well as your own feedback.

It doesn’t have face recognition so it sees all people as people – so if you mark movement of family member as unimportant it will mark all movement by people as unimportant not just family members – to avoid this the geo fencing and scheduling can help reduce alerts.

The fact it doesn’t totally ignore movements and stores them locally gives you more chances to provide more feedback which is great so if it does miss something important, such as someone breaking into your house you still have the video albeit it is recorded locally.

Most companies that have a learning algorithm do charge for this so at some stage they may find they need to charge a monthly fee to continue this service.

 

Video Storage

There are 3 ways you can store video.

In the cloud. It stores up to 7 days of motion clips with the clips deleted as they get to 7 days old. You can download any video stored in the cloud on to your phone so nothing important should be erased without you having a backup. There are no options for longer storage at present.

On SD Card.
this stores all motion clips – important and other events as deemed by the learning algorithm.

External Hard Drive.
This is the way to go if you want continuous storage and still get important motion clips stored in the cloud. You plug the hard drive into the USB slot on the base station. This storage starts to work as soon as you plug it in. A 1 Tb hard drive can record up to 45 days of one camera at 720p resolution.

There is a limitation on the use of the external hard drive. You can only record to it continuously when the camera is in stay disarmed or auto disarmed. When it is in stay armed or auto armed mode the continuous recording stops and only record important motion clips.

Another issue is that you can’t view the external hard drive video using the App but have to disconnect it and connect to another computer to watch it.

Contract

There is no contract to sign, nor are there any fees to use the system or store video on the cloud.

Included in the purchase price, at no additional cost you get cloud storage, remote monitoring, software updates and the learning algorithm.

They don’t offer any upgrades or additional services at this stage.

Alarms

There is no audible alarm at this time that may change in the future. Without an audible alarm an intruder will continue without know they’ve been detected – most burglaries only take minutes. A siren can disorient them momentarily plus most criminals don’t like attention or the possibility that there might be noticed and leave quickly.

To help with this it is possible to install a DIY home security system that you manage yourself in the same way as you are doing with cameras. They don’t interact with the cameras but can give you the opportunity to cover more entry points and also more rooms with a more economical solution.

When you receive a notification from the cameras after you can sound the alarm or if the security system notifies you can check with the camera if you can see what is happening before taking further action.

Wireless or Wired

The base station is plugged into the router but the cameras work wirelessly for communication. All the devices do need to be plugged in for power.

Installation

To set up the system you need spare ports on your WiFi router 2.4 GHZ, a mobile device (Android 4.1 above and/or IOS 6.0) a power supply with 27.5 ins of where you are installing the base station.

The setup of the system is straightforward – it takes a few minutes after plugging in and connecting the base station to your router, downloading the App and activating your account.

You follow along to a video and you are soon up and running.

It does also involve plugging in the cameras to the router initially to get them set up before they work with the WiFi

The cameras can be set anywhere you can get a WiFI signal and have a power supply to plug into within 9.8 ft (you can extend this with a power extender).

Indoors this is probably not an issue but outdoors you may run into issues with having to run power to them or running the cord through the wall or eaves into the attic.

The mounting hardware needed for installing the cameras is included in the box.

 

Battery

Batteries are not required for the system as all components require to be plugged in for power.

Setting the Cameras

The system can be set/armed/disarmed in a number of ways by doing this with the phone or by setting up scheduling or using geo location.

To arm/disarm with your phone you use the App to do this and it is straightforward to do.

The scheduling is where you set when the system is armed for recording and disarmed based on you and your family’s lifestyle so you don’t need to remember to arm/disarm as you leave.

Geo fencing uses your phone’s location which can help in ensuring the cameras are on when you’re not there and turn off when you get home. It works with your smart device and others that are assigned to it. When the last device leaves the cameras will be set to record when motion is detected, and when a device returns they can be set to turn off. In this way it can avoid the problem that could happen if someone forgets to turn on the system when they leave. Your phone does need to be turned on and you are logged into the App.

Each base station supports up to 3 indoor/outdoor cameras, to control more cameras you need to buy another base station.

At the back of the base station is where you plug in the power, the USB port for video storage, Ethernet cable for connecting to the WiFi router and SD card slot for video storage.

 

Pros

  • Indoor and outdoor cameras are available
  • Can monitor remotely using IOS and Android devices
  • Multiple choices for storage of video – cloud, SD Card or external hard drive
  • No monthly fees payable or contract to sign
  • Learning algorithm will help to cut down on the number of false alerts to your phone
  • Sends notifications to your phone when important motion is detected
  • No cabling needs to be laid to connect cameras to base station
  • Cameras and base station allowing them to be take with you when you move house
  • The App is easy to navigate around to get to live feed and reviewing recorded events
  • Easy to set up
  • Is expandable with purchase of base stations
  • Multiple locations can be controlled by one App
  • Easy to add as many people as you want to monitor and receive notifications
  • Can use scheduling and geo fencing to automate arming/disarming the system
  • Can choose where to record video locally or remotely on supplier’s servers
  • Recording starts, and notifications are sent immediately when a security event is detected and this continues until movement stops being detected

Cons

  • Limited to only 4 cameras per base station. You need to buy additional base stations as well as cameras if you want more.
  • Not compatible nor able to integrate with other smart home devices
  • There is no battery backup for use in the event of a power outage.
  • When there is a power outage the system stops working
  • No audible alarm when motion detected
  • Cameras need to be installed with an available power supply which may limit where you can place them outdoors
  • Can only have continuous recording to USB flash drive or hard drive when in disarmed mode
  • Only records a 10 second video clip when set to motion record
  • Cameras do not pan/tilt/zoom (nor digitally)

CleverLoop Smart Home Security System Price

The 4 cameras can be configured how you want as a mix of indoor or outdoor cameras or all the same.
When looking at similar cameras – such as the Nest Cam Security Camera which doesn’t have a learning algorithm but does have more environmental sensors, 1080 HD, 130 degree field of view and integrates with Nest. You are required to pay a monthly fee to access video storage. The pricing for the CleverLoop is similar and for 4 cameras is better by about £60.00.

The 4 camera system can be used for a house and a business – it can probably cover two entrances and your backyard or a car park but isn’t going to give you complete coverage. This can be enough for an apartment.

For a home as a minimum there are four areas you probably want to cover with cameras are the front door, back door, off street windows.

Also you probably want to cover areas that have items of high value such as a master bedroom (or at least in the access to the bedrooms) and garage.

The 4 cameras can give you coverage over the backdoor and front door and one other important area (indoors or outdoors) to give you coverage of the places criminals target first for entry and looking for valuable items.
You can add the additional cameras if you want to provide more coverage but you do need to buy a base station when you want more than 3.

Review Summary

CleverLoop as a home monitoring system does a very good job.

There are some areas of concern with the lack of back up (seems to be an issue with most systems), that everyone added to the system has the same rights to make changes to the system, you have to buy a base station every time you want to add more than 4 cameras.

The camera themselves provide a good clear image of what is happening and who is doing it. It does make it very easy to keep an eye on your home through notifications and live feeds.

The Cleverloop passes our tests and is right up there with the best of the WIFI Camera’s out there.

Clocks going back – Its time to programme those lights

During the dark winter months the clocks go back 1 hour and nights get longer. Our homes are left exposed in the dark for allot longer than we would like – but they don’t have to be!

Which home would you target if you was a burglar?

 

 

Its time to secure your home easily with our quick programming guide for your light switch timer.

Light Switch Timer – Quick programming guide

Protecting the things that matter most to you and your family when it matters the most. Take a look at the following post to find out how we look after you.

Setting the clock – quick programming guide

  • press enter – then use the day/ hour / min buttons until correct time is displayed.
  • Press enter

Programming

  • Press prog button select the day / hour /min you want the light(s) to turn on – press enter
  • Then select the day / hour /min you want it to turn off – press enter
  • Press prog to complete

*To select multiple days continue pressing the day button. You can select groups of days so a single program can turn lights on every day at the same time.

*Repeat for as many programs as you want.

 

 

Additional features

How do I stop my programmed schedule from running without erasing all the programmes manually?

By holding down the hour button for 10 seconds you will see a bar appear on top of the word ‘Auto’ on your LCD screen. This signifies that your saved programmes are not active. The programmed timetable still remains in the memory of your light switch timer for the next time you wish to use it. In order to activate the programmes again please press the hour button until the word ‘Auto’ no longer has a bar above it.

This feature is ideal because it allows you to keep your light switch timer on the wall all the time using only the manual On/Off feature  like a normal switch.  Activate your programmes only when they are needed without having to create a new timetable each time.

 

Can I change the temperature from degree’s Celsius to Fahrenheit?

Holding down the Min button for 10 seconds toggles between the two different temperature units of measure.

 

 

 

Want to see whats going on at your home when your not there? Receive real time notifications each time something changes or someone enters your home.

Cleverloop – Smart Home Security Evolved

 

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.

 

What Cuts In Policing Means When It Puts Your Home At Risk

Recent news stories reflect on the fact that national policing budgets are 5% smaller than last year’s budget, meaning that policing levels in local areas will inevitably drop. Despite all 43 police forces in England and Wales suffering from the challenges it already faces news reports escalate that we are being told that the forces will still be equipped with all the resources they need. However the same sources indicate that response times for 999 calls are in fact 30% slower. But what does this mean when it relates to your safety in your home?

Budget cuts are never a good thing as it means somewhere whenever it’s needed urgent help is not there quick enough. Although we’re being told that all forces across England and Wales will get the same percentage cut it will affect everyone in different ways. Cities suffer as they generally have more crime. Smaller locations suffer as they may have to wait considerable lengths of time until help arrives.

Home security

In the defence of your home and your assets these cuts could also cause problems. If the help isn’t there fast enough what will happen if you suspect something and it turns out to be right? This means that the security of your home will need to be on the top of your list of priorities more than ever. Although policing cuts are probably not going to stop anytime soon it’s best to make sure your home is secure as much as it can be in case something should happen.

Simple tasks such as checking all of your doors and windows are essential in keeping your home safe. Double locks on doors are a good start on securing your entrances. Although it means another key and another lock this will help to keep your doors closed tight. No harm comes from being protective of your home and possessions. It can even act as a deterrent. If your home is seen as being completely secured thieves will look for an easier target.

However despite the cuts there are some special funds being given to areas of national policing interest.

It has never been more important for home owners to take ownership of their homes security and take reasonable steps to protect themselves and their property.

Simple steps such as ensuring good Police approved locks are fitted, and security lighting is employed such as the lightswitchtimer.co.uk. Ensuring keys are kept safe and valuables not left on display or insight during the evenings. Burglars don’t like to be caught with tools on them so they often look for these in an unsecured shed or in the garden. Don’t leave that garden spade lying around.

Schemes like neighbourhood watch will be highly beneficial during the times of cuts as we can all look after each other. Tools such as social media can keep communities in touch with any activities or news that may affect them and their neighbours. Stretched police units would also benefit from the extra pieces of evidence collected to help with their enquiries. So when your home needs protecting support your local community and they’ll support you.

 

Shabbat Timer – Light Timer for the Sabbath

Observing the Shabbat (the Sabbath)  requires you to refrain from what is considered turning electricity on or off during Shabbat.

Timers on Shabbat & Yom Tov– Light on Timers for the Sabbath

Our new light switch timer is in fact perfect as a Shabbat light timer, a device that will give you control of your home’s lighting.  As it has a seven day timer you can set it for any day you like and there is no danger of forgetting to set it each week.  It also the only timer that works with LED and energy saving bulbs avoiding the issue of incandescent bulbs.

Shabbot tlight

Shabbat timer

oneg Shabbos and Yom Tov,

When it comes to oneg Shabbos and Yom Tov, having light only turn on when you program them – does not waste money leaving them on for the whole weekend.

The light switch timer is a digital timer that controls your light switch. It has a built-in motor that “flicks” the light switch up or down according to your schedule.  It can be programmed for individual days of the week meaning you can program the uni to turn on every Friday evening and off again on Friday night, and back on for  Saturday morning.

Programming the Shabbat light timer

There are Nine Program slots (plus 1 Random Program Timer) making it perfect as a shabbat timer light

It is so easy to install and requires no wiring. It mounts directly on top of an existing light switch.  In addition it can also be used on single double or triple gang light switches allowing you decide to which of the switches you want to control.

Designed and manufactured by Essex-based company Switched On Products, in addition to being used as a shabbat light timer – the device can also be used to to provide timed security lighting within empty homes – or when you are away on holiday or perfect for the winter months or when homeowners are away on holiday.

“We are  delighted that we’ve been able to offer the community a practical, easy to use solution which means main house lights can be programmed to switch on and off automatically during observance of Sabbath and Yom Tov.”

Home Security That Won’t Break The Bank

Home security systems which monitor 24-7 are great once installed. They give a good picture of your homes security and offer that peace of mind that your home is relatively safe. However the cost of installation, the equipment that’s needed and the continued servicing and monitoring can often be obstacles which cause such systems to be out of reach on tighter budgets. Nevertheless there are a number of different ways that we can secure our homes and get that peace of mind on smaller budgets.

Home Security That Won’t Break The Bank

Security Lighting

Burglars like to work in the shadows and the dark where they know they won’t be seen and have the time to do what they intend, so the best thing to do is to take that luxury away. One of the most effective deterrents to a burglar is light both in the home and outside. The use of motion sensor lights attracts attention to any passer-by and are particularly difficult to get around without being detected. Any one attempting a break in will be quickly scared off knowing that they can now be seen by others and potentially reported. Having motion sensor lights around the entrances of your home and garage are great ways to ensure your home is lit when someone is approaching.

Lamps, how effective are they?

Lamps, how effective are they?

Lighting in the house is also particularly important. This gives the illusion that somebody is home deterring a burglar from the offset targeting your home. Keeping lights on each time your away can become expensive but there are alternative solutions. Timer plugs for lamps have proven to be effective however given the length of time they have been around their effectiveness is beginning to diminish over time. Most individuals use their mains lights whilst at home and lamps while away, something burglars are and have begun to realise, for this reason there effectiveness is slowly dropping. Nonetheless light switch timers seem to have picked up the baton and are proven to be highly effective, addressing the concerns outlined above. The light switch timer controls your main lights on a timing programme so now it’s the main lights that switch on and off rather than your lamps. With a range of different programmes to choose from the police approved light switch timer ensures that anyone scouting a neighbourhood cannot identify a specific routine or pattern. The aim of the light switch timer is to deter a burglar from entering from the very start before they prepare to weigh up the pros and cons of entering a particular home.

Effective lighting products for home security can range from £4.99 – £29.99

TV Or Radio

Why not make it look like your at home watching TV – with a the clever Fake TV, which make people think your sat at home watching the telly.  Very effective if your out during the evening to add that extra  impression some one is home.

from 14.99 – 24.99

Windows

Windows statistically are the most frequent point of entry for burglars according to official police statistics. Ensuring that you have taken steps secure them is therefore very important. There are a range of ways to secure your windows effectively on tight budgets without having a top of the range alarm system. Glass break detectors have become increasingly popular over time with them constantly improving. They usually work through vibrations or when contacts are broken and are very effective in producing loud alarms to scare off the intruder. Newer models are also accessible through apps which offer notifications to keep you informed and possible actions i.e. call the police or a specific contact.

Effective window products for home security can range from £6.99 – £19.99

Locks

Reinforced locks are a must and we all ensure we take measures to make sure entering through the front door is as difficult as possible however its interesting to note that official statistics point out that many a time burglars have not needed to force an entry. i.e. something was left open by accident. This can have major repercussions on us from both a personal perspective and even a financial perspective with many insurers having clauses to protect themselves from such situations.

Electronic locks for this reason are becoming very popular. They cause the door to close and automatically locks itself when done so. This ensures you never forget to lock a door when leaving or worry about the children running out quickly without closing the door. Electronic locks feature a number code which is used to then enter but many models also have a key slot in the door handle to ensure the traditional option is resent for those who wish to use it.

Effective locks for home security can range from £49.99 – £129.99

Cameras

Clever Loop - clever home security system

The next time your homes being targeted be alerted

Security cameras are very reliable and easy to use. Cameras should be made visible to burglars so they are aware the home is being monitored but there should also be others that are hidden in the event they still choose to enter. Security cameras have proven to be very effective in burglary cases, they often deter someone from trying to enter but they also offer the chance to catch the culprits if they do. Many security cameras now offer Wi-Fi accessibility with remote control access using an app. Much like other security gadgets accessed using an app, notifications can be sent to the user so they are kept informed when something happens in their absence.

Effective security cameras for home security can range from £32.99 – £74.99