Category: Home Security Tips

Driveway sensor and driveway alert systems – protect you drive and garden

Protecting the perimeter of your property is very important aspect of home security.  A driveway sensor or driveway alarm will alert you the moment a potential intruder enters you garden or driveway at any time of the day or night will mean you are able to take action before they get close to your property or belongings.  Usually just your presence or a light coming on would be enough to scare them off.

driveway alarm
Driveway sensor alarm

The increase in vehicle crime, and people trespassing in your driveway or garden it would be very useful to be notified when a visitor, wanted or otherwise enter the perimeter of your property.

Sensor Alert Uses

These are a few of the example where it is being used
1. Notify you of visitors pulling into your driveway.
2. Alert you to trespassers on your property.
3. Inform you of vistors to your front door.
5. Greet customers entering your store while working out of sight.
6. Let your staff know that a vehicle is approaching

  • PIR SENSOR picks up any movement in front of it, and send a signal up to the receiver which chimes. it is suitable for monitoring proximity outdoor areas such as driveway, front door, porch, shed, garage, etc.
  • The driveway alarm RECEIVER will give an audio and visual alert that someone is coming up your door or the perimeter and plugs directly into the mains socket.
  • WIRELESS PIR runs on AA batteries

Features

  • IP55 weatherproof to cope with the UK weather.
  • High power transmission strength to cope with solid brick walls.
  • Receiver plugs into a standard UK plug socket it contains a powerful receiver and high quality speaker.

Some CCTV cameras will alert you to visitors to your door, and sophisticated CCTV cameras offer motion sensors.  The alternative is a simple driveway sensor which alerts you when it detects movement in its field of vision.

You can use the alarm to monitor you front garden, driveway, shed or garden.

Designed to monitor perimeter, entrance, or pathway around your home or business premises, position the sensor near the vulnerable and blind spot that needs extra precautions.

Cleverloop – Not working

The CleverLoop Smart Home Security system is no longer working.

It was a great system but unfortunately no longer available.

Cleverloop camera reuse ?

Having both indoor and outdoor cameras is there anything you can do to reuse them.  Cleverloop use ONVIF – an open industry forum that provides and promotes standardized interfaces for effective interoperability of IP-based physical security products.

So also work with a large number of NVR and CCTV systems

Network Error on cleverloop app.

As the app no longer works you are not able to use it to monitor & receive alerts. but what about the cameras?

the cameras still work & can be reused

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.

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.

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. So why not reuse them

Local Monitoring

find your camera on your local network- you can check your router to get its address.

open a web browser and go to the cameras ip address.
will be something like http://192.168.0.30/

admin / 123456 are the default user name / pass word unless you reset it.

Remote Monitoring

You will need to use a new App to watch recorded clips, download them for safekeeping or share them with others.

Video Storage

synology surveillance station, Amcrest system Shinobi or an openNVR Soloution

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.

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

  • No longer work
  • 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 out of business

The competitive pricing and features of the CleverLoop where not really enough to keep them, going – unfortunately  with no subscription charges i guess they ran out of revenue

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.”