Category: Uncategorized

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.

 

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

Best Programmable Light Switch Timers

With the wide variety of timers on the market, how do you know which is the best for you.

What timer light switch should you buy?

Interior lighting is used as a deterrent as it gives the appearance of the residents still being home.   It is so effective that UK police forces recommend people leave lights on when they are away from home. But what is the best timer light switch to buy?

Timer light switches work by deterring intruders from targeting their home in the first place, but it may also alert neighbours and passers-by to suspicious activity in the event of a break-in. Studies show that burglars are far less likely to target a house if it seems that people may be at home.

Why use a timer light switch anyway?

Internal security lighting is therefore based around the idea of making it look like the home is occupied. This is achieved by the use of timers to simulate the lighting patterns of people at home. You can keep it simple by having lights turn on and off every few hours, or plan a more realistic lighting sequence.

Remember that whichever type of security lighting you choose, it is still important to complement it with a high quality alarm system. Lights are not a replacement for a house alarm. With that being said, let’s quickly make sense of each type of internal security lighting, and go over some advantages and disadvantages of each.

Best light timer switch

Lamps, how effective are they?

Plug in Timers

This is probably the most common type of timer you will have come across. The timer device is simply plugged into the wall socket, and then you plug your lamp (or any other mains appliance), into the timer. These tend to be cheap and easy to use. Most of them now have digital interfaces, but analogue timers are still available. Although these tend to be one of the easiest to install of all the different type of timers, they are also one of the most inflexible. You are limited to only using lights that you can plug into a wall socket. This is ideal if you regularly use lamps in your home but may in fact be a tale tell sign to a burglar that no one is home if they see a solitary dimply lit lamp left on.  Small plugged in lamps may not be enough to deter a potential burglar.

Mains Wired Timers

Timer plug

best timer switch plug

These timers are slightly more advanced than the plug timers. They are actually wired in to a light socket, meaning your main lights can be set  on a timer. These are digitally controlled and allow you to create very intricate on-off patterns for your lights. The biggest drawback is these types of timers is they require you to perform rewiring of the switch, which takes some time and expertise. They can be a good option if you are regularly set your lights on a timer and know how to do basic wiring. These types of timer cannot be used with energy saving light bulbs or LED’s and most require a neutral wire to be present in order to be installed.

Light Bulb timers

If want to control your main lights but don’t know how to do any wiring, then light bulb holders are a viable alternative. Instead of inserting a timer at the wall socket, you install it into the light fitting itself and insert the bulb into the timer. These operate on a dusk-till-dawn basis. They are not customisable as there is no control interface. These are ideal if you have a light fitting with a single bayonet Light bulb type fitting. They will require you to actually get up on ladders to install or remove them. Many people have also reported they do not work correctly if used with a lamp shade.

Light Switch Timer

The Light Switch Timer that allows you to control your main lights. It is very similar to a timer plug expect it is fitted over the light switch on the wall. The device simply slots over the top of your existing switch and as it is battery operated requires no wiring to install. The seven day timer allows you to program when you want your lights to come on and off on different days of the week to create a realistic “lived in” look. It is the only timer which can be used with any type of light bulb and on single double or triple switches. The only disadvantage is that it cannot be used with dimmer type switches. Obviously in our opinion it is the best timer light switch available.

Summary of Timers

  Plug Timer Mains Wired Timer Light Bulb Holder Unwired Light Switch Timer
Installation No wiring, easy to install. Requires wiring to install.Replaces existing light switch. No wiring, but requires ladders to install. No wiring, slots over existing switch with minor adjustment.
Programming Digital or analogue, can be fully customisable. Usually fully customisable. Not programmable.Automatic dusk-till-dawn setting. Fully programmable.
Removal No wiring, just unplug. Requires wiring so cannot be removed quickly. No wiring, but requires ladders. No wiring, only loosening of screws required.
Overall Rating ***
Can only be used with plugged in devices.
****
Excellent for security, but Limited application.
***
Not programmable and requires ladders.
*****
Fully programmable, easy to install and remove.

Review and summary of best timer switch?

Each has its pros and cons but – for most people not wanting to rewire or using LEDs or multi gang switches will find the best solution obvious.

Whichever timer you should choose you want to make sure you home looks realistically occupied and the timer meets your needs in terms of ease of installation and performance.

How To Stay Safe When You Go On Holiday – Home Security Tips

Holidays are a time to relax and unwind.  So here are a few tips to help you relax on holiday by ensuring your home is left safe and secure and keep to help keep you and your family safe whilst you are there.

Holiday checklist

Holiday planning

Before you go.

Lock up and double lock the doors.

Hide any keys you keep in the house especially your car keys

Do the obvious fridge emptying and turning off all unused appliance.

Set your light switch timer to make your home look occupied.

Ask a neighbour to park a car in your driveway

Going by plane.

Take pictures of your passport on your phone

Take a picture of the back of your credit cards so you have to contact number of your credit card provider in case you loose them

If your like me and don’t recall peoples mobile numbers any more it is a good idea to write down key contact numbers for people back home in case you loose your phone

Keep paper copies of your tickets in a separate location to your passports.

When your there

Ward off jet lag by eating less on the plane and changing your clock as soon as you get on the plane – Being alert when you arrive will keep you safe

I always try to eat some local yogurt as soon as I arrive.  Not sure of the science but they say the local live bacteria helps avoid tummy trouble.

Don’t keep all your valuables in one place.  I always keep a money belt for my really important valuables.  That is my passports, one credit card and some cash.  Do this once you clear customs.

Taxis.  Never put your stuff in the boot while the driver is sat in the driver’s seat. Ask him to give you a hand.

Have a great holiday!!

Motorhome and Caravan show 2019 – Free ticket Offer

The 2019 Motorhome and Caravan Show Stand 12.92c.

We are excited about Exhibiting at the for the first time we are even offering you a chance to Win 4 Free tickets Motorhome and caravan show.

The Motorhome and Caravan Show, is the biggest launch event of its kind in the UK

Simply head over to our twitter Follow & Retweeting the Post you can also enter for another chance to win by liking or commenting on our Face book post.

The Light switch timer is perfect for use in you motor home & caravan and for leaving at home whilst your away.

perfect showcase for the latest touring caravans, motorhomes, camper vans, trailer tents, folding campers, caravan holiday homes and lodges, equipment and accessories. You’ll find nearly 400

exhibitors

Advice from the experts on Caravan Security

See a host of celebrity TV personalities, adventurers and industry experts

The NEC Birmingham, is situated adjacent to Birmingham International Rail Station, in the heart of the Midlands and is easily accessible by all methods of transport

Motor home show

Winners will be selected at random on the 20th and tickets can be collected/claimed at the show

The Homebuilding and renovating show – London

ExCeL London  22-24 SEPTEMBER

Home Build show  Stand G140

The London Homebuilding & Renovating Show is the go-to exhibition for self builders and renovators.

No matter what stage your project is at, there will be sessions, experts and exhibitors at the show to help you bring your project to life.

 

 

Grand Design Live – Show Update

Wow – What a Great 9 days at Grand Designs Live this year.  We Had our newly designed stand right next to the grand Theatre for this years event and were offering demonstrations to customers showing them just how easy & quick it was to install the light switch timer, and answering questions.

Grand Designs Live 2017

It was also great speaking to previous customers who had purchased the product at the last show and were delighted they were with the products.

Grand Theatre – its going to get Busy

What a difference 2 hours can make.

Opening day of Grand designs

Grand designs

Light switch timer grand designs

 

Many thanks to all the visitors to the show – Till next Year

 

 

Grand design Light switch

 

 

 

Protecting Your Home When You’re Away

If you leave your home unoccupied while you are on holiday, it can be an irresistible target for thieves. Protecting your home when your away could not be more important. There’s plenty of things that you can do to make your home, and possessions more secure while you are away.

protecting your home with the light switch timer

76% of homes burgled are dark and empty at the time. Use lighting to give the illusion your at home

Protecting Your Home When You’re Away

A home that looks like nobody is in can be an irresistible target for thieves. The ideal solution to this would be to get a reliable friend or relative to house-sit for you. If this isn’t possible, you should take steps to make it look like your house is occupied.

First off, you need to cancel any regular deliveries, such as milk or newspapers. Not only will this save you a bit of money, it will also prevent the uncollected items on your doorstep from building up, giving a clear signal that the house is unoccupied.

Another thing that can be highly effective in creating the illusion of occupancy is to install some timer switches. These can be set up to turn lights on and off at certain times. Leaving all your curtains closed can also be a bit of a giveaway, but you don’t want thieves peering into your living room either. A good compromise is to use blinds. These will let some of the light from inside through without allowing a clear view of your rooms from outside. Blinds are only necessary on clear windows. Frosted or textured glass often found in bathroom windows, will create the same effect.

Installing or upgrading door and window locks can make it more difficult for a thief to gain access to your property. Breaking a window or door will make a lot more noise, which might be detected by neighbours. Thieves are reluctant to do this unless there is no other way in. Exterior doors should be fitted with a minimum of two locks; one of which should be a secure mortice lock with five or more levers. Good quality window locks are also a must, and of course you should be sure to completely close all your windows. Remember even a small opening may be enough to allow a thief to gain access.

Lighting is the most effective deterent to burglary

Don’t let everyone know your away. Have your mains lights turn on and off as normal.

Installing a burglar alarm system can act as an effective deterrent to thieves. If you are broken into, it will draw attention to your property and hopefully scare off a thief. These come in various guises, from cheap ‘dummy’ alarms that won’t trigger but may act as a deterrent, to pricier fully-integrated systems. You can also install CCTV cameras to act as a deterrent – again, fake ones may do the job but with real ones you can get a video record of any suspicious activity.

Finally, you should make sure that the contents of your home are fully insured before you leave. If you do fall victim to burglary, you will be compensated for the loss of any items. This also protects your possessions in case anything else should happen to your home while you are away, such as fire or flood damage. In most cases, items will be replaced on a new for old basis, so you will be provided with brand new items of equivalent specifications as replacements for your lost or damaged possessions.