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24
Oct

In our previous National Home Security Month blogs, we’ve touched on how smart tech can help you keep your home safer than ever.

In this blog, we’re going to take that a little bit further and discuss all the smart tech you could install in your home, to create the perfect illusion that somebody’s home, even when they’re not!

Home Cameras

Indoor Cam by Nest

The practise of installing costly, old fashioned CCTV systems is on a downward trend, with the introduction of new affordable smart cameras that you can view from anywhere in the world.

With motion detection, night vision, live recording, easy video exporting and editing, and alerts to your phone; these nifty cameras create an invisible force field around your home, making it difficult for intruders to even get near without being spotted.

If by some act of magic thieves manage to slip past the cameras and get into your home, indoor cameras can be strategically placed too, but this time with the added benefit of a speaker and microphone – meaning you can scare intruders away no matter where you are.

 

Door Bells

The humble doorbell has been around for a very long time, but if nobodies home then they’re a bit useless. Queue the range of smart doorbells hitting the market, allowing you not only to see who’s at your front door, but to speak to them as well!

Now if a friend pops around you can easily let them know if it’s worth waiting for you, or if you miss a delivery person you can tell them exactly what to do with your parcel.

Hey, you could even install a Phoenix Key Safe so that when someone does press the doorbell, if you like you can give them the code to access a key and get inside – now isn’t that a neat idea?

 

Smart Locks

Smart Lock by August

Keys will always be around in some manner, but smart locks will eventually become the default way to enter, well, just about anything!

Hotels all over the world are now allowing you to access your hotel room using nothing but your watch or smartphone!

Plus, with features like auto unlock when you stand near your car and apps on your smartphone to control the functions inside, it’s inevitable that eventually your smartphone will be the key to starting your car as well.

Another fantastic benefit of smart locks is that you can manage access to your property in real time. For example, you could grant your dog walker or repairman access to your property using their own device – you can state specific dates and times they can enter, either a one off entry or a recurring visit, but if they tried any other time – the lock wouldn’t open. Clever stuff!

In the future

We wouldn’t be surprised if in the future, with the rising trend of face scanners on phones – you’ll be able to open the door with your face alone, no device or key required!

 

Home Lighting

With smart home lighting, you can control practically every light in your home. Turn it on or off, adjust the brightness, change the colour, set up a schedule, all from your phone!

This is fantastic for when you’re away from home because you can program the lights to behave as if you’re actually there, turning on and off at specific times. This is a great deterrent to make burglars think you’re actually home when you’re not.

 

Smart Plugs

Smart Plug by Eve

As well as programming your home lighting, you can control pretty much every plug in your home, too. All you need is a little plug adapter that you place in each existing socket, and voila – smart plugs!

This way if you wanted you could turn the TV or the radio on or off at night, to give the illusion somebody’s home, watching the latest episode of Emmerdale.

You can use smart plugs and similar tech to do a lot of things now. Run you bath or turn on the shower, turn on the fire or automatically brew a cup of coffee in the morning, perfect!

 

Smart Curtains and Blinds

This one might sound a little out there, but hear us out!

When you’re away from home, unless you have somebody coming every day and opening and closing your curtains or blinds, it could be pretty easy for a burglar to work out that you’re not home based on the fact that your curtains or blinds are either always open or always closed.

Having smart blinds and curtains allows them to automatically open in the morning and close at night, giving the impression that somebody is always home, even if you’re on holiday!

 

All At Once

All this smart technology is great, but it’d be a bit of a chore to manually control all this stuff, right? That’s why apps like Workflow exist, to allow you to do multiple things at once!

With the push of a single button on your smartphone you could have the TV turns on, curtains closed, living room lights off and the kettle on. Perfect.

This would also be a bizarre Mary Poppins-esque nightmare for any potential unsuspecting thieves, wouldn’t it? Lights flashing on and off, the TV volume up to 1000%, the curtains opening and closing, and you shouting at them through your indoor camera, all at the same time. Brilliant!

 

National Home Security Month

This blog is part of our National Home Security Month series. Every week in October we’ll be posting useful content to help keep your home safe!

“National Home Security Month (NHSM) is here to raise awareness around the importance of home security, so you can be safe in the knowledge that your home, family and belongings are protected.”

In week 4 we’re focusing on the future and how smart technology can make your life easier and your home more secure! Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to keep updated with the rest of our posts related National Home Security Month.

18
Oct

Home with Security System Graphic Overlay

Installing cost effective visual and audio deterrents at different points in your home can reduce the chance of burglaries and help you act in the event something does happen.

Home security has become a very competitive market over the last few years, with companies popping up all over the place fighting for the chance to help you protect your property. The great thing about all this competition is that it means these products are being priced more competitively, making it easier and cheaper for you to protect your home. So even if you can’t afford an expensive security system, with a few gadgets you can be running your own little security set up in no time!

Cameras

Outdoor Cameras

CCTV cameras have been a vital tool for business premises and and affluent homes for a long time, but with the increase in companies getting involved in home security and the cost to entry being lowered, it’s become more affordable and easier than ever to install a camera system in your home.

Most new smart camera systems have useful features such as recording, motion detection and alerts, and some even have an IR sensor so that the camera can see in the dark! All of this can usually be accessed from a smartphone app, so you can view your home from anywhere. They’re also very easy to install with minimal tools required, simple instructions and no complicated software.

The visual of having a camera installed is a great deterrent, but if that doesn’t work alone at least you can be rest assured knowing if somebody does enter your property you’ll be immediately alerted to their presence, and it’ll all be caught on camera.


Indoor Cameras

Indoor cameras haven’t been very common in households until now, mainly due to the fact that camera systems have previously been an expensive proposition and had a technical installation process, and if people wanted to install a costly camera system – it would usually be outside!

It’s much simpler and cheaper these days to have your own indoor camera, and they’re usually incredibly simple to set up, and some don’t even require any tools. Indoor Cameras are suitable for shared spaces, pointing at entry points to the home, and are particularly ideal for people who live in apartments or any kind of shared accommodation where you probably shouldn’t be drilling your own CCTV onto the wall outside.

Once you have an indoor camera installed, you can usually monitor it from anywhere using the included smartphone app, and benefit from notifications whenever a presence is detected.

Indoor cams have a few other benefits, including using it for things like making sure your children got home from school, or checking on your throughout the day!


Microphones

Another recent development of indoor cameras is to incorporate a speaker and microphone – so not only can you see your burglar, you can speak to them too with an intercom style system on the included smartphone app.

Here’s an example from Nest of somebody with an indoor cam using the included microphone to successfully scare their burglars away!

Previously you would have to call the police and hope they arrived on time to thwart the burglars attempt, but using your indoor cams microphone to alert them of your presence could be a lot faster and more effective solution of getting rid of them before the police even arrive, also reducing the amount of possessions they could potentially get away with before they leave. 


Lights

Security Floodlight outside home property

You can use handy automatic lighting both indoors and outdoors to guide you in the dark, but also to illuminate potential thieves.


Outdoor Lights

Having flood lights installed outside your home is a cost effective measure that can be a startling deterrent for thieves.

Equipped with automatic sensors that trigger the light every time a person is present – it’s the implication that someone or something is aware of their presence that may make them think twice.

Outdoor lighting can also assist you at night, helping you get a better look at any intruders on your CCTV, if you have any cameras installed outside. 


Indoor Lights

Whilst you may need to install some additional hardware outdoors, fortunately you don’t have to add additional lighting indoors, you can use the bulb holders you already have!

Smart bulbs equipped with a smart hub are becoming very common in the modern household, and they allow you to control your lights from anywhere in the world. This can include turning them on and off, changing the brightness, colours or setting a schedule.

You can even use apps such as Workflow, so that when your indoor cameras detect motion at night it will automatically turn the lights on. This can be valuable for startling a potential thief, and if that doesn’t do it – the sound of your voice from your indoor camera will.

Lights flashing on and off, voices coming from the walls, it’d all feel a bit like something from Stranger Things and would probably have even the most confident burglar running for the hills!


Doorbell

The simple doorbell has seen massive evolution over the last few years. With companies like Ring and Nest producing smart doorbells equipped with cameras, microphones and motion sensors, you can instantly be alerted to someone’s presence on your phone.

The great part is they don’t even have to ring the doorbell. If the camera senses a presence it will alert you that someone is there and provide a live video feed, making it harder for thieves to sneak up on your home!

Another fantastic feature that comes with many smart doorbells is a microphone and speaker, so that you can communicate with the person no matter where you are in the world.

If someone rings your doorbell you can communicate with them and let them know if you’re not home, or if you’re in the back garden for example, you can let them know to walk around the house without having to go and open the door for them.

Using these features, if you are alerted to suspicious behaviour, you can startle thieves by making them aware that you’re onto them and about to call the police – which is a fantastic deterrent that would hopefully be enough to make a burglar abandon a robbery attempt.


Other Visual Deterrents


Alarm Box

Burgular Alarm On Wall Outside Home

Having a visible alarm box installed on the side of your home is a handy deterrent for thieves. The box should be in good physical condition, or the burglar may take the chance that it’s old or no longer functioning.

It also helps to have a box that periodically flashes to let thieves know that it’s definitely active and they should steer clear!


Dog Warnings

Over the years humorous dog warnings have become a bit of a novelty amongst pet owners, but having a proper warning sticker in your window or on the wall outside your property lets potential thieves know you have a pet in the house.

It’s easy to assume that burglars may be scared of big breeds of dog defending their territory, but don’t underestimate the smaller breeds! What they lack in strength they usually make up for in sound. A dog behaving unusually can be enough to alert the neighbours of a thieves presence, and that could make them reconsider targeting your property.


Other Audio Deterrents


Door Chime

If somebody forgets to lock your door one night, or a thief discretely and quietly manages to compromise your door, that feeling of success would quickly be diminished if you have a door chime installed.

You know the kind, when you walk into the corner shop and hear that buzzing sound as you open the door. Not all door chimes are quite so obnoxious, and you should be able to pick some up relatively cheaply. One for the front and back door is best!

If you are home and they break in, you’d be alerted by the chime, and if you’re not home there’s potential they could be startled by the sound and potentially abandon their robbery attempt.


Gravel Path

Having a gravel path leading up to your home is a fantastic deterrent for thieves. If you or your neighbours are home, the inevitable loud crunching of the gravel under their feet will alert you (and everyone else within a 100 mile radius) of their presence. A simple yet effective deterrent.


Safe Alarm

Titan Fire & Security Safe with Fingerprint Lock and Tamper Alarm

If you’re considering purchasing a safe for your valuables, our Titan Fire and Security range with Fingerprint Locks include an alarm that triggers when the wrong code is entered multiple times.

Besides the fingerprint lock, Titan safes also have plenty of additional features to keep your contents secure, including fire and drop protection, and an insurance rating of up to £2,000 in cash or £20,000 in valuables.

In the event that a thief try to access your safe – entering the code incorrectly and setting off the alarm could alert you or your neighbours of their presence, or even better startle them away from their burglarly attempt.


National Home Security Month

This blog is part of our National Home Security Month series. Every week in October we’ll be posting useful content to help keep your home safe!

“National Home Security Month (NHSM) is here to raise awareness around the importance of home security, so you can be safe in the knowledge that your home, family and belongings are protected.”

In week 4 we’re focusing on the future and how smart technology can make your life easier and your home more secure! Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to keep updated with the rest of our posts related National Home Security Month.

 

8
Oct

Security System Set Up

Making your home secure can be an expensive exercise, and selecting the products you’ll use can be a daunting task. There are plenty of products on the market from a variety of companies, so it can be hard to tell which security products you should be investing in, and which ones are the safest to use. In this blog we’ll run through the security standards you should be looking for when improving the security of your home.

Windows and Door Frames

They say a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and that saying can definitely be applied to homes. Your home is only as strong as its weakest point, so having secure windows and doors is a great way to reinforce the security foundations of your home.

 

Window and Door Frame

When picking your windows and doors, you should be looking for frames that meet the PAS24:2016 standard. This standard ensures that the window and door frames meet the requirements to protect your home from unauthorised entry.

If you’re buying your windows and doors through a third party such as an installer, ensure that they present cerification that states the frames meet the required standard. 

 

Door and Window Locks

When purchasing locks for your windows and doors, it’s always best to ensure that they meet the British BS3621 standard. This lets you know that the lock is of a good, thief resistant standard. It’s important to have high quality locks because that’s generally the first thing that a thief will try and compromise. 

 

Screws

It may sound a bit excessive to worry about the type of screws you use, but it really can make all the difference.

Make sure the screws used to install your windows, doors and any other things such as your letterbox meet the British BS7950 standard. This ensures they’re of a high quality and will be more resistant to pressure or force. It’s a small detail that could make a big difference! 

 

Letterbox

Letterbox fishing is an easy way for thieves to prey on unsuspecting homeowners. Well practised thieves can quickly and easily grab any possessions left in plain sight through a letterbox – usually your car keys!

One thing you can do to reduce their chances is by making sure that the plate on your letterbox meets the TS008 standard.

Another option is to forego having a letterbox on your door at all! Not only does it avoid letterbox fishing, it also help reduce your homes energy waste through unwanted drafts. Instead of having the letter box on your door, a popular option is installing one of our wall mounted letter boxes.

 

Contractors

Security Contractor Installing Camera Security System

If you don’t consider yourself to be a DIY expert, you’re probably going to want to consider a contractor to install your security system for you.

When you’re looking through the endless list of contractors in your area that install security systems – the one thing you should be looking for is that they are NSI approved.

NSI are the National Security Inspectorate, and they’re the leading body in UK who set the standards for which security systems are adequate to protect your home.

To make it easier for you, the NSI have a function on their website which allows you to identify all NSI approved contractors in the UK.

If you don’t select an NSI approved contractor, there’s a possibility that they could recommend a security system that doesn’t meet the standards necessary for your home, but potentially generates more profit for them. Better to be safe than sorry!

 

Security System

When you’ve chosen your NSI approved contractor, they’ll be able to help you select a security system that meets the standards necessary to properly protect your home.

EN 50131 is the European Standard for intruder alarms and systems, and this is what you should be looking for.

EN 50131 has grades from 1 to 4 depending on the risk associated with your property (1 being low, 4 being high), but for homes you’re generally going to be looking at grade 1 or 2.

  • Grade 1 – Domestic Properties
  • Grade 2 – Domestic Properties and Low Risk Commercial Properties
  • Grade 3 – High Risk Domestic Properties and Commercial Properties
  • Grade 4 – Extremely High Risk Domestic Properties and High Risk Commercial Properties

If you’re looking for a security system that will be compatible with your home insurance, you will likely require an EN50131 Grade 2 security system as a minimum.

 

Safes

When purchasing a safe you want to be sure that your contents are, well… safe! To assist you in making the right choice there are various specifications that protect from various things such as burglary, fire and water damage.

 

Standards for Burglary

All Phoenix safes come with a security protection recommendation, which states how much the safes can generally be insured to protect.

For example the Phoenix Vela SS0800 series come with a cash rating of up to £1,000 and a valuables rating of up to £10,000. This can vary from safe to safe, and if you’re planning on insuring your safe it’s best to speak with your underwriter before committing to a specific model. 

Any safe you choose from Phoenix will provide adequate safety against burglars, but if you’re looking for a high security solution, the standard you should be looking for is the EN1143 specification – as found in the Venus series, which offers £6,000 cash and £60,000 valuables protection.

This is a European specification which states that these safes can withstand burglary attack with different resistance grades from 1 to 10. So if high security is a concern, consider an EN1143 certified safe.

 

Standards for Fire

The NT Fire 017 standard was created to ensure that in the event of a fire you know how long the contents inside will be protected. These can vary from NT Fire 017-60, which means the contents will be safe for an hour, up to NT Fire 017-120, which ensures the contents will be safe for up to 2 hours.

If you’re looking to protect digital media – you should look for a safe that meets the MTS DIP 120-60DM specification, like the Titan FS1290 series. This ensures that the safe will keep your data safe for anywhere from 60 to 120 minutes (depending on the model). 

When comparing safes always check if they have an after the fire replacement warranty, too. This mean if you do have a fire, your safe will usually be replaced free of charge!

 

National Home Security Month

This blog is part of our National Home Security Month series. Every week in October we’ll be posting useful content to help keep your home safe!

“National Home Security Month (NHSM) is here to raise awareness around the importance of home security so you can be safe in the knowledge that your home, family and belongings are protected.”

In week 3 we’ll focus on CCTV and how the latest technology can keep you more up to date with activity at home whilst you’re away than ever before! Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to keep updated with the rest of our posts related National Home Security Month.

3
Oct

How To Embed The Phoenix Safe Product Guide Cover Photo

If your customers would like to browse through our extensive range of safety and security products, they can do so using our electronic product guide which you can embed on your website!

Step 1

Access our electronic product guide using the following link > www.phoenixsafe.co.uk/product-guide

Step 2

Select the share button at the bottom of the page below the guide

Screenshot of the Phoenix Safe e-brochure share button

Step 3

Next select the “Insert to Site” tab

Screenshot of the Insert to Site option on the Phoenix Safe e-Brochure

Step 4

Enter the dimensions you would like the guide to appear on your website (in pixels). This may require some experimenting to see what looks best. If you’re not sure, skip this step and see how it appears with the recommended dimensions (640x480px).

Screen shot of the dimensions fields on the Phoenix Safe e-Brochure

Step 5

Once you’ve entered your sizes you can highlight and copy the code directly, or click the copy button. You can then paste this code into the relevant section of your site.

Screenshot highlighting the copy button on the Phoenix Safe e-Brochure

Electronic Product Guide Preview

Note: The code must be entered into a text editor that accepts HTML code, or the product guide will not appear. For technical advice regarding your website, speak to your website provider or developer. If you require any assistance with this feature, you can email tom.almond@phoenixsafe.co.uk

2
Oct

Burglar Stealing Personal Possessions From Home

Whilst our range of safes are perfect for protecting the possessions you care about most, we think your home should be considered the safe that you just happen to live in. So here are 5 reasons why you should consider installing a home security system.

 

1) Protect yourself and your possessions

If you have a safe at home, the chances are you keep your most prized possessions in there at all times. Unfortunately you can’t fit everything in your safe, and the possessions of your safe are not the only things that will be an attractive target to thieves.

Technology, household goods, small appliances and many other things in your home are at risk of theft, so it’s definitely worth considering installing a security system in your home.

It’s not just about protecting the possessions in your home, however. It’s also about protecting yourself, the people (and pets) you love, too.

Whilst thieves are more likely to target your home when you’re not there, it’s also entirely possible that they could target your home whilst you’re sleeping.

Having an alarm installed and knowing that you have a basic level of protection for your home, everyone and everything inside it will hopefully help you sleep that little bit better at night.

 

2) They’re a deterrent for thieves

Having visible signs of an alarm system outside of your home is a good deterrent to thieves planning to break into your home, and potentially your neighbours homes too.

Research published by the POLICE.UK shows that homes without an alarm are 5 times more likely to be burgled!

Alarm systems that periodically light up to let potential thieves know that they’re active is definitely an attractive additional feature. Some home security systems now also come with a small sign you can place on the grass in your front garden to highlight the fact that your house is protected.

Burgular Alarm On Wall Outside Home

3) It could lower your home insurance

The more protection you have the less likely you are to be burgled, so because of this some home insurance providers will lower your home insurance premium if you tell them that you have a burglar alarm or other security system installed.

A discount on your home insurance isn’t guaranteed, and the amount of discount can vary from provider to provider depending on various factors, including the system you install, so it’s best to check first.

Finding out what reductions you could receive is definitely worth doing, as this saving could also help pay for the cost of installing the system itself.

Some people report that they have saved up to 20% on their home insurance by having an alarm system installed!

 

4) It can increase the value of your property

Having a security system installed for your home is a nice feature for your own piece of mind – but also potentially for the next people that could move into your property, should you ever choose to sell.

Home security systems can be an appealing feature to homebuyers, which may make them consider your property more favourably over those that don’t have one installed already. I

n fact, 61% of potential homeowners said that having a secure home was a must have property feature.

Did you know that having a security system installed on your home can also increase the value by up to £3,500? If you combine that with lower home insurance it makes for a more tempting proposition for buyers.

Peaceful Relaxed Person Sitting On Couch

5) It gives you peace of mind

No matter where you are, whether you’re at work or on holiday on the other side of the world, you can be assured that your security system is there to deter burglars and keep your possessions safe.

If you have cameras installed as part of your security system, they now even allow you to monitor your home, live from anywhere in the world using phone apps.

With features like motion detection and built in speakers, you will be instantly notified of any movement in your home and if there is an intruder you can alert them that you’re aware of their presence – which is a fantastic deterrent to startle the thief and encourage them to leave.

Nobody likes the panic of worrying that you’ve left your house unsecured, but a security system can give you that extra piece of mind.

 

Other kinds of alarms you could consider for your home

Of course burglars and other intruders aren’t the only threat to your home, so here are 3 extra alarms you can add to your home for added protection.

 

Smoke Alarm

This seems like an obvious one, but did you know 25% of homes still don’t have a smoke alarm? Some local councils in collaboration with their fire service will fit and test smoke alarms for free, so it’s definitely worth checking if this is something that’s available to you.

Beyond basic smoke alarms however, there are now smart versions which will also alert you immediately when they’re activated. Combine this with a camera system and you can instantly see if someone has burnt a piece of toast or if something more serious is happening at home.

Most modern smoke alarms now also incorporate a carbon monoxide detector which can protect you from gas leaks too!

 

Water Sensor

If you don’t live in an area that’s prone to flooding, you may not have ever considered a water sensor in your home, but did you know that 1 in 2 homes has experienced water damage? It’s not flooding but rather burst pipes which are the worst culprit, and 65% of water related incidents are caused by them!

Smart water sensors are a fairly new device coming onto the market that you can place throughout your home, in places such as your bathroom or your kitchen (or near your safe) and they will alert you when they come into contact with water.

Water damage can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to your property, so it could be worth investing in water sensors, so that you can be alerted and hopefully put a stop to the flood sooner rather than later – potentially saving yourself a small fortune.

 

Safe Alarm

Titan Fire & Security Safe with Fingerprint Lock and Tamper Alarm

Previously we mentioned that thieves won’t just target your home when you’re away, but could even try and gain entry when you’re home too!

If you are considering purchasing a safe for your valuables, our Titan Fire and Security range with Fingerprint Locks include an alarm that triggers when the wrong code is entered multiple times.

Besides the fingerprint lock, Titan safes also have plenty of additional features to keep your contents secure, including fire and drop protection and an insurance rating of up to £2,000 in cash or £20,000 in valuables.

In the event that a thief would manage to gain access to your home, if you have a safe in your home office downstairs for example, and your home becomes a target to thieves who try to gain access to your safe – entering the code incorrectly and setting off the alarm could alert you or your neighbours of their presence.

 

National Home Security Month

This blog is part of our National Home Security Month series. Every week in October we’ll be posting useful content to help keep your home safe!

“National Home Security Month (NHSM) is here to raise awareness around the importance of home security so you can be safe in the knowledge that your home, family and belongings are protected.”

In week 2 we’ll focus on Security Standards and what you should be looking for when purchasing security equipment for your home! Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to keep updated with the rest of our posts related National Home Security Month.

 

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