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The Smart Guide to External Home Security

The Smart Guide to External Home Security

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows a nine per cent rise in reported burglaries in 2017 compared to the year before. Worryingly, the same report reveals that the number of criminal charges faced by offenders has dropped by 33%, indicating that thieves are becoming more brazen and are less likely to be caught.

There is also increasing evidence that thieves are using a range of new technologies to target and plan burglaries. Reports of drone misuse to the Police soared by 352% in just one year, with Suffolk Police citing specific reports of drones being used to survey homes. Likewise, Police speculate that Google’s Street View and Earth applications which provide detailed imagery of homes and gardens are being used by professional burglars.

 Home security now starts with the exterior

Conventional home security deterrents such as high fences, walls and tall trees are less effective when burglars know in advance exactly what is behind them. This makes sheds, garages, ponds, outdoor furniture and any exterior area where vehicles are kept on the property more vulnerable to theft and vandalism. Pathways or poorly lit areas can be identified in advance by thieves to aid them in their plans to burgle the house itself.

The good news is that homeowners can take action to reduce the risk of being burgled. What’s necessary is to disregard traditional concepts of home security where the focus is on the perimeter and entry points. By redefining outdoor security as the first line of defence, and employing smart technologies, home owners can take the fight back to the criminals.

Here’s a range of practical low and hi-tech tips to help to boost home security:

  • Trellis fencing and prickly hedges: High fences are hard to climb, make them harder by having a trellis on top. Prickly bushes protecting the boundaries are also recommended. Place prickly bushes under windows.
  • Gravel driveways: Don’t underestimate the deterrent of a gravel drive, it’s noisy no matter what the weather conditions are or what time it is.
  • Well-kept lawns: If you have long grass in the garden it could tell a burglar that the property is empty or that you and your family are away on holiday.
  • Take toys & garden tools inside: Expensive toys or bicycles left around the driveway or on the lawn are tempting prizes for opportunist thieves. To more seasoned burglars they are indicative that greater wealth resides inside the home.
  • Locked side gates: Make sure a side gate is locked and brace it by keeping wheelie bins behind it.
  • Quality storage sheds: Invest in a sturdy windowless shed secured with deadbolt locks to keep your outdoor possessions safe and out of sight.
  • Anchor bicycles and motorbikes: If your bike is stored in a shed or garage, use a heavy-duty lock to secure it to something heavy and immobile. For motorcycles, engage the steering lock, use a disc lock and keep it under a cover to make it less attractive.
  • Convex mirrors in blind spots: Convex mirrors also make great visibility enhancers for you and your neighbours. Place them at external corners of the property to help eliminate blind spots and deter thieves.
  • Remove property from Google Street Maps: Locate your house on Street View, click “send feedback” at the bottom right of the screen. You’ll be redirected to a form titled “report inappropriate Street View”. Here you can request that you want your house blurred along with any other sensitive content such as car licence plates.
  • Smart outdoor video home security system: Blink’s wireless, weatherproof night-vision outdoor cameras can be placed anywhere on the property in range of the Blink hub, making it perfect for protecting parked vehicles, garages, sheds and exterior areas.
  • Smart lighting and motion detectors: Make sure your lighting is smart, by integrating it with other IOT (internet of things) services. Blink includes infrared or regular illumination options when motion is detected and sends you a video clip alert.
  • Video Security Protection notices: If you have a video security system at home (or even if you don’t) display your security service on the outside of your house.

For more tips, news, videos and advice make sure you follow us on Twitter: @BlinkforhomeUk

Holiday security tips and advice

Holiday security tips and advice

Whether you are choosing a staycation or jetting off, it’s important to stay aware and to prepare your home to ensure it’s safe, secure and not on the wish list for a burglar!

Already this year there has been a massive surge in the number of burglaries across Britain, fuelled not by mere opportunists, but by determined organised crime gangs.

Recent figures show the UK’s wealthiest areas such as Surrey and Hampshire have been the hardest hit by the rise in offences. In Surrey, residents suffered a 78% rise in the year end to September compared to the previous period.

The MET police warn that the opportunist burglar is increasingly being replaced by sophisticated criminals using social media to monitor and track down worthwhile victims, co-ordinating their attacks via WhatsApp.

Often these thefts are so well organised that goods stolen can leave the country within days.

With this in mind, here are some pointers on how to prepare this summer…

Say no to the Selfie

According to a recent report delving into Facebook, Instagram and Twitter between June and July this year, holidaymakers made 750,000 public posts, such as selfies on the beach, with just as many checking into places with their exact location. 

We say try and avoid posting holiday snaps, airport selfies or mentioning dates when you are away on holiday on social media. It’s best to save broadcasting this information until you’ve arrived safely at home and posting them then.  It’s worth refraining friends from doing the same and tagging you in posts. Check that location tracking data is disabled on your smart phone, as with a simple internet stalk, image search, internet directories and Google Street View, a lot of information can be gleaned!

Think before you post

As social media can play a vital part of one’s life, it is easy to lose perspective and, whilst you may think you are just chatting to your friends, be aware that you are also, privacy settings depending, broadcasting to potential criminals. They can piece together information you share to the world such as your place of work, hangouts, where you live and even your daily routines.   

Double check privacy settings

Don’t share personal details such as address, birth dates or where you’re heading to, especially if you are traveling alone. Explore and update your social media profile privacy settings regularly. Make sure that geotagging (a setting on most smartphones using built in GPS capability to embed your exact location into the files of photos) is disabled, otherwise exact location can be determined from your snaps!   

Secure all areas of your property both inside, outside and garden and garages.

You guessed it, using Blink classic indoor and XT outdoor home security cameras you can monitor the interior and exterior of your property and achieve peace of mind whether you are in the UK or abroad. Blink is super simple to set up and use, detecting motion and sending live feed direct to you smart phone so you can check or dismiss key goings on.

To find out more about Blink products click here

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Rural living: 5 tips to protect your pets and property.

Rural living: 5 tips to protect your pets and property.

Just because you live on a farm, in the beautiful rural countryside or in a sleepy village, doesn’t mean you are exempt from being burgled.  

According to the Rural Crime report by NFU Mutual, in 2016 rural crime cost the UK £39.2 million, and whilst last year that figure fell by 4%, recent figures suggest it’s now on the increase.

The recent sharp rise in thefts and burglaries targeting farms and villages show that organised crime is growing and a major concern for many. 


Safety in numbers

If you own a farm, consider keeping up to date with relevant news, current crime trends and joining a local Farmwatch, in addition to joining your local neighbourhood watch scheme. If your area has a local committee, it’s worth joining forces to find ways the whole community can actively help prevent crime.

Smile, you’re protected by Blink

Install home security measures inside and outside of your home, with particular focus on positioning cameras to point and protect your pets, cars, bikes and even tractors, as well as entryways to driveways, garages and back gardens. You can also warn potential criminals that your property is protected by Blink home security and monitoring cameras with handy stickers available with Blink purchases.

Extra secure, extra peace of mind

Check that all fences, gates, locks, sheds, garages and all possible entryways are secure, with deadbolts or pin locks.  Use bike chain locks and vehicle immobilisers just in case.

Lights and sound

Use of security lighting at night on a timer, or simply motion sensor lights covering yards, drives and back gardens is a very effective way to deter criminals, along with using gravel on driveways as the noise can be distracting.    

Out of sight, out of mind

If you have ways to cover or store valuables such as jewellery or sports cars away from sight, it’s worth doing. If criminals are scoping your area for high value properties to target, having expensive and highly valuable possessions in plain sight is a massive temptation and an easy way to be a target.

Invest in Blink to protect your home and property, whether you are home alone in a rural setting, or need it just for extra peace of mind and another level of security. Not only is Blink stylish and unobtrusive, it's super easy to set-up and inexpensive. Explore the indoor and outdoor options here.

Wow Dad this Father’s Day with a DIY Blink Home Security camera system for peace of mind whether you are home or abroad. Use code bestdad2018 to receive 20% off!

To find out more about Blink products click here

Keep updated with all things related to Blink by following us on Twitter and Facebook