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How to stay connected and safe at home during lockdown

How to stay connected and safe at home during lockdown

As everyone adjusts their routines and schedules to follow recent government guidelines on social distancing and staying at home,  there will be a lack of physical interaction amongst most people. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to engage and communicate with others. Thanks to internet technology, socialising can continue digitally in the safety of your home, reducing the chances of infection, keeping you and others safe. Here are three   simple ways to keep in touch with the outside world using the internet:

Video conferencing

Most smartphones today have high-quality cameras, whether it’s for a selfie or to simply video call. Downloading free apps like FaceTime, WhatsApp or Skype allows people to have face-to-face chats with loved ones across the world. These apps can be used in a professional capacity too, and many businesses employ video conference tools to connect with colleagues, customers and partners whilst working from home.

Direct deliveries

Receiving packages without making direct contact with the delivery person may prove challenging to some. However, using a home security camera will make it a smooth operation. Using the Blink XT2 two-way audio feature, you can communicate clear instructions from a distance without having to even open your front door. You also know when the delivery has arrived from camera motion alerts sent instantly to your smartphone, so you can collect the item from your doorstep and avoid contact with others.

Check on others in real-time

If family members or friends already have Blink XT2 cameras installed in their home, encourage them to use the live-view option to check in and say hello. It’s important to teach elderly relatives how to use video conferencing apps and easy to use apps like Blink, so that they don’t become isolated. Using the Blink app and cameras, you could send clips to other members of the family to keep each other’s spirits up.

Click here to find out more about our affordable, contract-free video home security systems.

Blink cameras help police successfully catch a burglar in the act

Blink cameras help police successfully catch a burglar in the act

North Yorkshire Police successfully identified, arrested and convicted an intruder caught stealing from the home of an unsuspecting 79-year-old man, thanks to Blink camera footage and an appeal on social media.  

Family members of the homeowner had installed home security systems around the house for their relative’s safety after he was victim to four burglaries earlier that same year. This proved extremely beneficial in the early hours of September 16th, when an unwelcomed guest triggered Blink’s motion detection camera and the infrared night vision recorded the disguised man while he stole from the house. After noticing the security system, he removed two cameras from the house in the hope that this would destroy any proof of his invasion, but unbeknownst to this criminal, Blink camera clips are instantly sent to the smartphone connected to the camera – in this case, a relative of the homeowner - and stored on a secure cloud storage.

 A North Yorkshire Police Officer working on the case, Detective Constable Hannah McPeake, shared her disapproval of the calculated crime committed by Karl Lambert and revealed the evidence that helped identify and convict the prolific burglar.

“This was a spineless crime committed on a 79-year-old man who was targeted for his vulnerability. Thankfully, Lambert was snared by our social media appeal after members of the public recognised him as the person captured on CCTV committing the burglary. He also left behind a brown paper bag which linked him to the crime.”

This is the Blink camera footage that helped investigators identify the man:

Home security systems such as the Blink XT2 can offer peace of mind to family members, knowing that you can have a watchful eye over your loved ones in case they need you.

To find out more about Blink's product range click here: https://blinkforhome.co.uk/pages/products-buy-now

10 clever ways to improve your outdoor home security this winter

10 clever ways to improve your outdoor home security this winter

As the long winter nights creep in, it's important that homeowners take precautions to ensure their property is secure as possible. Recent research from MoneySupermarket revealed that 60% of burglaries occur in the evening whereas only 24% happen in the afternoon, highlighting the importance of ensuring your home is especially well protected when the days are shorter.

Home security starts with the exterior of the property, so now’s the time to reassess your home’s first line of defence to reduce the chances of being a victim of burglary during the long dark evenings.

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

Install alarms:  An alarm will be triggered if anyone comes near your property alerting you and your neighbours of their presence.

Signposts: If you have a video security system at home (or even if you don’t), display a security service sticker on the outside of your house. It might be enough on its own to dissuade a burglar. 

Consider a gravel driveway: No matter how hard you try, it’s impossible for an intruder to walk quietly on gravel.

Invest in trellis fencing and prickly hedges: High fences are hard to climb, and you can make them even harder by having a trellis on top. Prickly bushes protecting the boundaries are also recommended. Place prickly bushes under windows to make it that much harder to get into your property.

Maintain 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.

Tidy up: Expensive toys or bicycles left around the driveway or on the lawn are tempting prizes for opportunist thieves. To more knowledgeable burglars, they are also indicative that greater wealth resides inside the home.

Buy a smart outdoor video home security system: Blink’s XT2 wireless, weatherproof night-vision outdoor cameras can be placed anywhere on the property in the range of the Blink hub, making it perfect for protecting parked vehicles, garages, sheds and exterior areas. The XT2 features two-way audio meaning you can talk through the camera to both welcome and unwelcome visitors.

Use Smart lighting and motion detectors: Make sure your lighting is smart by integrating it with other IoT (Internet of Things) services. The BlinkXT2 has the option to illuminate when it detects and records motion which can deter unwanted guests. Or it can record covertly in infra-red. In either instance, you’ll receive an instant video clip alert of the action straight to your smartphone.

Consider quality storage sheds: Invest in a sturdy windowless shed secured with deadbolt locks to keep your outdoor possessions safe and out of sight.

Lock it up: Make sure that your gates are shut and locked securely –ideally using two locks but brace the gate with a wheelie bin behind it. If your bike is stored in a shed or garage, use a heavy-duty lock to secure it to something heavy and immobile.

Click here to find out more about our affordable, contract-free video home security systems.