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How To Prep Your Home for Summer Breaks

How To Prep Your Home for Summer Breaks

You go away on holiday to get away from your worries, but when you leave your home unattended for weeks at a time, it’s difficult to be worry-free.

According to The Home Office, 56% of burglaries take place during the evening, so be wary of leaving windows open and doors unattended on warm nights or if you are in the garden.

Advice from West Yorkshire Police highlight that burglaries often increase during the Spring and Summer months, as people are often preoccupied in the garden and open doors and windows provide golden opportunities for criminals!

Luckily, hi-tech used to mean high price, but not anymore. There are many proactive and affordable security measures you can take before going on vacation to help ensure the safety of your home.

Wireless Home Security and Video Monitoring System

Believe it or not, some of the most sophisticated wireless home security systems can cost less than a hotel room. Take Blink – which is a nifty, wireless home security HD video monitoring system that sends temperature and motion alerts along with recorded or live video clips right to your smartphone, anytime, from anywhere. With prices starting at £100 (and no monthly fees), you can be instantly alerted to danger, theft or damage through the Blink app on your iOS or Android device. You can even find out what the cat is up to while your family is away!

Hi-Tech Door Locks

Keyless locks offer amazing security features, like Bluetooth and the ability to see who’s knocking at your front door on your smartphone’s screen. Many of these locks allow you to give access by simply inputting a phone number or sending a text from anywhere in the world.

Security Lighting

Thanks to automatic switches, you can make it appear as if you’re home, even when you’re not. Set up some internal and outdoor lights on automatic switches, and be sure to pay special attention to entryways. These are generally inexpensive and easy to install, but always double-check that they are working properly before you go.

Tell Trusted Neighbours and Friends

Let them know you will be away so that they can keep an eye out for any suspicious activity while you’re gone. Leave them (or the babysitter or pet sitter) with your contact details, a spare set of keys and the PIN for your alarm so that they can also drop by daily to: 

– Close the curtains
– Switch lights on and off
– Move the cars around
– Water plants and the lawn
– Have mail and newspapers brought inside

Keep it a secret from social media

Don’t post travel plans or photos while you’re away as this will publicly notify your followers that you have a vacant home. Be sure that your kids and teenagers also understand that they should wait until after you have returned home safely to share those vacation selfies.

Cancel Services

You may need to cancel grocery, newspaper, milk and pharmacy deliveries while on vacation. If you forget to do this, these items will be left on your driveway or by your front door making your home a strong candidate for a break-in.

Check Insurance and Banking Services

Ensure that your policies are paid up for homeowners, car, and medical insurance. Advise your bank and credit card companies that you will be away so that they can alert you to any unusual account activity.

Contact Your Alarm Company

If you opt for the more formal home (and expensive) surveillance service instead of a DIY system, be sure that they have the current key holder details in order to prevent any false alarms interrupting your getaway. Has the alarm been recently serviced? Update the local authorities if you’ve registered your alarm with them.

While the no-tech and low-tech options are important, an HD video security system such as Blink can provide an enhanced level of security and peace of mind while you’re away. Learn more here!

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Package Theft Increases in the Festive Season

Package Theft Increases in the Festive Season

Guess how many shoppers had their parcels lost, damaged or significantly delayed? A staggering two thirds, a recent survey discovered.

According to complaints received by Citizens Advice, parcels being left in rubbish bins was the most common occurrence. The same survey of more than 2,000 online shoppers found 38% had parcels arrive late, including 16% who paid for a premium service!

With online shopping increasing in popularity due to its ease, these statistics could easily increase, especially if people aren’t vigilant. Whilst it is worth knowing your consumer rights, it’s also important to have evidence such as video footage, receipts and ensure your claim is followed up and dealt with.

Compared to figures last year, online Christmas spending is forecast to be better in 2017, with British families expected to spend an average of £820 on gifts, up 1.3% on last year. So, it’s worth keeping check on all your parcels and presents!

Many of these ‘lost packages’ are actually thieves who follow delivery drivers around hoping to snatch unattended parcels from porches. With a bigger increase in online shopping due to Christmas, and a huge volume of packages being delivered in the festive season, there is a lot of opportunity for enterprising criminals.
It's no surprise, then, that during this time of year, many people find themselves asking how they can prevent their expensive packages from being stolen. Having deliveries sent to a less vulnerable location, such as your office, is a good solution, but it's not possible for everyone and it doesn't account for weekend or after-hours deliveries. Many companies are unable to deliver to PO Boxes, or they require that the billing and shipping addresses to match. So, what can you do to protect yourself?

Safeguarding your home and property with a home security system and adding signage indicating that the property is under video surveillance, or part of a neighbour-hood watch scheme, has been proven to serve as a great crime deterrent. After all, why would a criminal risk being caught on a security camera when there are plenty of unguarded homes to rob? Home monitoring with a video security system helps provide unparalleled protection against theft.

Video footage of thefts can also be used in court as part of evidence to help identify criminals, and it could provide necessary proof for insurance claims. A home security system like Blink is a low cost, convenient measure that provides peace of mind against crimes like package theft.

Ideal for renters, Blink smart home security systems are battery operated and wireless, which means no drilling into walls or wiring into the electrical system. There are no monthly monitoring fees, and you can watch the feed right from your smartphone via our convenient app. Blink's easy-to-use wireless security cameras can be taken with you, so you never have to sacrifice peace of mind when you are travelling or on move.

Don't be a package thief's next target this holiday season. Guard your home and property with a Blink Security System.