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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.

Protect your home from tricks this Halloween

Protect your home from tricks this Halloween

The celebrated trend of trick-or-treating will see groups of children gather on your doorstep, eagerly expecting a tasty treat for their troubles. At face value, Halloween is a light-hearted tradition and a fun excuse for kids to dress up and enjoy some free sweets. However, the reality of the matter is that Halloween can sometimes be a daunting affair for homeowners.

Property owners can feel threatened by the notion that, if you can’t provide a treat, you will receive a trick – often in the form of property damage. Research from Aviva claims that malicious domestic damage increases by 150% during Halloween. For some property owners, it’s hard to find peace of mind on such a frantic night. However, there are certain tips and tricks (the good kind) that can help offer peace of mind for property owners on Halloween:

  • In trick-or-treat etiquette, a lit pumpkin is an invitation. If you don’t like the idea of strangers invading your doorstep, don’t leave a lit pumpkin outside of your house.
  • Don’t be afraid of putting a polite notice outside of your house to let people know that you won’t be answering the door to trick-or-treaters. It’s important that the notice isn’t too abrupt or abrasive, so you don’t antagonise the trick-or-treaters or potentially spur them into mischief.
  • One of the best ways to ensure peace of mind on Halloween is to have the chance to monitor the activity on your doorstep throughout the night, without having to physically answer the door. A Blink XT2 smart home security camera can be installed on the exterior of your property – out of arm’s reach, out of harm’s way – to provide a watchful eye over anyone approaching your home. Filming in HD night-vision and two-way audio, you will have recorded footage and the opportunity to scare any potential offender that might wish harm to your home!

 

Blink cameras keep solar-powered charity bus secure

Blink cameras keep solar-powered charity bus secure

In 2015 Adventurer and motivational speaker Dave Cornthwaite founded the inspirational the YesTribe, a community of people who mirrored the same kindness, love for life and the outdoors that he had encountered on various long-distance journeys around the world.

One of the cool projects the group has is the YesBus, a converted double-decker bus which serves as an off-grid community space. Deep in the UK’s countryside, the YesBus is a countryside retreat, team building hub, co-working space, library and cinema, surrounded by two acres of land with a campground, firepit and plenty of fresh air.

 

One of the big challenges running a space like this was worrying about unwanted visitors in between events when often there was nobody on site. After a couple of visitors from unwelcome strangers, a need for a CCTV security system arose, and that’s when the YesTribe found Blink.

 They installed four cameras on-site - two outdoor XT1 cameras and two indoor - and they’re all linked up to a sync module connected to WiFi.

 The YesBus is fully powered by solar, and the WiFi runs through a mobile broadband router offered by Vodafone, called the GigaCube. Before that, there was a mobile broadband SIM which plugged into a standard home WiFi router and distributed signal around the bus.

 The peace of mind offered by this Blink system is priceless. The team can tune in at any point to live stream from a camera of their choice, and are notified on smartphone if there’s movement in front of any camera. With the press of a button, a short video clip showing the movement is instantly viewable. Very occasionally dog walkers are passing by, but more often than not the Blink cameras pick up squirrels, birds, rabbits and the odd fox, too!

The team can even turn off different parts of a camera’s view to reduce notifications set off by tree branches blowing in the wind, or a handily placed spider’s web.

Dave comments “We’re delighted to have found Blink. A lot of effort has gone into establishing this project and now even when we’re away we can see four different views of the site, so we know the YesBus is sitting peacefully in its grounds waiting to inspire the next group of visitors.”

“The Blink system has worked so well plenty of members of our community have bought them for their own home’s protection. We can’t give a recommendation better than that!”

Find out more about the YesBus on www.sayyesmore.com, or @theyesbus on Facebook and Instagram

Explore our range of battery-powered, contract-free home security systems at blinkforhome.co.uk