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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

Theft at university - how to keep your accommodation safe

Theft at university - how to keep your accommodation safe

Every year, one in three 18-year olds start a new chapter of their life at university. The three years or more spent studying can be one of the best experiences of a young adult’s life. The opportunity to learn new skills, meet new friends, and prepare for professional life are just a handful of exciting things to do while at university.

With the good comes the bad though, as an unfortunate reality is that students are particularly susceptible to theft at university. A 2017 report from Direct Line found that one in four students are burgled at university, with 80 percent of student thefts occurring at city universities. In fact, £25 million worth of goods have reportedly been stolen from student accommodation since 2014.

The report also revealed a list of the most stolen goods from students, with high value tech hardware such as laptops, mobile phones, and home entertainment topping the list.

 

Ways to keep your belongings safe

Insure your items:

Sometimes the bad guys win, and when they do, make sure you’ve got yourself covered. Insuring your items means that if they’re lost, stolen, or damaged, then insurers will replace your tech.

Keep social media safe:

Although it’s always tempting to flaunt your tech off to the world, it’s only helping thieves instead of impressing friends. By utilising social media, thieves can see what you own, and with a bit of digging, where to find it.

Lock your room and house:

Coming in after a night out is a time when things may slip your mind, however locking up is essential. Something as simple as sticking a note on the inside of the door can make the difference between theft and safety.

Install a wireless security camera:

This is one of the most advanced methods of home protection, and also one of the easiest. Whilst there are many brands on the market, Blink offer a comprehensive and reliable product that utilises wireless motion activated security technology.

 

Peace of mind for parent and student alike

Blink is a cost-effective solution to having a safer room at university. Installing a wireless motion activated camera such as Blink means a power efficient device will keep a watchful eye on your living space, that has no subscription fee or data storage charges – the perfect one-off purchase.

Blink offers HD video recording, and sends instant alerts to the owner’s smartphone, meaning that people will know exactly what’s happening, when it happens, and victims to theft will have clear video evidence of the incident.

This is especially beneficial for overseas parents who want to keep a watchful eye on their child’s accommodation. In the UK, 19 percent of students studying in higher education are foreign students, with 13 percent of this being students from outside the EU. Being so far away can be difficult, and so Blink will help if anything ever goes wrong in the flat or house.

To find out more about Blink products click here

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

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

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