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How to find peace of mind on the scariest night of the year!

How to find peace of mind on the scariest night of the year!

The celebrated phenomenon of trick-or-treating will see swarms of children gather on your doorstep, eagerly expecting a tasty treat for their troubles. On the surface, Halloween is a jaunty 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 be a daunting affair for plenty of 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. According to Aviva claims data between 2002 and 2012, 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. Similarly, 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, otherwise, you might antagonise the trick-or-treaters and potentially spur them into mischief.

Perhaps the best way to ensure peace of mind on Halloween is to be afforded with the ability to monitor the activity on your doorstep throughout the night, without having to physically answer the door.  A Blink XT smart home security camera can be installed on the exterior of your property – out of arm’s reach, out of harm’s reach – to provide a watchful eye over anyone approaching your home. Filming in HD night-vision, you will have recorded footage of any potential offender that might wish harm to your home.


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

Using Blink to see wildlife

Over the years we’ve had an amazing range of wildlife spotted on Blink. From bears in America to hedgehogs in England, it seems Blink cameras can do much more than just keep your home safe.

Animals can be curious, and with Blink being such a compact camera, it can be placed in a discrete area that’s unobtrusive to wildlife, so you can catch a glimpse into life that is otherwise near on impossible to see.

The weatherproof Blink XT camera is ideal for keeping an eye on what wildlife is up to when you’re not around due to its infra-red night vision capabilities, motion detection technology. It even sends a video clip notification to your phone when Blink notices something going on.

One Blink customer managed to record some footage of a hedgehog nesting and said, “Blink is an excellent wildlife camera - even the wildlife agrees!”. 

What have you seen with Blink? Send us your videos via Twitter and Facebook!