The Hottest Home Security Tips From Former Burglars

Most of the advice you hear about home security comes from the police or security experts. Say you could speak to a former burglar though, and ask their opinion. Surely they’d be the ideal person to enlighten you if you wanted to know anything about home burglaries.

An investigative reporter did just this in Portland, Oregan, and spoke to 86 inmates who were serving time for burglary. They gave their candid views about committing crimes, and also told the reporter the types of deterrents that would stop them from breaking and entering a property. Here’s what they had to say.

Flood the Property With Bright Lighting

Make sure the outside of your home is covered with adequate lighting so there are no dark areas where burglars can hide. The bright lighting really puts burglars off, especially when motion detector lights click into action as soon as anyone steps foot onto your property. The burglars interviewed during the survey also suggested trimming bushes and keeping trees closely pruned.

Make Some Noise

One of the most popular deterrents that came to light during the survey was leaving a radio or TV on. This makes it sound like somebody is at home, which scares burglars away. Turn a light on if you are going out at night too, and set timers on lights to come on if you are going out during the day but won’t be home until it’s dark.

Park Your Car On The Driveway

Most of the burglars interviewed said a car parked in a driveway was a huge deterrent when they carried out surveillance on a property. If there are a few cars in your household, make sure one is kept on the drive when you are away from the home to make it look like you are in. Never park on the road if you have a driveway free, especially if you’re not at home. Make a point of parking your car on the drive to keep burglars at bay.

Look Out For Neighbours

Take the time to introduce yourself to your neighbours and try to build a friendly relationship. Do this, and when you go out they can listen for signs of trouble at your property, and vice-versa, reporting any signs of unusual activity to one another.

These are some of the hottest home security tips provided by burglars and you can see how they can be so useful. Implement these suggestions as part of your home protection measures, and should you require security products of any description, simply contact us here at Mike B’s by calling 01455 891046.

5 Things You Need to Ask an Emergency Locksmith Service

It’s tempting to book the first locksmith you call when you are faced with an emergency door lock situation. However, if you ask a few questions first, you might just save yourself time, worry and unnecessary expense. Get the lowdown from your locksmith by asking these questions before they visit your property.

Do you charge for call outs?

Some locksmiths will charge you for calling them out whereas others simply charge you for the work they complete. It’s not a bad idea to establish if you are going to be charged simply for calling the locksmith out, or whether this cost is waived from the beginning. Only then will you have a good idea of what the final invoice is going to be.

Are you available 24-7?

There’s not much point in an emergency locksmith advertising their services if they can’t provide a 24 hour service. You might need help at any time of the day or night, so you want the locksmith to be available 24-7 ready to turn out to an emergency. You’ll quickly establish if the locksmith operates on a 24 hour basis or not, as they will simply fail to turn out in the middle of the night.

What types of locks do you install?

Obviously, you want high-quality products fitting to your home when you have replacement locks installed. Mention this to the locksmith. See the types of locks they supply and fit. Establish if they install premium quality 3-star Kitemark Standard Cylinders or use some other inferior type of lock. British standard high-security cylinders are police approved and provide the highest level of protection against lock tampering.

The lock looks like a quality part, but does it have Sold Secure Approval??

Any reputable locksmith should provide you with a guarantee for the quality of their work. The locks they fit should be satisfactorily tested and be accredited by the Master Locksmith Association’s Sold Secure Quality Mark – ideally to diamond standard, the highest grading possible.

How much will all of this cost me?

Before you agree to any work taking place, make sure you know how much this is going to cost including any parts used, the fitting, and labour charge. Your locksmith should tell you the exact price so there’s no guesswork involved. This is no time for hidden agendas. You want a simple fixed price, so everyone knows exactly where they stand.

At Mike B’s Security, we offer a 24 hour locksmith service with no callout charges throughout the Midlands for the convenience of our customers. If you have any questions you want to ask us, or simply want to book an emergency locksmith, don’t hesitate to contact us or call us today on 01455 891046.

Top Ten Items Stolen From Domestic Homes

Theft from a property isn’t necessarily a premeditated crime. Many instances of home thefts are carried out by opportunistic thieves, who simply chance their luck and take items on the spur of the moment. Certain items are more popular than others and thieves will specifically target these when they are carrying out crimes. What are these items? To make you aware, we list the top ten items commonly stolen from households as listed by Direct Line Insurance and give tips on how these thefts can be prevented.

Most common stolen household items:

  • Bikes
  • Mobile phones
  • Power tools
  • Laptops
  • Tablet devices
  • Cameras
  • Golfing goods
  • Gardening tools
  • Audio equipment
  • TVs

It’s easy to see why bikes are popular for thieves. They can grab them, straddle them, and ride off on them in seconds, then sell them easily afterwards. To protect your bike, take down the serial number of the bike for future reference and register the bike here to protect it from theft.  You might want to snap a few pictures of the bike just in case. This could help identify it in the future if it does get stolen.

For items such as gardening equipment, golf clubs and power tools, make sure you keep your garage or shed securely locked to make life difficult for thieves. And never leave items such as mobiles, laptops or tablets in full view of open doors or windows, this could prove to be too tempting for an opportunistic thief who will snatch them and be away on their toes before you have time to think.

Safeguarding your home against thieves is one of the best ways to prevent theft from the property. We have a range of home security measures here at Mike B’s Security Locksmiths Ltd including alarm systems, safes, high-security door cylinders and premium quality padlocks.

You can find all of these specialist security products through our website, simply contact us for more information or call today on 01455 891046.

Moving home? Take Care of These Home Security Tips!

Moving home is exciting but it can also be a little bit scary. You’ll go through a range of emotions as you start this new chapter in your life, and certainly feel the pressure at some point. When you move there’s no denying, this is one of the most stressful experiences you will ever encounter, and it might take a while to adjust to your new property. To put your mind at ease, we suggest you consider these home security tips to ease the worry and put your mind at rest.

Change the door locks

A sensible precaution when you move home is to have the door locks replaced as soon as possible. You could do this on the day you move in for added peace of mind. Changing the locks at the property ensures you are the only person with sets of keys for the house, and this makes you feel safer knowing there are no spare sets lurking about with people you do not know.  Have the locks replaced with high-security door cylinders and deadbolts to give the doors the maximum level of security.

Security Tip: Consider fitting door chains, spy holes and interior bolts at the top and the bottom of the door for added protection and even more safety.

Create a new alarm code

Is there an alarm fitted to your property and does this have a unique push-button code? You’ll no doubt inherit the alarm code from the previous owners so get this changed as quickly as you can. If you don’t know how to do this and there is no obvious owner’s manual, try contacting the alarm company direct, or look online for tutorials, there are plenty of them out there for different types of home alarm systems.

Security Tip: Think of a unique alarm code you will be able to remember but don’t write this down anywhere

Check window frames

Go around the property looking at the condition of the window frames and consider them from a safety perspective.  Are they in good working order and do the locks work with all keys present? If anything doesn’t look right or you are concerned the windows might be a security risk, consider getting them replaced or updated with new window locks if this is a viable option.

Security Tip: Ground floor windows are easy to access for intruders. Should you have any concerns about the security of windows, consider fitting domestic security grilles as a cost-effective security measure.

Review exterior security

A general review of outdoor security measures is a good idea when you move home. If there are outside security lights fitted, find out how they operate, whether they are manually activated or work on a movement sensor basis. The same goes for CCTV systems and other exterior security measures. Find out what security features the previous owners had fitted and see if they work, then consider how they can be improved.

Security Tip: As well as reviewing security around the exterior of the home, pay close attention to garages, sheds and garden rooms too.

Get to know your neighbours 

One of the best ways to integrate yourself into the community and to form a few allies at the same time is to get to know your neighbours as quickly as possible.  Once you are settled in your new home, maybe plan a housewarming party and invite a few of your closest neighbours along. You could pop around to explain about the party and this gives you a great first introduction. Get to know your neighbours and you can look out for one another, and keep an eye on one another’s properties when you are away from the home.

Security Tip: If you get on well with your neighbours, tell them when you are going away on holiday and vice-versa so you both know when to be extra vigilant.     

As you can see, there’s plenty to keep you busy when you move home and by following a few basics you can take care of home security for added peace of mind.  Should you require the services of a locksmith in the Midlands or need specialist home security products, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Mike B’s Security Locksmiths Ltd or call us on 01455 891046.

Wired or Wireless? Which Home Alarm System is best?

With so many home alarm systems on the marketplace and many factors to consider, choosing the right system for your requirements might seem like a daunting task. Take wired and wireless alarms for example. Both have their own advantages so you could be left with a difficult choice. Have no fear though, as long as you choose a reliable company to supply the system for you, and consider the following, finding the right solution doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think.

Do you own the property?

The first thing to consider when choosing a wired or wireless alarm is whether you are a homeowner or renting the property you are in. If you rent, and the property isn’t equipped with an up-to-date intruder alarm, you should certainly think about fitting this type of security device. Speak to your landlord to see if they will have an alarm installed. They might be reluctant to do this, and unless there’s a mention of an alarm system in the rental agreement, your landlord might not be willing to foot the bill. If the property doesn’t have an alarm installed, consider fitting a wireless system, at least this way you can remove it if you decide to rent elsewhere.

Are you planning on moving?

Do you think you will be moving in the next few years? This is something you seriously need to think about when installing an alarm. If you are here for the long haul it won’t matter if you install a wired alarm, you’ll reap the rewards of the investment. However, if you are going to be moving in a year or so you might want to install a wireless version, so you can take it with you. Obviously, consider if you want to leave the alarm system where it is if you think this might affect the chances of selling your house. Some buyers will be looking for a property that already has a secure intruder alarm installed.

Would you like to install the system? 

One way to save money on home alarm systems is to buy them and fit them yourself. Although a wired alarm system is best left to a professional alarm installer, there’s no reason why you couldn’t fit a wireless system if you wanted to save a bit of cash. If you’re confident in DIY and don’t scare easily at the thought of a challenge, a wire-free alarm isn’t that difficult to install. It goes without saying if you have any doubts about your ability to fit the alarm, you should always seek the help of experts just to be on the safe side.

Need help choosing alarm systems? Contact us!

Should you require any help or assistance when choosing a wireless or wired alarm system, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Mike B’s Security Locksmith Ltd. You can contact us here and leave your message or call us today on 01455 891046.

Everything You Need to Know About Keysafes

If you have ever wondered what a keysafe is, or simply need more information about this type of security measure, we have written this handy guide for you here at Mike B’s Security.

What exactly is a keysafe?

Keysafes are a really useful means to store keys safely outside a property. They are extremely handy if you need to access a building quickly, especially in an emergency situation. These strong little devices act like a mini vault, keeping your keys locked away inside a safe environment that can only be accessed by a secret numerical combination. Simple to use and highly effective, spare keys are stored easily inside a keysafe. They offer a sensible means of access for multiple users.

Who uses a keysafe?

Anyone can use a keysafe for the safe storage of keys. They are especially popular with housing associations, health professionals, social services and care workers who need to gain access to the homes of elderly patients in emergency situations, or simply to provide daily care. Carers and cleaners can access a property using a keysafe. They are often used by owners of holiday homes who rent out their properties to holidaymakers and can be used by anyone who wants to keep a spare key safe on the outside of a property.

How do you access a keysafe?

The means of accessing a keysafe is through a numerical code which is manually inputted into a keypad on the front of the safe. Each individual safe has its own unique code. You simply enter the correct digits and press the release button for the safe to pop open with ease.

Who chooses the code?   

When you buy a keysafe you are given the opportunity to set your own code. This is a usually a set of numbers between four and seven digits long. We wouldn’t recommend using birthdates or pin codes for obvious reasons when you are choosing a new combination. What’s more, the code should only be revealed to people that have authority to use the safe and enter the house.

Can I change the code?

You can change the code to a keysafe as often as you like. Although this might not be practical for most users, it can be useful if you rent out a holiday home for example, and want to change the code to make it unique for each individual holidaymaker.

Find out more…

Keysafes are usually installed on the outside wall of a property and access to the key inside is only possible with the right combination. We offer a supply only or a supply and fit service for keysafes here at Mike B’s Security Ltd, contact us for more information and to order your keysafe today.

Buying a safe? Read this first!

Leading brand name safes such as Chubb, Churchill, and Securikey help to protect a wealth of precious items but what should you be thinking if you are buying a safe, either for your home or your business? There’s a lot to consider, so we thought we’d put together this handy guide at Mike B’s Security that might just help you when you are buying and installing a safe inside your property.

There are different types of safes

Safes come in many guises including free standing, under the floor and simple key cabinets that have a locking door. Depending on your personal preference, you might choose to securely bolt the safe to a floor, conceal it within a concrete floor, or mount it on a wall.

Many are hidden away

A number of homeowners choose to hide safes away in concealed locations. This can include sinking safes into walls and hiding them behind objects such as pictures or mirrors. Others are hidden in floors inside wardrobes and concealed with rugs, shoes and other everyday items. If you are clever, you can think of cunning places to put a safe to keep it hidden from sight.

Some are extremely well hidden

If you wanted to hide valuables inside a safe that doesn’t get used very often, you could totally conceal it within a wall cavity then board and skim over it so there’s literally no sign of the safe. This might sound extreme, but it’s happened in the past, where people take extreme steps to conceal documents such as wills, bonds and other items they need to store, want to protect, but don’t need to access on a regular basis. This is a dated method and it might sound like overkill but at least burglars wouldn’t suspect you had a safe if you took this approach.

It’s not wise to talk about your safe

It’s quite a thing to own a safe and it’s certainly a sensible precaution if you want to protect valuables and precious items, but there’s really no need to advertise the fact. Mention this in passing to your friends and your family and you never know who else is listening, which could have catastrophic implications for you.  Owning a safe is a sensible way to store expensive items, just keep it to yourself.

We have a number of safes for sale here at Mike B’s Security. You can find out more about them here, or contact us for additional information by calling 01455 891 046.

The Ultimate CCTV Buying Guide

Choosing the best type of home CCTV system can be tricky depending on your level of technical expertise. With so many systems on the market and countless products and specifications to read, you could be forgiven if you were quickly overwhelmed by the entire process.

To make sure you buy the right system for your requirements, here’s a quick guide provided for you by our expert team at Mike B’s security.

Work out your budget

You can easily spend more than you want to when you are shopping for a CCTV system. Think about what you need from your home security system and create a budget around this to save spending too much money.  If you simply want to safeguard the items kept inside your garage, a single IP camera could be just what you need. Then again, if you want to install multiple cameras around your property, shop around for good deals and ask domestic CCTV suppliers to make the installation as affordable as possible for you.

Are you shopping for indoor cameras or exterior CCTV systems?

Consider what type of system you want to install. Are you hoping to monitor movements inside your property, outside the home, or both? People choose CCTV systems and want them to perform for different reasons.  You could install an interior camera to monitor your baby’s sleep pattern at night or have an exterior camera monitoring the gates at your driveway looking for visitors or any signs of suspicious activity.

Is night-vision a priority?

Do you want the CCTV to record evidence at night? Depending on the specification of the CCTV camera it might not detect images in low light levels. If you really want to capture strong images during the hours of darkness invest in an IP camera with night-vision capabilities.

Where are the cameras going to go?

Camera position can be critical for home security systems. CCTV systems have a limit on what they can see, consider where you are going to place them around the exterior of your property and think of the field of view if you opt for a model that tilts, pans and zooms.

Is the resolution right?

The higher the resolution for CCTV cameras the better the picture quality will be. That doesn’t mean to say you have to invest in the highest quality camera if you simply want a surveillance system for your house. Something on the lower end of the budget could suit your purpose just as well. Consider how detailed you need the resolution to be. If you want to capture clear images of intruders’ faces or grab the details of vehicle number plates it might be worth investing in a slightly more expensive kit.

If you have absolutely no idea what type of CCTV system you require and need further advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Mike B’s Specialist Security Centres.  You can call to speak to one of our advisors on 01455 891046 or 01788 562754 today.

Common Door Lock Faults and Simple Solutions

When you have problems trying to lock your door, whether the key won’t turn or it feels jammed for some reason, there’s probably a really good explanation why this is happening to you.

Don’t worry if you are faced with this situation. We offer a brilliant locksmith service here at Mike B’s Specialist Security Centres and have a range of high-security door cylinders and double glazing locks and hardware to replace any faulty door locks in your home.

In case you were wondering, door locks can develop faults for the following reasons:

Snapped Keys

If keys are worn, the lock is frozen, or you simply turn the key with too much force, there’s a chance it could be snapped within the lock. Keys break when people handle them roughly, thankfully a good locksmith service can cut new keys and replace them on site.

Stuck Keys

Sometimes keys get jammed within cylinders. At this point, it could be tempting to try to twist the key and ‘wriggle’ it back out of the lock. Never do this. It could lead to you snapping the key inside the lock. If the key is well and truly jammed, call a locksmith and get them to resolve the issue for you.

Lock Failures

Sometimes it’s the door lock that is at fault. After providing years of service, parts can fail, rendering the locking mechanism useless.  If the key fits the lock okay but the mechanism doesn’t work, replacement parts or a lock repair might be required by a qualified person.

Dropping Door

Check the door alignment if the lock seems to be faulty. Certain doors can be prone to dropping which can affect the lock. This is partially true of uPVC doors that can drop and create alignment issues between the locking points.  The good news is if your door seems to have this problem, it’s a simple fix that shouldn’t cost the earth.

The main thing to remember if you are experiencing problems with door locks is they can either be fixed or replaced by a competent locksmith. Should you require the assistance of a locksmith in Leicestershire or Warwickshire, we are here to give you advice and guidance at Mike B’s and you can call us today on 01455 891046 or 01788 562754 for more details.