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.

Heed These Home Security Hacks

Worried about home security? Try these hot hacks designed to thwart burglars. Here at Mike B’s Security, we share the tips and tricks burglars don’t want you to know about.

Recycle empty boxes quickly

Don’t leave boxes in or near your cardboard recycling bin, all this does is tell everybody you have recently bought expensive electronic goods. It’s best to take 4K HD TV packaging and games console packaging straight to the local recycling centre once you have unpacked and installed expensive goods in your home. Left on display outside your property, boxes and packaging from pricey electronic items act as an advertisement for the criminal fraternity.

Display a beware of the dog sign

You don’t need to own a dog to convince a burglar into thinking you have the Hound of the Baskervilles living at your property. Display a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign or a place an ‘I Live Here’ card in your living room window and make sure there’s a picture of a Doberman, Rottweiler or German Shepherd clearly on display. If you really want to go the whole hog trying to convince burglars you have a dog at home protecting your property, rig your doorbell up so it plays dog barking sound effects whenever somebody presses the push button.

Hide items out in the open

Fake book covers or binders placed on a bookcase are a really useful shield you can use to hide valuables out in the open. You can hide small but expensive items behind them and conceal their identity this way. Criminals won’t think of rummaging through your bookcase shelves in search of hidden treasures.

Create a cardboard cut-out

Leaving a light on at night when you are away from your property is a good way to kid criminals into thinking you are at home. Want to take this to the next level? Lie flat on a piece of cardboard and get somebody to draw around your upper body, neck and head. Cut this shape out and you have just created a cardboard silhouette. You can place this on a window sill in front of closed blinds or rest it on a chair in front of a window when the blinds are shut. With the lights on, anyone passing the property who glances at your window will think somebody is at home.

Make a Sash Window Rod

Cut a wooden brush handle into sections to make sash window rods. Measure the size of each rod so they slot perfectly between the lower and upper sliding sections of your sash or casement windows. You can insert them into place when you leave the property or go to bed at night. Anyone trying to break into your house by breaching the window from outside won’t be able to slide it up, even if they manage to work their way around the lock.

Sometimes it’s the simplest home security hacks that prove to be the best.  If you need to invest in house security and want to improve some of the security features at your home, we have everything you need right here at Mike B’s Security. Call us today on 01455 891046.

Replacing Lost Car Keys in Simple Steps

Losing a set of car keys isn’t just annoying it can be an expensive mistake. Whether you lose your car keys near home, at work, down at the gym or when you are out and about, becoming separated from your keys can be frustrating, a waste of time, and leave you seriously out of pocket.

If you find yourself in this situation we have some advice for you here at Mike B’s Specialist Security Centre. Explore these solutions to get replacement car keys fast.

Call your breakdown provider

If you have breakdown cover for your vehicle you could call your service provider and ask them to get you back into your car. This is a good option if you have managed to lock the keys inside your car but less effective if you need a new key cutting.  Most breakdown services will call out to your location and assist you. Check your policy to see if you have this level of cover or simply give them a call to verify if this is a valid option or not.

Claim through your insurance

A number of insurance policies have key cover included so that’s not a bad option to consider if you have managed to lose your keys. A number of insurers offer key cover as part of their standard policies whilst others provide this level of cover with premium cover levels. Watch out for any excesses on the policy, though. It might be cheaper simply to get the keys replaced and pay for this privately if you have a large excess on your car insurance.

Take out extra key cover

Some drivers choose to take an extra level of cover which protects them in the event of losing their car keys. Companies such as Keycare provide protection policies for lost or stolen keys with help and support available 24/7.  If you have extra key cover you can relax safe in the knowledge that should the unthinkable happen, and you somehow manage to lose your car keys, you’ll be back in your car with the minimum amount of inconvenience.

Visit your car dealership

Lose your car keys and you can always buy a replacement set from the main dealership you bought the car through. This is going to be a pricey option though so prepare to take a sharp intake of breath when they give you a quote. Dealership prices can be very expensive mainly due to the coding and programming of the replacement keys. Plus they can take a while to produce the keys so don’t be surprised if you are waiting a minimum of five days for the keys to arrive or longer in certain instances.

Call a mobile locksmith

This is one of the easiest options to consider if you have somehow managed to lose your car keys.  Call an automotive locksmith who specialises in mobile services for on-site car key cutting and programming. This is something we provide at Mike B’s Security. If you have lost your car keys, need replacements, or a duplicate set of keys, we can help by providing a mobile auto locksmith service in Birmingham. Using genuine parts, we have the facilities to cut and program keys on site.

If you need assistance at any time and want our mobile locksmith to come and visit you at the location you are stranded, please call 07711 740717 or 01455 891046.

Try This Quick Home Security Check

Your home could be at risk right now. Without effective security measures, you could be taking a massive gamble, running the genuine threat of burglary, theft and damage to your property.  Fail to take sensible security precautions and you could become a victim of crime. Don’t worry though, it’s not too late to make positive changes and by completing a quick home safety check you can soon establish the key areas that need addressing.

How efficient are the security measures around your home? 

If it’s been a while since you considered anything to do with home security this could be a great time to review and renew your current procedures, then make positive changes for the better. This doesn’t have to be a major trauma – a quick physical inspection of the property should reveal any hotspots that need attention.

Areas to address include:

Doors – Are external and internal doors offering a firm line of defence? Solid wooden doors fitted with high-security cylinders and mortice deadlocks are difficult to breach. Consider door chains, peepholes and door security bars to enhance and improve the security of these key areas. You can fit internal door locks to further boost security around the home and prevent access to certain areas.

Windows – Double glazing locks, window locking systems or locking handles are effective means of protecting the windows at your property. The good thing about locking window handles is they are easy to fit and simple to replace if things go wrong. You can lock them and make windows secure when they are closed. Do this at night or any time you are away from the property for any length of time. Check your windows. Are you happy with the existing security measures?

Alarm systems – Modern domestic alarm systems with built-in auto dial functions are extremely useful in the fight against crime. They give you 24 hour protection and can notify security monitoring companies the moment they are activated. Be honest, when was the last time your home alarm had a service or you checked it worked properly? We all do this, but it doesn’t make it right. Test it, consider carefully if you think it’s offering the right level of protection. Replace it with something new if it isn’t.

Other areas to consider – As well as doors, windows and domestic intruder alarms there are many areas of your home that could be made safer with the introduction of additional security measures. These include:

  • Padlocks for side gates, garages and outbuildings such as sheds
  • Safes to store valuables inside the house, these can be free standing or under floor mounted
  • CCTV systems that provide you with 24 hour monitoring and digital recording
  • Security lights fitted with PIR sensors
  • Security grilles designed for domestic use

Making your home safer by improving security measures is a smart move to make. We have a range of security products here at Mike B’s and can offer expert advice if you want to enhance security around your house.

Take a look at the many security products we have for sale and don’t hesitate to contact us for additional information, or call for a chat on 01455 891046.

Which Type of Padlock Should You Be Using?

It can be quite confusing when you’re trying to find the most secure padlock for your needs, especially with such a wide selection of both keyed and combination padlocks available. The first thing you should make sure you know when you go to buy a padlock, is whether or not the shackle has enough room to properly close into the lock. Once you’ve established this, you can start looking into the properties of different kind of locks and finding the option that’s best for you.

Closed shackle padlocks

This is often the minimum lock required by insurance companies and the shackle is enclosed on most sides in order to prevent it from being cut by bolt cutters.

Discus padlocks

This circular, disc-shaped padlock is rather similar to the closed shackle padlock, however it isn’t spring loaded. This means that the lock will not open if a potential thief tries to drill or force it in any way.

Straight shackle padlocks

The straight shackle padlock is similar to a closed shackle, but due to the straight shackle, it’s perfectly suited steel roller doors of shop fronts, storage units, warehouse doors and shipping containers.

Long shackle padlocks

Long shackle padlocks are highly convenient, but also offer the least security. This is because the extended shackle makes them particularly vulnerable to sawing and cutting.

Combination padlocks

There are plenty of arguments about whether not combination locks are less secure than keyed locks, but you can get combination locks that use single- or multi- dial combinations.

When you’re buying a padlock, you need to remember that locks with a long shackle are less secure to potential thieves. Finding a padlock with a partially enclosed shackle are more secure, because there’s led of a chance that they can be cult with bolt cutters or sawn.

 

Different types of keyed padlocks

Depending on your requirements, you may want to buy a pack of multiple key locks. Generally coming in two different varieties, you’ll find a solution to meet your needs.

Master key locks

With master key padlocks, you buy a pack of locks that all come with different keys. There’s also a master key in the pack that has the ability to unlock all the padlocks in the pack.

Keyed alike locks

These packs include a number of padlocks that can all be opened by the same key. Keyed alike padlocks are perfect if you’re going to be the only person unlocking them for whatever reason.

 

Check out our wide range of padlocks available at Mike B’s Specialist Security Centres now. For more information, call us now on 01455 891046 or contact us online.

Stop Crime With These Vehicle Security Tips

It’s every motorist’s worst nightmare. Their car is either stolen or it is broken into and personal possessions are taken during the crime. How do you prevent this? Take action by doing this.

Lock it, don’t lose it

Never leave your car unlocked, even for a moment as you ‘pop’ into a shop. Thieves don’t need asking twice. If they spot an opportunity they will grab it, with both hands! Leave your car unlocked and you will either lose the contents of the vehicle or when you come back to it, there’ll be nothing there. Check the locking mechanism activates whenever you leave the vehicle for safety and peace of mind.

Hide stuff away

Don’t leave sat navs, mobile phones, purses or wallets on display in your car. Smash and grab opportunists will have no qualms whatsoever about breaking into your vehicle to steal anything inside. Lock goods out of sight at all times. Place items in the boot of your vehicle or if it is fitted with a hidden storage area, use this instead.

Use additional security measures

Lock your car by all means but use other security devices as well. Steering wheel locks, handbrake locks, alarms, immobilisers and tracking devices all help to deter thieves. When you park your car at home keep it locked away in a garage or consider fitting dropdown posts for your driveway, security lighting and CCTV systems to prevent vehicle theft.

Think about safety on the move

Get into the habit of locking doors as you drive away. Most modern cars have automatic door locking systems that activate as soon as the vehicle starts to move. Make sure this feature is enabled and if you drive an older type of car that doesn’t have this type of function, lock the doors yourself to prevent people snatching and grabbing your belongings at traffic lights or when you stop for a minute in heavy traffic.

Never leave the car running whilst unattended

You can’t complain if you leave your car’s engine running, exit it, walk away, and the vehicle is stolen in your absence. Well, you can complain but nobody would have sympathy with you. Especially the police, who could prosecute you for the offence of ‘quitting’ under the Road Traffic Act, which is basically leaving your vehicle’s engine running without you being in it. Sure it’s tempting to do this, especially in cold weather when you are de-icing the car, but it’s also a great way to get the car stolen.

Treat automotive security seriously. Take sensible precautions, and should you require key cutting or unique locking solutions, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Mike B’s.

Do You Choose Door Furniture This Way?

Okay, you want to update the door furniture in your home but don’t know where to start, what are you going to do? You could amble aimlessly around your local hardware store looking for inspiration or follow this guide and get to grips with the job from the start.

The next time you are choosing handles for interior doors pay close attention to these points first.

Style of handle

Start to explore the various styles of handles and you are greeted with a world of design. Some handles are traditional others are contemporary and suitable for a wealth of interior decor. Depending on your personal taste you can pretty much choose any style of handle you like. Whether you like the look of art deco handles, think Georgian handles are amazing, or simply have to have modern handles in your home, take your time choosing the style of handle you prefer.

Handle finish

Handle finishes are something else you really have to consider. This could be pewter, brass, chrome or stainless steel, depending on which look you prefer. Again, the finish of the handle can be dictated by the decor in your home. Some finishes look classical whereas others are trendy and funky.

Door design

What type of door design are you fitting the handles to? Are you painting the doors or leaving them in their natural wood state? How will the handles look when they have been fitted to the doors? Does the colour and finish of the handles clash with the shade of the door? These are all questions you need to ask before you fit new handles inside your property.

Fitting the handles

Are you going to fit the handles or will you need expert help in this area? Most handles are fairly easy to fit if they are replacement items. It can be a little trickier if you fitting new doors and have to drill or cut the wood to install the handles. Don’t take chances if you are unsure. It’s better to pay somebody to do this for you to prevent you damaging the door.

Most of all, give yourself plenty of choices when you looking for new door handles. We have all types of door furniture in stock here at Mike B’s from leading manufacturers with amazing deals available on the Heritage Brass range.

Simple but Effective Home Security Tips

Owning a property shouldn’t be a worry but it is. Even if you fit the highest specification alarm and install insurance approved locks through a registered locksmith, there’s always the worry that something might go wrong and you become a victim of crime.

As well as supplying a host of home security products, at Mike B’s we are always thinking of new ideas of how to improve home security to make you feel safer in your house, here are some suggestions you might want to try.

Car Keys

Take your car keys to bed with you when you retire for the evening. You can set the alarm off if you hear suspicious activity outside and cause a state of panic for any intruders at your property. Not only will the sound of the car alarm shock the thief, it’ll raise awareness that all is not well to neighbouring properties.

Be wary of letting strangers use your facilities

If you let temporary visitors into your home for whatever reason be careful about leaving them alone for any length of time. Most people are honest but you do find case examples where bogus workmen or supposed officials visit your home with the intention of stealing from you. Left unsupervised, they could pocket something valuable or unlock a window at your property so they can break into your home later.

Ask neighbours to push post through your door

If you go away for a few days ask your neighbour to push any mail that is left protruding from your letterbox fully into your house.  Left as they are, papers, marketing leaflets and takeaway menus left sticking out of your letterbox are an obvious giveaway that you’re not home.

Be picky choosing locksmiths

Always use a reputable, trade-approved locksmith if you are changing the locks at your property. This way you can guarantee they’ll provide an honest, professional service and won’t be eying up your valuables whilst keeping a spare key to your home for future use.

For any advice, or to make an enquiry about any of the security solutions we have to offer you, please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 01455 891046.

Garage Safety for Homeowners

If you worry about thieves stealing items from your garage take these preventative steps

Garages are like an Aladdin’s cave for thieves.  This is no surprise when you consider some of the ‘treasures’ you keep inside. Cars, bikes, tools and gardening equipment are just some of the items that are stolen and later sold for a bit of cash in hand.

There are ways to prevent petty garage pilfering and by taking this action you make it  an impenetrable fortress.

Lock it or lose it

Making sure your garage is locked is one way simple but effective way to reduce the risk of theft. Open garages are a total temptation. Keep them closed and locked when not in use. Never leave your garage door open, even if you are working in the garden, all it takes is for you to be distracted for a second and some opportunistic thief will have it away with your lawn mower or pressure washer.  Add high-security locks to improve safety measures in this area.

Light ‘em up

Security lighting is a sensible precaution if you want to enhance garage security. Place motion sensor lighting in strategic positions and at the first indication of movement the immediate areas around the garage will be bathed in light, along with any person that is trying to break into it.

Get alarmed

Add an alarm system to your garage as a visual and audible deterrent. The mere sight of an alarm box is enough to put some thieves off. Add to this the prospect of trying to steal items from your garage whilst the alarm is wailing and they are going to think twice.

Open your eyes      

If you want to monitor suspicious movements outside your garage install a modern CCTV system. This will enable you to keep close tabs on the perimeter and record any activity that seems odd. Domestic CCTV systems have gained a huge following in recent years being cost effective and extremely reliable.

We have many solutions designed to enhance garage security here at Mike B’s, contact us for more details, or call us today on 01455 891046.

Keep Your Home Safe Whilst You’re Away with These Simple Tips

Every time we leave our homes for extended periods of time, we’ll always worry about the safety of home. Whilst this is natural, there are plenty of simple measures you can take to minimise the risk your home faces when you’re on holiday. At Mike B’s, we’re constantly advising people how to maximise their home’s security whilst they’re on holiday; read our simple tips to keep your home safer.

Alarms

One of the best things anyone can do to keep their home safe is to install a working burglar alarm. The loud noise will disorientate and panic the thief, as well as drawing attention to your home. Burglar alarms are such a nuisance to a would-be burglar, that just by installing an alarm system; you’re less likely to suffer a break in.

If you’re planning to go away, you may wish to inform your local police office, so they can quickly react to your alarm going off whilst you’re on holiday. Obviously, a false alarm may get you into trouble for wasting police time, so you should only consider this if your area is suffering a series of break ins already.

The neighbour

If you’re lucky enough to have a close neighbour, or friends who live nearby, let them know that you’re going away, and ask them to look after your home. A trusted neighbour can offer a security blanket for your busy work schedule or holiday, as well as making your home appear to be ‘lived in’, another simple and underestimated deterrent.

Don’t make it obvious

Whether this is posting online about how excited you are for your two week holiday to Spain, or calling for a taxi from your home to the airport, being open about leaving your home for extended periods of time will alert any potential thieves that your home will be vulnerable. Having a friend drive you to the airport, having a taxi pick you up from the end of your street and being discreet when talking about your holiday are all ways to keep your home safer.

Locks

Ensuring all your locks are fit for purpose is another way to give your mind some ease. Although having robust and secure locks isn’t a definitive way of stopping someone entering your home, they can significantly make it harder for any potential burglar to break in. Similarly, having double glazed windows makes it much harder to break into a home, being much tougher than older, single glazed windows.

Contact us or call 01455 891046 to make your home as safe as it possibly can be whilst you’re away.