Why Burglars Single Out Certain Types of Properties

What is it about certain types of properties that make them more appealing to burglars? There’s no denying that criminals will target specific types of homes, and there are underlying reasons why this is. In the majority of cases, homes become targets because of the following reasons.

They don’t have an alarm fitted

Installing a burglar alarm is a sensible precaution and goes a long way to deterring thieves. Given the chance, thieves would much rather target properties without active alarms, as this makes their job so much easier.

It’s a corner plot

Living on a corner plot means you have extra outside space but this can be a disadvantage from a crime perspective. Burglars favour corner plots due to the ease of access and the fact they have fewer neighbouring properties.

The property is situated next to an alley

Properties that are situated next to an alleyway are favoured by burglars too, as this affords the criminal an easy means to break into the property without being detected, and they can also make good their escape without getting noticed.

It doesn’t have a dog

Dogs are a very effective deterrent against burglars and given the choice, they’d much rather target a home that doesn’t have a canine present. Loud barks will send them scampering, and if there’s a chance they’ll be bitten, they’ll certainly think again.

There’s nobody home during the day

Burglars are crafty and they will monitor neighbourhoods for signs of activity and especially look for homes that have minimal activity during the day. Once they know you leave home early and don’t come back again until the evening, they’ll see your home as a potential target.

For anyone wishing to safeguard their home against burglars, we have a range of security solutions here at Mike B’s and are always happy to provide guidance and advice to our customers. To discuss any of our security products, please don’t hesitate to contact us today or call us on 01455 891046.

Home Security at Christmas

As we head merrily into another festive season, spare a little thought for home security, and how you might protect your property as Christmas fast approaches. It may be the season to be jolly, but it’s also the season where burglars would happily spread a little misery, by stealing items from your home. Have a Happy Christmas this year, and follow these tips to keep your home safe as Santa is on his way.

Christmas lights

Whilst it’s nice to dress the interior and the exterior of your property with festive lights, consider how security lighting could be used as a safety feature this Christmas. Lights fitted with motion sensors illuminate the dark areas surrounding your property, and they act as a highly visible deterrent for burglars.

Weak spots at windows

Homes look very festive when you dress the windows with lights, fake snow, or the decorations of your choosing. Just be careful not to trail cables through open windows, as thieves often target these areas and know they can be weak spots. Check the locks on your windows whilst you are hanging decorations. Do they seem nice and secure, or could they be forced open easily by a crafty criminal?

Be careful when you dispose of receipts

One thing you can be sure of at Christmas is you are going to have to go shopping at some point. There’s a good chance you will spend more than you wanted to on presents, and be left with lots of receipts as a result. Be very careful how you dispose of these, and never throw them into the waste without shredding them first, which you should do with all your private paperwork.

Close curtains and blinds at night

Although it’s tempting to leave your curtains open in the build-up to Christmas to show your tree off, you shouldn’t really. Close them to keep valuables out of sight, and if you are going out for the night, set lights on timers so it looks like somebody is home.

Protect your packaging

With so many presents being handed out at Christmas, it comes as no surprise to learn that a huge amount of packaging needs to be disposed of, and how you do this can be critical. Take large boxes to your local recycling centre to safely dispose of them there, or fold them flat before placing them discreetly inside your waste bin moments before the refuse collection is due. Under no circumstances leave them on display, as they will just be an advert for those lovely new devices you have in your home.

Christmas is a fun and enjoyable time for many, just be careful with home security at this time of year, and if you need products to help you protect your home, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Mike B’s Specialist Security Centre, or call 01455 891046

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.

Stay Protected From Peel and Steal Van Crime

There’s a new craze involving vans in the UK known quite simply as peel and steal. If you haven’t heard of this and you own and run a van for business, this blog might be worth a few moments of your time. Let us enlighten you as we explain what ‘peel and steal’ is, also known as ‘peek and seek’ in the media. Here we tell you all about the craze and recommend suggestions to keep your van safe.

What happens with Peel and Steal?

Peel and Steal is a simple but highly effective technique where criminals use brute force to peel the rear or side doors of vans away from the main bodywork. They grab the top of the door with their fingers, push their knees against it, and use their weight to pull the door down from the top. This only takes seconds and once completed it reveals the interior of the van and any contents left inside. It works even when the van is locked and many tradesmen have become victims.

What are criminals looking for?

In most instances, the simple answer to this is power tools. They are easy to grab and simple to sell making them ideal for criminals. Sadly, many vans have been damaged using this technique and the main target areas seem to be Wales, Yorkshire and the West Midlands. The manufacturers of vans are aware of this and say they are acting to improve their existing measures but for now, it’s a good idea to improve van security where possible.

How do you protect your van?

Simple things like taking your tools out of the van and leaving a sign on it saying that no tools are left in the van overnight can be something of a deterrent.  Think about where you leave the van too. Where possible, park with the rear doors as close to a wall as possible to hinder access, and under a street light or security lighting. Also, consider the existing alarm and the locks you have fitted to the light commercial. You can always update the locks with a Mul-T-Lock® ArmaDLockTM made specifically for rear or sliding side doors, found right here at Mike B’s Security Locksmiths Ltd.

Find out more about this and contact us if you need any additional information from our locksmith shops, covering the Midlands, Leicestershire and Coventry. You can call us if you prefer and speak to us in person 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.

How Secure is Your Front Door?

Your front door is the portal to your property, effortlessly leading people into your house and welcoming them into your home. You can make this a feature entranceway to really impress your guests and create a stunning threshold for everyone to admire. Just be careful with door security. Front doors, in particular, can be potential weak spots for home security. Take a look to see how secure your door really is.

Door locks       

Fitting premium quality mortice locks and high security cylinder locks will certainly enhance the safety of your front door.  Replace standard cylinder locks with 3-star Kitemark standard versions, for example, and you will dramatically reduce the chances of the lock being ‘snapped’ or ‘bumped’ – common methods used by burglars to break into properties. By upgrading your front door locks you create stronger home defences and provide added protection against break-ins.

Door glass

Do you have a glazed panel in your front door? If so, is this standard single pane glazing which could be really easy to break?  If you do have a glazed panel and this is the single pane variety, consider replacing the glazing with either toughened glass or have laminated glass fitted instead.

Door hinges

This is one area of door security that is often overlooked by homeowners.  Check to see how secure your hinges are and use longer screws to firmly secure each hinge in place. If you want to protect the door hinges from attack, consider fitting door bolts which have the following advantages:

  • Added protection against attacks from burglars
  • Engage and disengage when door is opened and closed
  • Resistant to saws and any attempt to remove the door from its frame
  • Extremely useful for outward opening doors


If you are fitting a new letterbox to your front door consider how close this is to the door locks you have in place. Fit a letter plate too close to the locks and crooks could easily reach their hands through and potentially unlock the door from the inside, so care must be taken when you are installing a new letterbox. For added security, avoid fitting letterboxes on the bottom panel of the door and fit a cover plate on the inside of the door to prevent mail theft commonly associated with identity fraud.

Added security features

You can never be too careful when it comes to door security for your front door and any added security features you can install will further safeguard the property. Items like a spy hole or a door chain/bar will enhance the safety of your door and create added protection for the house.

If you need locks or hardware to improve the security of your front door, we have the perfect items for you here at Mike B’s Security Locksmiths.  We offer a 24 hour locksmith service throughout the Midlands and you can contact us to discuss any aspect of home security by calling 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.