Monday, 29 December 2014

New year, new home security resolutions!

It’s time to be more security conscious...

 

As part of your New Year’s resolutions for 2015 it may be worth thinking about being more security conscious when it comes to your home.

Set a New Year's resolution to be more home security conscious in 2015!Your belongings may mean a lot to you but to an intruder they’re just a way of making quick and easy cash. A burglar can strike at any time day or night but most burglaries can be prevented by taking steps to ensure your home is secure. 

Most burglars are opportunists and in 3 out of 10 burglaries access is gained through an open door or window, burglars love it when you make their job easier for them! The following steps will make it harder for them and in turn more likely that they will avoid your property. 

When considering how you may want to upgrade the security of your home it is always a good idea to think like a potential intruder. The majority of intruders will look for the best opportunity to break into a property, some will even scope out a property prior to breaking in. Therefore it is important to think about how you can ensure that your property appears as if it is occupied at all times and that there isn’t anywhere external to your home anyone could hide i.e. high hedges or bins. 

Which advises that you ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it obvious when you're on holiday or away from the home? For example, are your curtains always shut or is there lots of unopened post?
  • Are windows and doors left open, even if they're not easily accessible?
  • Do your windows and doors have visible locks?
  • How well lit is the outside of your home?
  • Is there a spare key that’s easily visible, or easy to find, such as underneath the plant pot or above the ledge on the door?
  • Are the lights off all the time, making it look like you're away?
  • Do you have high walls or hedges, which could give burglars protection from being seen?
  • Is accessing your house noisy for a burglar? For example, is there gravel on the driveway?
  • Are there any ladders lying around that a burglar could use to gain entry?
  • What equipment do you keep in your shed and garage? What is its value and can it be used to help someone break in?
  • How secure is the shed or garage? Is it always kept locked with high-quality padlocks and security locks?

Additional Security Measures

 

How many of us actually use additional security in our homes? According to figures by Which only 38% of Which members had extra locks fitted to their doors and 32% use a door chain. 

As well as having an extra lock or door chain fitted it is also advisable you have the following fitted to your door:

  • Spy-hole – Keep out any unwanted visitors! A spy-hole offers 180 degrees of vision allowing you to identify callers before opening the door.
  • Hinge Bolts –Mortice fitted hinge bolts are designed primarily for outward opening hinged wooden doors. These offer added protection against forcing the door hinges and are automatically engaged when the door is closed.
  • Mortice Bolts – These are suitable for side and back doors as well as French doors. These are fitted to the top and bottom of the door and the bolts are not visible from the outside.
  • Letterbox guard/cage – These can be fitted to prevent ‘key fishing’ i.e. a burglar using props such as a coat hanger or fishing rod to hook keys on the inside of the door (Aviva).

Other additional security measures you may want to consider...

  • Security lights - Lights with sensors in the garden and front of your property will help to deter a burglar as they are more confident when working in the dark.
  • Key Safe - A Key Safe is a secure box where you can safely and securely store your keys without having to hide them or to rely on a neighbour or family member to look after them. 
  • Leave a light on a timer when you are not at home as it will look like the home is occupied. Other products on the market such as ‘Fake TValso act as a good deterrent as these products make it look like someone is watching TV.
  • Upgrade the locks on any garages or sheds and if there is a window, fit a curtain to ensure a burglar cannot see what is inside.

When having any additional security fitted to your home it is always a good idea to call a local locksmith. A local locksmith will be able to do a home security and home insurance compliance check on your home and they will be more than happy to upgrade your home security for your peace of mind in 2015.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Tip 12 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas...

Call a local locksmith to book in a home security and insurance compliance check!


Tip 12 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas from Keytek Locksmiths

Call a local locksmith to book in a home security and insurance compliance check, they will be more than happy to upgrade the security of your home for your peace of mind over the Christmas period.


Monday, 22 December 2014

Tip 11 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas...

Check the locks on any gates or sheds and upgrade/replace if necessary. 


Tip 11 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas from Keytek Locksmiths

Make sure anything that can be used by a burglar to gain entry to your property i.e. garden tools is safely locked away.

As part of Hertfordshire Constabulary’s ‘The Top Five Operation Guardian Tips’ they recommend securing your garden by shutting and locking any gates and making sure you lock away any garden tools as these can be used by burglars to break in.

For more information on the security of ‘your garden and outside the home’ see Hertfordshire Constabulary’s advice here.

In 2012 the Guardian even reported that thefts in garden furniture and accessories had soared as the value of what we buy for the garden has increased, a survey by Confused.com showed that the average value of a British garden’s contents was £825, this included garden tools, lawnmowers, patio furniture and barbecues.  All of these items are easy pickings for an opportunistic burglar, so lock them away!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Tip 10 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas...

Use a UV pen to mark any valuables so if the worse does happen it may help to make recovery easier.


Tip 10 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas from Keytek Locksmiths

Many Police Forces and Home Insurance Providers will advise marking any valuables especially those that are more mobile i.e. a laptop or tablet. 

A burglary infographic from Tesco Compare showed that the top 5 most stolen items included...

  • Mobile Phones (6%)

  • Jewellery and Watches (11%)

  • Cameras and MP3 Players (13%)

  • Laptops (15%)

  • Money (17%)

Marking your valuables will usually deter thieves from stealing them as an item that is clearly marked will be more difficult for a thief to sell and will often reduce the items value (Devon and Cornwall police). It also helps to increase the chance of your property being identified if the worse did happen and it was either lost or stolen.

Norfolk Constabulary recommends the following ways to effectively mark your property:

  • Electronic marking – Use property register website Immobilise to electronically register your valuables details. This helps Police Forces across the UK to identify the owner of any lost or stolen items.

  • UV pen marking – Use a UV pen (invisible to the naked eye) to mark your valuables ideally write your postcode, house number or house name. Usually stickers are supplied with any UV pens which indicate that the valuables are marked; these can deter a burglar from stealing your property in the first place.

  • Photography – Taking detailed photos of your valuables will help to prove they are yours if they are stolen.

  • Permanent Marker Pen/Paint – This is recommended for marking large items such as machinery, garden equipment and tools.

  • Postcode Stencil – This is literally a stencil of your postcode, which is applied with paste and etches your details onto your valuables.

  • DNA Technology - There are several products available that use DNA technology to mark valuables. They contain microdots with unique reference numbers that are linked to your home. These are detected with a UV light and the information is then obtained from the microdots.

  • Inventories – Inventory all of your valuable items either by listing them, taking photographs or videos.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Tip 9 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas...

Light it up!


Tip 9 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas from Keytek Locksmiths

Lights with sensors in the garden and at the front of your property will help to deter a burglar as they are more confident when working in the dark.

As the nights draw darker, during the winter months it is really worth considering installing motion detector lights externally to your home.

Considering that the majority of burglaries take place during the night, (56% of recorded burglaries happen at night according to Tesco Compare), it is definitely a good idea to have security lights fitted to your property as these can help to deter a burglar from breaking into your home, as they are less likely to feel confident breaking into a property that is well-lit. The majority of Police Forces will advise this as an additional security measure, “consider fitting outside security lighting or a visible alarm to help deter burglars” (ThamesValley Police). ThamesValley Police also advise “using pea shingle or gravel on a driveway and spiky plants in garden beds”.   

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Tip 8 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas...

Keep out any unwanted guests!


Tip 8 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas from Keytek Locksmiths

It is always a good idea to have a spy hole or door chain fitted to your front door especially in the holiday season where you are more likely to receive more visitors to your home.

When evaluating the security of your home it is important to consider that you may need additional security such as a spy hole or door chain, which will not only improve the security of your home by allowing you to keep out unwanted guests but will also add to your peace of mind. The Metropolitan Police advises that a spy hole and door chain or even a limiter should be fitted for added safety and security as “these will enable you to deal with callers to your front door whilst retaining a level of security.” 


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Tip 7 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas...

Store all sets of keys away from the front door! 


Tip 7 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas from Keytek Locksmiths

Whatever time of year it is, it’s never a good idea to leave your keys anywhere near your front door. A letterbox cage or guard can be fitted; burglars will often use the letterbox to retrieve keys stored inside the house.

When thinking about the security of your home, it is always a good idea to think like a burglar!

Look for any potential security risks that may be used to the advantage of a burglar i.e. spare keys under the mat. In a recent survey by Keytek™ it was found that over 20% of Britons were still leaving spare keys hidden in an unsecure location such as under a plant pot in the garden.

Many will advise against this, including the Charity Age UK who advise on their website not to leave spare keys in “obvious places such as under a flower pot or doormat or hanging inside the letterbox”. For a relatively small cost it is advisable to have a Key Safe fitted in a hidden location on the outside of your home by a local locksmith.  A Key Safe is a secure box where you can safely and securely store your keys without having to hide them or to rely on a neighbour or family member to look after them. 

It is also advised that you don’t store any keys or ID documents near to a door or window that is accessible externally to minimise the risk of what is sometimes referred to as ‘fishing’. Insurance provider Aviva explains that “thieves will use props such as coat hangers and fishing rods to hook keys”. Key ‘fishing’ can be minimised not only by storing your keys away from any doors or windows but also by having a letterbox cage/guard fitted to your door by a locksmith. Letterbox brushes can be fitted to avoid a burglar seeing where your keys are stored. 


Monday, 15 December 2014

Tip 6 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas...

Don’t share your holiday plans!


Tip 6 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas from Keytek Locksmiths

 

Don’t discuss any holiday plans on any type of open forum i.e. Facebook. I’m sure you have all heard the horror stories where over a thousand people turned up to a party that had been made public on Facebook, it would be like that but a party for... burglars!

According to online etiquette blog ‘Netmanners’ social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter are accessible by anyone although you are letting your ‘friends’ know what you are up to there is always the underlying issue that anyone can access your information and find out what you are up to i.e. burglars.

An interactive Facebook App was developed in 2011 to highlight the dangers of posting too much personal information on the internet called ‘Take This Lollipop’. The short horror film takes personal information from your profile through the use of your pictures and messages and shows a ‘Facebook stalker’ typing on a computer with your personal information appearing on his screen and then eventually he uses Google maps to pinpoint your position then he is seen driving to your location, therefore demonstrating to you the dangers of sharing personal information on the internet. 


Friday, 12 December 2014

Tip 5 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas...

Window shopping for burglars!


Tip 5 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas from Keytek Locksmiths

Remember the Grinch who stole Christmas... never ever leave any presents or valuables where they can be seen by a burglar i.e. in view of a window.

The majority of home insurance providers will advise that you keep any valuables out of sight. According to Aviva you should be aware of any ‘top pickings’ for burglars; “consoles, games and DVDs make up 62% of belongings stolen”, “other favourites include cameras, computers, mobile phones, MP3 players and jewellery” (Aviva). 

Christmas presents and valuables can be safely stored away in a lockable cupboard or drawer.


Thursday, 11 December 2014

Tip 4 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas...

Join your local Neighbourhood Watch! 


Tip 4 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas from Keytek Locksmiths

As part of our home security advice we recommend that you either join or start a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. 

The Neighbourhood Watch works to bring neighbours together who want to look out for each other, creating strong, friendly, active communities where crime and antisocial behaviour are less likely to happen.

To find your local Neighbourhood Watch, or for information on how to start a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, please visit www.ourwatch.org.uk/

Alternatively if you don’t have a Neighbourhood Watch in your area and are going away for Christmas, inform a trusted neighbour that you are doing so, so they can keep an eye on your property.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Tip 3 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas...

Going away during the Christmas Holidays?


Tip 3 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas by Keytek Locksmiths

If you are going to be away for a long period of time ask Royal Mail to hold your mail - they will do this for up to 2 months. 

The Royal Mail operates a Keepsafe™ service during the Holidays. This service literally consists of the Royal Mail holding onto any parcel and letters whilst you're away for up to 66 days and will deliver them to your home once you have returned.

The service is supported by The Home Office Identity Fraud Steering Committee as it reduces the risk of identity fraud when you are on Holiday as the service ensures that you do not leave any obvious clues to your absence such as a mountain of letters piled up on your doormat (Royal Mail).


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Tip 2 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas...

If you’re going to be away from your home for a long period of time leave a light on or on a timer. Leaving a television or radio on is also a good alternative to leaving the lights on.

 

Tip 2 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas by Keytek Locksmiths

As the Holidays approach the majority of us will be frequently out of the house for longer periods of time whether that is due to attending an office party or just simply doing the Christmas shopping. In order to deter a burglar from breaking into your home it is regularly advised that if you are planning on returning when it is most likely to be dark, “lighting up your home is a useful deterrent of burglary” (Metropolitan Police). 


Monday, 8 December 2014

The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas Infographic

‘Tis the season to be security conscious!


As the nights draw darker and colder, it is important to evaluate the security of your home and take measures to ensure your home isn’t an easy burglary target. During the winter period your home can be seen to be more vulnerable by an intruder, especially in the lead up to Christmas when you are more than likely to have unopened items of high value.

In the lead up to Christmas each day we will be posting a home security tip to help you stay secure over the Christmas period. As part of this we have put together an infographic...

Click on the infographic to enlarge it.


Share this Infographic On Your Site



Tip 1 of The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas...

Don’t give a burglar a leg up!


Tip 1 of the 12 home security tips of Christmas

Store all bins and ladders away from your property. These could be used by an intruder to gain access to a 1st floor window.

The majority of leading home insurance providers will recommend that it is always a good idea to lock up anything that can be used by a burglar to gain entry to a first floor window or climb over a fence i.e. wheelie bins and ladders. 

Home insurance provider Saga advise that all ladders should be securely locked away in a garage or shed. If you are using a garage or shed with windows to store anything that can be used by a burglar to gain entry it is also good to have curtains fitted to stop anyone from seeing in!    


Friday, 5 December 2014

The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas

‘Tis the season to be home security conscious!


The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas from Keytek Locksmiths


In the lead up to Christmas each day we will be posting a home security tip, so look out for our ‘The 12 Home Security Tips of Christmas’.

As the nights draw darker and colder, it is important to evaluate the security of your home and take measures to ensure your home isn’t an easy burglary target. During the winter period your home can be seen to be more vulnerable by an intruder, especially in the lead up to Christmas when you are more than likely to have unopened items of high value.

Although the risk of burglary does differ according to the type of property and level of security that is already in place it is worth taking the necessary precautions in order to best protect yourself and your home from a break-in.  

Each of the home security tips we share in the lead up to Christmas will help you to make sure your home is best protected during the Holiday period! 

In the meantime watch our home security video with tips and advice from our local locksmiths...



Thursday, 4 December 2014

Locksmith jobs and careers with Keytek


Keytek™ is one of the largest National Locksmiths in the UK providing both domestic and commercial locksmith services for over 15 years. This has enabled us to achieve priority positioning in major directories, which has resulted in more work for our Engineers over that of our competitors.

Over the years we have built up an extensive Engineer Network across the UK and we are able to provide Engineers with many benefits including all the help and support they need from technical issues through to processing paperwork, in the form of our in-house technical department (all engineers have access to 24 hour technical advice) and dedicated Engineer Liaison Team who are able to offer guidance on customer service and company procedures.     

Other benefits of working for Keytek™ include:
  • 24 hour technical advice
  • Dedicated Engineer phone line
  • Group trade discount
  • Simple paperwork procedure
  • Working hours and time off tailored to suit your needs.
  • Keytek™ will replace any parts you have used onsite.
  • Working with specialists in locksmith services.
  • Our commitment to quality... 
  • - ISO 9001:2008 accredited
    - Investor In People
    - Safe Contractor approved
    - CHAS accredited Contractor

For more information about Keytek™ and our locksmith job opportunities please visit www.keytek.co.uk/about/locksmith-careers/ or if you are interested in working for us please call 01202 711 195


Monday, 1 December 2014

Locksmith Training with Keytek

Whether you’re looking to make a career change or brushing up on your locksmithing skills, the Keytek Locksmith Training Academy offers a variety of courses to suit your training level... 
A student taking part in a locksmith training course.

Training to be a locksmith can lead to a long and rewarding career. However, with many individuals and private companies to choose from, all marketing their services for consideration, collectively offering a huge range of courses, finding the correct locksmith training provider ‘for you’ can be a challenge in any situation, within any industry.


Identifying the correct training facility and course is absolutely vital and the first step to gaining success in your chosen career as a professional locksmith. Before choosing the type of training that best suits your needs, you should think about what are your actual requirements to meet your own personal objectives.

Ask yourself the following questions when reviewing various training facilities and courses...

  • Have you considered the full range of locksmith training available, such as professional bodies and standards, individual or group training, gaining experience in related skills or relevant work experience?
  • Have you considered the different levels at which locksmith training can be gained?
  • Do you need foundation skills training and is there the possibility to gain further specific skills later on to enhance your knowledge?
  • Have you identified your own training needs to reach your personal goals and aspirations?

The best training provision can often be provided by those organisations who actually operate day to day within the industry in which you are looking to enter or progress.

The Keytek™ Locksmith Training Academy


Since 2010 we have been operating a Locksmith Training Academy in Poole, Dorset to help set the standards for the locksmithing industry and provide support for our nationwide customer base.
Head Trainer Craig teaching a locksmith training course

Over this time the Academy has grown significantly - becoming a preferred supplier with the CTP in September 2010, being given approved centre status in February 2012 enabling us to offer an NCFE level 3 Accreditation and then furthering this by being approved in January 2013 to offer an NCFE level 4 Accreditation. To date many students have passed our various courses to meet the high working standards that are pinnacle to help improve the current standards within the industry and are vital to its longevity.       

The ongoing goal and commitment of the Academy is to offer those wishing to join the industry a gateway to a career as a professional locksmith through it’s courses and experience. All courses run by the Academy are taught by highly experienced and respected industry experts. The Academy is also the only training provider in the Country that is able to provide a Level 4 Accreditation through it’s 5 and 8 day courses.

If you have any questions regarding the courses provided by the Keytek™ Locksmith Training Academy or would like to be sent an information pack, please call the Academy Team on 01202 711 195 or find out more about the locksmith courses we run by visiting www.locksmiths-training.co.uk
 
Follow our locksmith training story by clicking the timeline below...

Find out more about Locksmith Training with Keytek

Monday, 24 November 2014

Winter Home Security Tips

Winter Home Security Tips and Advice from Keytek Locksmiths
Making your home unappealing to a burglar is the key to preventing it from being burgled during the winter period and is one of the most effective forms of crime prevention. 

Darker and colder nights can mean ‘easy pickings’ for criminals, with an increase in burglaries during the winter months.
 
Typically the number of break-ins across the UK increases when it gets darker earlier (a burglary occurs every two minutes in the month of November).
 
Simple preventions can be taken to ensure your home stays secure this winter:
  • Make sure all doors are securely locked at all times.
  • If you are not going to be home leave a light on or on a timer to give the illusion that your home is occupied. A TV or Radio is a good alternative to leaving a light on.
  • Make sure all accessible windows are locked and have restrictors fitted for added security – intruders can wiggle through any gap that is larger than a human head.
  • Have a burglar alarm fitted. Some alarm systems can end up costing as much as £2000, if this is something you can’t afford have a dummy alarm fitted for as little as £14.99 a fraction of the price but equally as effective in deterring a burglar.
  • Lock all garages and sheds.
  • Check the perimeter of your home for weak spots.
  • Have motion sensing lights fitted to the outside of your home.
  • Mark any valuables with a UV pen and register them on www.immobilise.com
  • Keep your curtains or blinds closed at night.
  • Don’t leave any valuables where they can be seen by passersby on the street.
  • Don’t share any holiday plans on Social Media.  
  • If you are going on a winter break leave a spare key with a trusted neighbour or relative so they can keep an eye on your home whilst you’re away.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Burglary Deterrents and Home Security

As the nights draw darker and colder, it is important to evaluate the security of your home and take measures to ensure your home isn’t an easy burglary target...

November, the month you are most likely to be burgled!


Advice and tips on burglary deterrents and home security
During the winter period your home can be seen to be more vulnerable by an intruder, especially in the lead up to Christmas when you are more than likely to have unopened items of high value. According to the Daily Mail and home insurance provider LV=, November is the month you’re most likely to be burgled, with break-ins occurring an estimated every two minutes. Although the risk of burglary does differ according to the type of property and level of security that is already in place it is worth taking the necessary precautions in order to best protect yourself and your home from a break-in.

The majority of burglars are opportunists; in 3 out of 10 burglaries access was gained through an open window or door.

Follow these steps to ensure your home is protected this winter:


  • Alarm Systems - Alarms are a great deterrent but a complete home system can cost as much as £2000 with a yearly maintenance cost on top. If you don’t have this sort of money spare you can still give the impression of having an alarm system installed by purchasing a Dummy siren bell box for as little as £13.99.

  • Ensure your locks are British Standard - Home insurance companies will specify that your property must be fitted with British Standard locks on your doors and windows. After a break-in has occurred you may wish to claim on your home insurance in order to cover the costs of the damage caused by an intruder but by not meeting the requirements initially set by your home insurance provider you may run the risk of invalidating your insurance.

  • What are British Standard locks? - In order for any lock to be classed as a ‘British Standard’ lock they must have been through rigorous testing including strength, durability and of course security, these products are also re-assessed and re-tested to ensure you always have complete confidence in the safety, quality and reliability of the locks you have installed in your home. A higher quality lock such as a British Standard lock can act as a great deterrent against burglary as it will make it a lot harder for the intruder to gain entry.

  • Additional door security - When upgrading your home security you may want to consider having the following fitted to your door to help keep out any unwanted guests:
    • Door chain
    • Spy hole
    • Letterbox guard or cage - a letterbox can be used by an intruder to retrieve any keys stored on the inside of the house therefore these products will help to protect you from ‘keyfishing’.

  • Secure the perimeter - The type of fencing, hedging or walls around a property can attract or deter thieves. Check for weak spots where a burglar could get into your garden, for example, a low sagging fence or a back gate with a weak lock. A thorny hedge around your home can put burglars off but make sure passers-by can still see the front of your home so a burglar can’t work unnoticed. Think about laying gravel in your garden and driveway as this acts as a deterrent due to the noise created when being walked on.

  • Secure your shed - Your average garden shed is a treasure trove of valuables such as power tools, bicycles and garden equipment; therefore sheds will often provide easy pickings for opportunist thieves. The majority of sheds will not be strong enough to withstand an attempt to break into them therefore if possible store your valuables in an alternative secure location such as a garage or even your house.
  • See the steps below on how you can improve your shed security:

    • Upgrade your locks.
    • Have a shed alarm fitted.
    • Mark all valuables stored in your shed either using a UV pen or a DNA marker.
    • Grow prickly plants close to your shed window.
    • Have curtains or shades fitted to your shed window.

  • Lights - Even though the majority of burglaries occur during daylight hours, a large number still occur during the hours of darkness. Burglars are in search of houses with no one home. To reduce your home's risk of burglary at night, install motion lights on the front and on the rear of your house wherever possible. To be extra cautious, try to position the lights at the corners of your residence so the motion detectors can catch someone approaching from the side. Make sure the lights are positioned at a height that someone cannot disable them by easily reaching up and unscrewing the bulb.

  • Protect your valuables - Don't leave your valuables (Laptop, jewellery, mobiles etc.) where they can be seen from a window, consider drapes or blinds so that any view of the interior of your home is restricted.

  • The illusion of being home - If you work evenings or know you are going away on holiday for a number of weeks there are a number of cheaper options available that when used give the illusion that someone is still in the property.
    • Ask a friend or neighbour to open and close curtains.
    • Timer switches for lamps.
    • Fake TV – Simulates the light of a LED TV.
    • Pay for Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ Service to ensure any post you receive whilst you’re away doesn’t pile up; this can be a tell-tale sign that your property isn’t currently occupied.

By following these simple steps you will be helping to protect your home from an intruder.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Fundraising for Children in Need

Keytek locksmiths are fundraising for Children in NeedThis year the Keytek™ Team will be holding a Charity day in aid of Children in Need on Friday 14th November!

This year we will be holding a variety of fundraising activities including ‘Breakfast at Your Desk’ team members will have the choice of a hot beverage and a breakfast treat to enjoy at their desk, ‘Kinect Sports Rivals’ where staff will use their sports skills against each other and a guess ‘Where is Pudsey baking?’ competition.

Fundraising events that ran as part of last year’s fundraising activities were very successful and included a Bake Sale, ‘Breakfast at Your Desk' and Mario Kart Championship. The Bake Sale ran throughout the day, baked goods on sale included anything from ‘Cherry Bakewell Slices’ to ‘Cake Pops’ dipped in chocolate, with the ‘Cake Pops’ proving to be extremely popular! The Mario Kart Championship saw members of staff battling it out through several rounds of different race courses to win ‘Mario’s Gold Chocolate Coins’.

Last year’s efforts saw us raise an impressive £113.15, this year Keytek™ are aiming to beat this by setting a target of £150.  

Monday, 3 November 2014

Locked out of your house?

We all know that being locked out of your home can be an extremely stressful time especially in the colder months. Don’t worry, you are not alone, whether you are locked out during the day or even the middle of the night an emergency locksmith can help.   

What to do when you’re locked out of your house...


Do’s and Don’ts

Locked out of your house? Call an emergency locksmith!

Don’t try to break in to your own home as you may cause damage to your property and yourself by doing so. 

Don’t call your local emergency services such as the police or fire brigade, they will charge you and may damage your door as they are not trained locksmiths by trade. These types of emergency call outs to these services are said to cost taxpayers more than 5 million pounds a year.   

Don’t force the wooden or uPVC door. This could cause further damage to the door and incur costly repairs. 

Do call your local emergency locksmith straight away on 0800 035 0451.

The emergency locksmith will ask you the following questions...


  • Where are your house keys? - Are they inside your property, stolen or lost? If your keys have been lost or stolen you will need to make your local Police Station aware and give the incident number to the locksmith.
  • What type of lock do you have on your door? - Is your door uPVC or wooden? Is the lock shoulder height or waist height?
  • Is your lock faulty? - If your lock is faulty the local locksmith will ask you to give a brief a description of what is happening when you are trying to unlock your door.

The majority of emergency locksmiths will recommend an average emergency response time of approximately 30 minutes* to ensure that you are not locked out of your property for too long.

Now relax knowing that a skilled locksmith is on their way...


 *where possible

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Trick or treat! A Halloween home security guide...

As Halloween approaches it’s not just the ghouls and what goes bump in the night you have to worry about...


Halloween home security tips and advice

As the nights grow darker the risk of burglary increases, with the majority of opportunistic thieves using big events such as Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas to their advantage.  

Did you know that November is the month you are most likely to be burgled?


Don’t be left out in the cold and protect your home with our winter home security tips...


  • Store all bins and ladders away from your home. These could be used by an intruder to access 1st floor windows. 

  • Never leave any valuables where they can easily be seen.

  • Have a spy hole or door chain fitted to keep out any unwanted guests.

  • It can be a good idea to leave a light on or on a timer, especially during the darker evenings and if you are spending a night or week away from your home! Leaving a television or radio on is also a good alternative to leaving the lights on. Security products such as a light with a timer can be purchased online. 

  • If you are going to be away for a long period of time ask the Royal Mail to hold your mail with their ‘Keepsafe™’ service - they will do this for up to 2 months. It is recommended to ask the Royal Mail to hold your letters as this avoids a pile up of post inside the front door which could be an invitation for an intruder as they will be able to see you’re away.  

  • Join or start a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. “The Neighbourhood Watch works to bring neighbours together who want to look out for each other, creating strong, friendly, active communities where crime and antisocial behaviour are less likely to happen.” To find your local Neighbourhood Watch, or for information on how to start a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, please visit the Neighbourhood Watch website. Alternatively if you don’t have a Neighbourhood Watch in your area and are going away for any period of time, inform a trusted neighbour that you are doing so, so they can keep an eye on your property.

  • Whatever time of year it is, it’s always a good idea to have a key hook fitted internally away from the front door or have a key safe fitted externally to your property. A letterbox cage/guard is also recommended as intruders will often use the letterbox to retrieve keys stored inside the house; this type of theft is referred to as ‘Key Fishing’.

  • Make sure you have lights with sensors in the garden and front of your property, this will help to deter an intruder as they are more confident when working in the dark.

  • Use a UV pen to mark any valuables so if the worse does happen it may help to make recovery easier.

  • Check the locks on all doors interior and exterior to your home, including gates or sheds and upgrade/replace if necessary. Make sure anything that can be used by an intruder to gain entry to your property, i.e. garden tools, are safely locked away.

  • When leaving your property always remember to lock any doors and windows. The majority of intruders will use an unlocked door or window to gain entry to a house.


Worried about mischief makers? Follow our tips to avoiding Halloween vandalism...


  • If possible park any vehicles in a garage or a protected area. Parking your car in a garage or a protected area will help to prevent vandals from egging or damaging your vehicles.

  • Fit motion-sensing lights to the exterior of your home. Increasing the lighting on the outside of your property will help to deter vandals as they will be more visible to you and your neighbours.

  • Be friendly. If Halloween is your thing then why not put up a sign welcoming trick or treaters; a poster welcoming trick or treaters can be downloaded here... The majority of people will only tend to prank people that have been unwelcoming, so just make sure you are well stocked up on candy and you shouldn’t have any disgruntled trick or treaters.  

  • Trick or treat welcome Halloween poster by Keytek Locksmiths

  • If you’re not in the Halloween spirit there are a few measures you can take to avoid trick or treaters:
  1. Turn off the main lights inside your house and shut the curtains. The majority of trick or treaters will avoid your home simply because they will think you are either asleep or not home.

  2. Put up a sign to explain that you are not welcoming trick or treaters; a poster kindly telling trick or treaters you are not participating can be downloaded here...
Sorry no trick or treat please Halloween poster

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Moving home?

We all know that moving home can be a very stressful time for anyone.  Research has recently shown that the most stressful experience in modern life is buying or selling a property, this means that the majority of Britons are highly stressed from buying or selling a property before they have even moved.   

Moving home can be a stressful timeWith so much to organise and remember after the initial stress of buying or selling it is easy for the important jobs such as changing your locks to get overlooked and forgotten.

Last year a survey conducted by Keytek™ revealed that 74% of Britons did not change their locks after moving home, potentially leaving them vulnerable to break-ins by someone who obtained a key during the previous ownership. 


Those who participated in the survey were asked whether they had changed the locks within a fortnight of moving in to their current home...

The survey revealed that people in the South were the most security-conscious; 35% of Southerners said they did get their locks changed, compared to just 20% of people in the North of England and Scotland.

The age group most likely to get their locks changed were those aged 35-54, while the over 55s were found to be least likely to do so.

Changing the locks on a new home is a basic security measure that has long been recommended by leading insurance companies. It is important to change your locks when you have moved house as the majority of home insurance policies state that they won’t pay out if an intruder lets themselves in with a key. For a claim to be valid there must be clear signs of breaking and entering. 


Tips for changing your locks after moving house


  • Book a locksmith for the day you are moving by calling 0800 035 0451.

  • Get the locks changed on all external doors. In 3 out of 10 burglaries access was gained by a burglar through an open door or window.

  • Have British Standard locks fitted to your doors to meet your home insurance requirements. The majority of home insurance providers will require your locks to be British Standard. Failure to meet these requirements could risk invalidating any claims you make if the worse did happen.   

  • Check the locks are working on all accessible ground floor windows and make sure that key-operated locks are fitted to meet home insurance requirements; this applies to skylights and roof lights also.  

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Winter is coming, protect your castle with our winter home security tips!

Winter is Coming! Protect your home with our home security tips. As part of our winter home security tips we have decided to jump on the ever growing popularity of HBO TV series Game of Thrones and put together the following themed security advice and tips. 

Protect your castle from raiders this winter with our home security tips... 

Everyone’s home is their castle, which is why we have put together the following home security tips to ensure you are taking precautions to keep your home safe and secure this winter.

During the winter period your home can be seen to more vulnerable by an intruder, especially in the lead up to Christmas when you are more than likely to have unopened items of high value. According to the Daily Mail and home insurance provider LV=, November is the month you’re most likely to be burgled, with break-ins occurring an estimated every two minutes. Although the risk of burglary does differ according to the type of property and level of security that is already in place it is worth taking the necessary pre cautions in order to best protect yourself and your home from a break-in.

Burglary is largely an opportunistic crime, many home insurers will advise taking certain security steps to insure your home isn’t ‘easy pickings’ as according to HomeInsuranceGuide.co.uk, “burglars are looking for a home that gives them the easiest way of committing their crime undetected, with the fewest obstacles to negotiate.” The majority of burglars will not even use force to gain entry to a property (HomeInsuranceGuide.co.uk) in fact 73% of burglars use doors to gain entry and in 3% of cases the door was open (Tesco Compare).  

  • Don’t give a raider a leg up. Store all bins and ladders away from your home. These could be used by an intruder to access 1st floor windows. 

  • Keep your gold safe! Never leave any valuables where they can easily be seen.

  • Keep out any unwanted guests. It is always a good idea to have a spy hole or door chain fitted as additional security.

  • Darker nights are coming. It can be a good idea to leave a light on or on a timer, especially during the darker evenings and if you are spending a night or week away from your home! Leaving a television or radio on is also a good alternative to leaving the lights on. Security products such as a light with a timer can be purchased online. 

  • Put your ravens on hold! If you are going to be away for a long period of time ask the Royal Mail to hold your mail with their ‘Keepsafe™’ service - they will do this for up to 2 months. It is recommended to ask the Royal Mail to hold your letters as this avoids a pile up of post inside the front door which could be an invitation for an intruder as they will be able to see you’re away.  

  • Join the nights watch. We recommend that you either join or start a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. “The Neighbourhood Watch works to bring neighbours together who want to look out for each other, creating strong, friendly, active communities where crime and antisocial behaviour are less likely to happen.” To find your local Neighbourhood Watch, or for information on how to start a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, please visit the Neighbourhood Watch website. Alternatively if you don’t have a Neighbourhood Watch in your area and are going away for any period of time, inform a trusted neighbour that you are doing so, so they can keep an eye on your property.

  • Store all sets of keys to your castle away from your portcullis! Whatever time of year it is, it’s always a good idea to have a key hook fitted internally away from the front door or have a key safe fitted externally to your property. A letterbox cage/guard is also recommended as intruders will often use the letterbox to retrieve keys stored inside the house; this type of theft is referred to as ‘Key Fishing’.

  • Keep your fortress well lit. Make sure you have lights with sensors in the garden and front of your property, this will help to deter an intruder as they are more confident when working in the dark.

  • Brand your valuables. Use a UV pen to mark any valuables so if the worse does happen it may help to make recovery easier.

  • Check all locks to your castle. Check the locks on all doors interior and exterior to your home, including gates or sheds and upgrade/replace if necessary. Make sure anything that can be used by an intruder to gain entry to your property, i.e. garden tools, are safely locked away.

  • Don’t forget to raise your drawbridge! When leaving your property always remember to lock any doors and windows. The majority of intruders will use an unlocked door or window to gain entry to a house.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Locked out of your car?

Locked out of car? Follow our tips and advice.
Don’t worry! You’re not the only person in the world who has been locked out of a car at some point in their life, according to the AA  ‘lost keys/keys locked in car’ is the sixth most common reason for a car breakdown. In 2008 there were 119,907 instances where the AA was called out for this reason.

What do I do when I’m locked out of my car?


Firstly don’t panic, the worst thing you can do in any stressful situation such as being locked out of your car is to panic and stress yourself out further.

Don’t try to break into your car as you may cause damage to your vehicle which will be more costly than calling a local locksmith.

Here are some tips on what to do next...

Call a local locksmith on 0800 035 0451 or search for one on www.keytek.co.uk
 
The local locksmith will then ask you the following questions...
  • Where are the keys? Are they in the boot of the vehicle, back seat or passenger’s seat?
  • Are the keys in the ignition and is the engine running? 
  • Has the car been deadlocked prior to the keys being locked inside?
  • What make, model and year is the vehicle?
  • Are the windows electric or manual?

Always check that the locksmith you have booked has been DBS checked (formally CRB checked) as you want to be confident in the knowledge that you are booking a credible and trustworthy locksmith to help you in your hour of need. If you are unsure of a locksmith’s identity you can always ask to see his identification badge.   

Now that you have called an emergency locksmith you can sit back and relax knowing that an experienced, credible and trustworthy locksmith is on his way and will be with you within half an hour*. Just enough time to grab a coffee or tea whilst you wait!

*where possible

Have you lost, misplaced or had your car keys stolen?

If you require a new key for your vehicle for whatever reason you will need to contact your local auto-locksmith who will specifically specialise in vehicle key cutting and coding rather than calling a domestic locksmith.



Monday, 8 September 2014

Less than 2 weeks to go until we take on the Glastonbury Bike Ride 2014!

It’s less than 2 weeks to go until the Keytek™ Cycle Team take part in the ‘Glastonbury Bike Ride’ on Sunday 21st September in aid of the British Heart Foundation, where they will take on the challenge of either a relatively steady 27 or a more demanding 48 mile cycle.

Keytek Locksmiths to take on Glastonbury Bike Ride
Over the last few months in the run up to the event the Team have been training hard and have completed many miles to ensure they are ready to tackle the impending challenge!

Those participating in last year’s ‘Glastonbury Bike Ride’ managed to raise an impressive £2,250 in sponsorship, beating their original target of £1,500. This year the Team will be looking to smash last year’s total by aiming to raise £2,500.

Please donate and support the Team!

The ‘British Heart Foundation’ funds research, education, care and awareness campaigns aimed at helping to prevent heart disease. All donations made will help to save lives whether it is through groundbreaking research, helping to provide vital information to help keep hearts healthy or helping to support and care for heart patients and their families.

Just £50 can help to fund vital lab work - Researchers regularly need to measure the levels of specific biological factors in tissue or blood samples. One assay kit, to measure the level of a specific factor in a series of samples costs at least £50.

To donate visit the Keytek™ Just Giving page... www.justgiving.com/Keytek-bike-ride/ and click ‘Donate’! Alternatively text ‘KEYB70’ and your donation amount to 70070

Friday, 8 August 2014

Locked out? Don’t call your emergency services, call a local locksmith!

Locked out of your home? Who would you call your local fire brigade or your local locksmith?

 

These call outs are estimated to cost taxpayers more than 5 million.

During 2009 – 2011 the brigade were called to the following incidents:

  • 2,287 incidents where people were locked in

  • 1,613 incidents where people were locked out

  • 1,409 incidents involving babies or children being locked in cars or homes

  • 276 adults and 176 children locked in toilets

  • 12 people locked in cemeteries

  • 14 people locked in cupboards

  • a woman stuck in a fridge and a man shut in a freezer

  • a person locked in the luggage area of a coach

  • a person locked in a crematorium with a child

  • a person stuck in a recycling bin

Fire brigades and other emergency services across the UK are looking to reduce these types of callouts; the majority of emergency services have advised an emergency locksmith should be called to these types of incidents unless someone’s life is at risk.

So if you find yourself locked out of your home or locked in please remember to call your local locksmith rather than the emergency services!

We highly recommend saving the number of your local locksmith into your mobile phone in preparation should the worse happen.  Find your nearest locksmith’s number by visiting www.keytek.co.uk and entering your town or postcode in the search bar and click find. 

 Usually a local locksmith will be able to get to a property in response to an emergency situation such as being locked out within an hour. The majority of locksmiths will also put you at ease by offering to give a courtesy ten minute warning call.   

  • It is advisable to ask the following questions when calling a locksmith:

  • Does the locksmith carry any form of ID?

  • Are they DBS checked (formally CRB)?

  • Have they been assessed and accredited by industry experts?

  • Does the locksmith have any form of accreditation?  

  • Do any parts that are replaced come with a guarantee?