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Avoiding Locksmith Scams in Your Area

When it comes to protecting your home, you need to know that any work carried out by locksmiths is genuine and to a high standard.

The locksmith industry is not without its share of scammers though, looking to make quick cash, or even worse, target your home for potential burglaries. If you experience issues with home security, such as getting locked out of your property or are the target of unwanted guests, ensuring you have a professional locksmith to secure your home is vital for peace of mind.

But how can you tell the professionals from the cowboys? Read on for advice on how to spot potential locksmith scams:

Beware of paid adverts from companies with no credentials

Many reputable locksmith companies use paid adverts to advertise their services and many have a prominent ranking in organic searches which helps to back up their credibility. When searching the web for local locksmiths, be sure to consider whether a company solely relies on paid advertising to gain customers, as this is where potential scammers may hide out. If a company appears at the top of Google when you search for ‘locksmiths near me,’ it doesn’t mean they are always the best for the job. Check other credentials such as organic results and reviews.

The location of ‘local locksmiths’

Locksmiths serve people all over the country. However, unless they are a national organisation, be wary of any companies advertising to your area that don’t live in the region or close enough for a short commute. Check the website for details such as contact information. If it’s vague and they don’t have a landline, be sure to question further. Our locksmiths serve areas across the UK, and our team are local professionals who love the area they live in.

Check out locksmith reviews

Customer reviews say a lot about a company, and they will give you an idea of the type of service you’ll receive. There are several ways to check out reviews and not just the ones that appear on their website. First, look for external feedback sites such as Google Reviews and TrustPilot. For example, at LockRite, we have 1000s of 5* reviews and offer a guarantee for our work, so you have peace of mind when you use our service.

Cheaper isn’t always better

While at LockRite, we keep costs as low as possible; it’s always best to be wary of locksmiths that quote unusually low prices to win the work. Instead, you should receive a comprehensive quote with details on the work, how much it’ll cost and how long it will take. Professional locksmiths will guide you through the project and are happy for you to ask any questions. A guarantee also backs our services, so you have peace of mind the work is carried out to a high standard. How much does a locksmith cost? Take a look at our locksmith prices article to get an idea of the average locksmith prices.

Avoid cash-only jobs

While it’s not unusual for locksmiths to take cash for jobs due to lack of card facilities, if there’s no receipt for the work, start asking questions. More and more tradespeople can accept card payments now. However, if you do pay cash, be sure to get a receipt. Without a receipt, you have no proof of who carried out the work and no comeback if something goes wrong. The receipt should also include the company name, business address, contact details, and a breakdown of costs. If any locksmith is hesitant to provide this, alarm bells should be ringing.

Check for a Google My Business listing

While many companies have websites and appear legitimate, it’s not always the case. Unfortunately, the locksmith industry doesn’t have official regulations so companies can advertise services, but that doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing. In haste, many people contact locksmiths like this, especially on emergency jobs. However, they can do more harm than good and end up costing you more in damage.

To help verify credentials, you could check for a Google My Business listing to back up their website and details. Not all reputable locksmiths will have one, but it helps to join the dots on their location, website and contact details. Plus, in some cases, you’ll see customer reviews and pictures of previous work carried out.

You’ll usually find a Google My Business page after the sponsored ads in a search result, so it’s easily identifiable.

Choose LockRite locksmiths

For a trusted and professional service, LockRite is on hand 24 hours a day. Our work is guaranteed, and all our locksmiths are DBS checked to give you peace of mind. What’s more, we offer a no call out fee and aim to get to you in 30 minutes in emergencies. Contact us today on 0800 0612 677 for more information.

Why Halloween Could Be A Dangerous Period For Your Property

Nearing the end of October can mean only one thing: anticipation for Halloween, when all things creepy, ghoulish and ghastly come out onto the streets. Halloween isn’t just a time to break out the fancy dress, though – it’s also a time when things can genuinely go bump in the night. 

Break-ins, forced entries, and burglaries tend to peak over periods when most of the community is busy having fun and are less vigilant when it comes to home security. Here’s what you should look out for in the run-up to Halloween 2021.

Vampiric Tendencies

It’s fair to say that burglars live similar lives to vampires: extracting the lifeblood from people’s homes and usually only going out after dark. But unlike vampires, burglars can be caught on camera. This is excellent news for your Halloween security arrangements, which will be greatly enhanced by setting up a security camera on your property. Consider installing a doorbell camera or a CCTV system. Not only will it deter real-life vampires, but it could help to catch criminals in the act, increasing your chances of finding the culprit and getting justice if you are ever broken into.

Making Merry

Halloween-Ghosts-Fancy-Dress

Halloween is regarded as a time for young people. The very young are out in force, taking over the streets with their fake blood and their costumes. Plus, many adults are busy partying, having swapped the sweet treats for alcohol. All of this means that burglars know there are plenty of people out of their homes and making merry elsewhere, and in all the festive, freaky confusion, it’s easy enough for a robber to sneak into a home while the rest of the community are out scaring the living daylights out of one another. This is why it’s a good idea to invest in a remote home alarm so that you can secure your home when you’re not in it, and receive an instant notification on your device if anything suspicious occurs by your property.

Faulty Towers

House at night in Autumn - Halloween

Your home may not be an old, decrepit gothic mansion, but if there are outstanding faults in your home security, they’re likely to be exploited during periods such as Halloween. While ghosts can move through walls, and witches have the power to shrink to tiny dimensions and drop down your chimney into your home, it’s the windows and doors to your property that you should be most concerned about. If you have any home security concerns preceding Halloween, this is a great time to make some repairs and to invest in sturdy and reliable locks. Again, there’s noise, confusion, and merriment on the streets – a door that can be easily forced may draw attention on the spookiest night of the year. 

Fright Night

Plenty of home break-ins happen when you’re out of your property. However, things can happen when you’re actually inside watching a horror film or tucked up in bed. If you have all of your lights off, burglars might think that you’re away from home, making them more likely to strike.

It’s important for your sense of safety that you have security in place around your home once you head to bed – like a burglar alarm, smart locks, and security cameras that you can link to your phone for complete 360-degree awareness. Another good deterrent is to install exterior lights that flash on when motion is detected. This can seriously put off potential home invaders.

Don’t be a Pumpkin 

Halloween Pumpkins - October Home Security

Pumpkins are strongly associated with Halloween. You’ll carve into them with delight, making a freaky face that you’ll turn to the outside world to scare off would-be trick-or-treaters. But being a pumpkin also means being soft and hallow-headed, which is a comparison that any right-minded homeowner would perhaps rather avoid. Instead, Halloween is a night to pay a little extra care to your security. You needn’t be holed up in your highest tower with your defences at the ready, but just make sure that your windows and doors are locked and secure, and your curtains are drawn, these will contribute to better home security when it matters the most.

Knights in Shining Armour

Finally, if you’re still concerned about your home’s security when there are all kinds of critters and creepers out and about on the streets, it’s worth considering who might be able to save the day in the lead-up to Halloween. Of course, that’s our lock experts, who will not only be able to install the best locks for you and your home, but they’ll be able to recommend where extra locks and security might be best placed to further protect your home. Advice and extra-strong hardware will make your home a fortress this winter, including during the night of a thousand evils that we call Halloween.

UK Burglary Statistics 2021 – Advice for securing your home

Many of us worry about falling victim to a burglary, especially when we’re home alone or going on holiday and leaving our property unattended for a significant amount of time. Thankfully the 2021 burglary statistics released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) indicate that burglaries in England and Wales fell again in the year ending March 2020. However that doesn’t mean that we don’t still have to be vigilant. There are certain useful pieces of information that can be pulled from the data in order to help you better guard against the risk of having your house broken into. So let’s dive right in with some vital statistics!

It’s all about timing

This year’s UK burglary statistics show that, just like the previous ten years, the majority of house break-ins happen during the evening or night. This probably doesn’t surprise you, as operating under the cover of darkness reduces the risk of thieves being spotted by passersby. Having said that, the difference in the number of daylight burglaries and nighttime burglaries might not be as large as you expect, with about 62% happening between the hours of 6pm and 6am. Either way, the lesson here is that it’s helpful to take extra steps to secure your home at night. Some top suggestions include:

  • Installing motion-sensitive security lights on your property to illuminate any intruders and scare them off. No one likes to commit a crime under a spotlight!
  • Having your interior lights on a timer to come on during the evening when you’re not home. The side note to this tip is not to leave them on continuously. This can look strange and make it obvious to potential burglars that no one’s at home – after all, it’s not often that you leave the lights on all night!
  • Keep your curtains closed – that way, no one can see for sure whether you’re in or not, or spot any valuables on display that might act as a temptation to opportunistic thieves.

Burglar Breaking In

Method of entry

The ONS 2021 burglary statistics also showed that entering a home via a door was by far the most common method for burglars – occurring in 76% of cases – followed by windows at 20%. Again this might not be a particularly surprising finding but is useful as an indication as to where you should concentrate your home security efforts. Beyond the obvious advice to always lock your doors (please do this, whether you are at home or not!), the following tips can be helpful:

  • Install locks that meet British Standard requirements, or upgrade to a digital smart lock that can be operated from your phone
  • Don’t hide spare keys under your doormat, plant pots, or other similar places – burglars know all the tricks, and unfortunately, you’re unlikely to fool them. Leaving a key with a friend, family member, or neighbour is your best option
  • Ensure that your exterior doors are strong and sturdy – including the frame. This will make it harder to break them. Composite doors are generally a reliable choice
  • Have CCTV cameras (or dummy ones) installed where people can see them. This is one of the best deterrents you can have – with barking dogs being equally effective but more adorable!
  • Keep your garden clear. Leaving out tools or ladders is only making the job of gaining entry to your home easier for opportunistic thieves

CCTV Installation

Don’t become another statistic

If there’s one thing that the UK burglary statistics can teach us, it’s that we don’t want to be included in them! The good news is that we can take lots of actions to protect our property and our possessions. Thieves tend to be put off by anything that makes a burglary more difficult or risky, so take advantage of this. Here are a few of our top tips:

  • Never post too much information about your schedule, holiday plans and similar details on social media (or any other public forum). This is advertising to burglars that your house is empty and therefore might be easy to steal from
  • Add a cage around your letterbox to prevent thieves from using a small implement to ‘fish’ your keys or similar small items out without even having to enter your home. Similarly, never leave your keys in the lock
  • Install a burglar alarm or a convincing fake, and ensure that people can see from the outside that it’s activated
  • If you have neighbours you get on well with, ask them to pop round when you’re away for long periods of time to prevent the post from piling up – this can signal to burglars that no one is at home and therefore, your property is an easy target

Why It’s a Smart Idea To Get a Yale Sync Smart Home Alarm

Your home is full of valuable possessions, stuff that you’d want to keep away from the wrong hands. That’s why it’s a good idea to do all you can to have the best home security possible. Although home intrusions, break-ins, burglaries, and robberies are rare, they still happen. To ensure that it’s not your home that’s targeted, you need to invest in the best home protection you can get, be that via locks, deterrents like lights, and other measures.

One of the best things you can do is invest in a Smart Home Alarm. These gadgets are some of the best options out there for people wanting to better protect their homes and come with a lot of benefits. Here’s why it’s a clever move to get a Yale Sync Smart Home Alarm.

Yale Sync Alarm - Keypad

Instant Alerts

With most house alarms, when they’re triggered, it’ll set off a physical alarm in an attempt to deter the trespasser and also alert people nearby that something unwanted is happening. When you are in the home and this happens, this loud alarm will be enough to let you know what’s happening and better deal with the situation.

However, if you’re away from home and the property is unattended, then you might not have any knowledge that your home is being broken into. Furthermore, if your home is empty, the people doing the break-in are most likely aware of that, and therefore will be less deterred by an alarm going off.

What makes the Yale Sync Smart Home Alarm so clever is that if an alarm is tripped, it will immediately send you an alert on your mobile device, meaning that you are aware of the incident the second it takes place. This can then allow you to call the police and, hopefully, catch the bandit in the act.

Yale Sync Alarm App

Mobile Control

In addition to getting alarms on your phone, the Yale app that accompanies the device also allows the user to control and customise when their alarms are active. They can do so from a separate location to the home. This allows you to ensure that alarms are active when you need them, and it also provides an avenue to lock an entranceway if you forgot to do so manually. You can also set timers if there are regular times where you’d prefer the alarm to be active, and all of this makes the Yale Sync Smart Home Alarm a very convenient piece of home security to have.

Furthermore, these alarms can be made even more convenient when used in conjunction with a home assistant device such as an Alexa or Google Dot. Synching your alarm with these devices allows you to voice command your alarms, meaning that you won’t have to fiddle around with any keypads and instead will be able to control your alarms for anywhere in the home.

Yale Sync Alarm - Compatible with Alexa

Pet Sensors

One of the worst things about home security alarms is that pets can be really awkward with them, as they can either set off alarms accidentally, and they might not be able to get access into and out of the home freely. The Yale Sync comes with options where you can get pet sensors to deal with this problem. With a range of 200m, this wireless sensor will only activate the alarm if it detects movement from things that are larger than 25kg and above. This means that your furry friend, be that a dog or a cat, can move around your property freely without risking them tripping an alarm.

Yale Sync Alarm Sensor

It’s Compatible With A Lot

When investing in a Yale Sync Smart Home Alarm, you will be getting complete coverage of your home. However, the device and network of additional items are expandable, meaning that you can add various other home security technology to your arsenal to ensure that your home is even safer. This will allow you to ensure that you have all the most advanced and up-to-date home security technology. One of the best devices to integrate with your Yale Sync Home Alarm is a doorbell camera. This will allow you to see who is ringing your doorbell and give you a live feed of activity around your home.

Due to all these features, the Yale Sync Smart home alarm is a genius security system to invest in and is highly recommended. To make sure your alarm works as well as it can, be sure to also get some brilliant locks from us too. Call us now on 0800 0612 677 or visit lockrite.org to find a locksmith near you.