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Tag Archives: home security

Simple Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Home Security This Spring

home security

Home security should be a priority all year long.

However, spring is a particularly good time to start thinking about new projects meant to increase safety and give you additional peace of mind. In this article, you will find a few useful tips and ideas to inspire your efforts, so keep on reading.

Reinforce Windows and Doors

The exterior of the home tends to be somehow neglected during the colder season. When the snow melts and the weather starts to clear off, it’s essential to do a quick check-up of your exterior doors and windows and see if there is any damage, such as broken glass or wood decay.

Your doors and windows represent the first line of defence against a potential burglary, so any type of damages should be fixed. Don’t forget to check if the locks are in tip-top condition, as well. Our recommendation is to resort to a professional for this.

home security

Also, you can further bolster the main access points in your home by having the following installed:

  • Depending on your property and design choice, consider adding security grills or window bars. Security grills are an excellent solution to protect the glass in your doors, making it far more difficult for an intruder to break it. On the other hand, window bars are highly visual security measures which convey an impression of strong security meant to discourage burglars from targeting a property.
  • Deadbolts and bars – which can be used to increase the security of your household doors, gates, as well as shed and patio doors.
  • Window locks and handles.

Our trained locksmiths can help with the installation process, so all you have to worry about this spring is enjoying the rising temperatures and spending quality time with your loved ones.

Improve Home Security with Strategic Landscaping

When we think about spring, we think about nature coming alive, flowers blooming and everything turning green again. However, what many homeowners don’t think about is what potential nature has as an additional layer of security.

Here are a few tips to maximise your landscaping’s security capacity:

  • Plant thorny plants, such as a rose bush, in front of your home’s windows. It will make it more challenging for potential burglars to gain entry via this access point.
  • Use rigid plants for the front of your house to discourage any burglars from creeping into the perimeter of your property. Plants which are covered in prickles and spikes – such as firethorns are great for this purpose. 
  • Take advantage of the longer hours of sunlight and do a spring cleaning of your garden. See if there are any overgrown plants or tall hedges which make it hard to see out the windows. Also, consider trimming the trees which have branches burglars may climb to gain access to your home through the roof.

home security

Do a Spring Home Security Sweep

As you start preparing your house for the changing weather, make sure not to leave out those apparently trifling details which have to do with your home security. For instance:

  • If you have a security camera already installed, double check to see if the view isn’t blocked and that the sensors won’t be randomly triggered.
  • Check the batteries in all of your devices to assure they work.
  • Make sure all home security-related electronics are plugged in properly.
  • Replace any cords which look damaged.

We hope you found these tips to be useful and that you will consider applying some of them this spring to better protect your family and your belongings.

If you like to be the first to know whenever we post a new article about home security, then make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

3 Locksmiths Who Shaped The History of Locks

home security

Taking the first documented lock into consideration, we can say the history of locks began 2.700 years ago in Ancient Egypt.

Since then – although not consistently – ingenious locksmiths have been adding improvement after improvement until they got to the locks we’re familiar with today.

That said, we’d like to present three of the locksmiths to whom we owe a great part of the current level of home security.

1. Linus Yale

Bearing the best-known name in the locking industry, Yale began as a locksmith due to his father who specialized in producing high-security bank locks.

Taking his father’s legacy further, Linus Yale patented a pin tumbler cylinder lock. Then he went on to perfect the combination lock (a lock typically used to secure safes).

His most important contribution to the history of locks is the Yale cylinder lock (patented in 1865).

The model worked on a simple principle – ‘an inner cylinder that turns on an axis inside an outer cylinder’ – which made it easier to manufacture. Plus, it required a small key that was a lot more convenient to carry than its predecessors.

The many breakthroughs Yale has effected were joined by yet another success: the founding of Yale&Towne Company in 1868, which soon expanded worldwide.

2. Harry Soref

In the history of locks, a lot of defining moments had to do with crafting locks that were reliable, easy to replicate, and accessible to a wider range of homeowners.

Harry Soref is one of the locksmiths who made this possible with his laminated padlock.

Having worked as a locksmith for a while, he noticed that the average lock models were prone to easily being damaged. So he came up with the idea of laminating the layers of steel (a technique used for securing bank vaults) instead of using stamped metal shells, thus ensuring much more strength to the padlock.

And once he founded the Master Lock company in 1921, he even started manufacturing these locks himself.

This marked a significant development, as locks began to be more resistant and thus reliable for widespread use.

history of locks

3. Harry Houdini

He may have been a brilliant magician, but Harry Houdini is included in this list (and in the history of locks) because he was also a magician of locksmithing. And lockpicking, especially.

Born in 1874 under the name of Ehrich Weisz, the Hungarian-native emigrated to America, settling in New York in 1882.

Since the age of 11, he worked as an apprentice to a local locksmith (where he soon managed to be a master in this craft), then moved on to performing as a circus trapeze artist and in vaudeville acts. Soon after, Harry started to gain a reputation as a daredevil magician. His exhibitions implied heart-stirring acts of extrication from:

  • ropes,
  • handcuffs,
  • shackles,
  • confined spaces,
  • locked containers.

One of his secrets was an uncanny skill of manoeuvring locks and lockpicking any system. The unusual agility he possessed was partly explained by an early age apprenticeship at a local locksmith.

The relentless illusionist and escapologist drove progress in the history of locks once locksmiths started to design the so-called ‘unpickable locks’ that were supposed to end Houdini’s agility.

One of the challengers was Nathaniel Hart, the Birmingham lock virtuoso who spent five years crafting an unbreakable lock.

Like Hart, there were other locksmiths who, wanting to defeat Houdini, pushed their craft further and tried to design safer locks. These efforts which were triggered by Houdini have led us to consider him a pivotal figure in shaping the history of locking systems.

history of locks

History of Locks – The Story Carries on

At the moment, keyless access into our homes seems to be the major trend to be widely adopted by regular homeowners.

While locks are indeed morphing into app-controlled devices, the classic lock is not likely to go anywhere.

We’re a passionate team of locksmiths, and apart from providing proficient locksmith services, we also like to share facts and stories about our profession. So make sure you follow us on our Twitter or Facebook account to get these stories in your feed.

4 Home Security Best Practices for Starting the New Year Right

home security

Save money, spend more time with loved ones, get a promotion at work; these are all goals many people set out for themselves every time a new year comes around. But as homeowners, it’s essential to not only set goals for yourself, but for your home, as well.

With safety being of great importance, why not strive to make your home more secure this year?

In the spirit of new beginnings, here are four home security best practices to consider employing in 2018 for a better-protected house.

home security

1. Upgrade Your Locks

One of the most vulnerable points of entry is that of exterior doors, with burglars gaining entry through a door around 70% of the time.

So it only makes sense to ensure that your locks, a potential point of weakness in your door security system, are as difficult to compromise as possible.

Euro Cylinders, which are usually found in uPVC doors and are operated by a key, tend to be among the most vulnerable types of locks out there because they are more exposed to lock-snapping.

Deadbolt locks are generally considered to be a good fit for residential doors, but these too are operated exclusively by inserting the right key into the mechanism. This could be a drawback in an emergency type of situation in which the key goes missing.

Regardless of the type of lock you choose, our advice is to avoid cheap materials and use British Standard Approved locks. Also, it’s best to invest in reliable, trustworthy brands.

Not sure what types of locks you have? In this case, you can use this visual guide to help you accurately identify the current type of lock fitted on your door.

home security

And in case your locks are in need of an upgrade, make sure to contact us right away. Our locksmiths can successfully install or replace a wide array of locks including:

2. Improve Garage Security

The garage is often an overlooked area of the house. However, its security should be a priority – especially if the garage allows access to other parts of your home.

That’s because once a burglar breaks into your garage, they can go inside your home without drawing too much attention. What’s more, the garage may hold tools which a thief can use to gain access.

Here are a few useful tips which should help you prevent garage break-ins:

  • Have a garage door sensor installed which allows you to be remotely notified whenever your garage door gets opened.
  • Install motion activated lights to draw attention to activity taking place near your garage door.

3. Invest in Smart Home Security

If you’ve been pondering the thought of adding smart technology as a high-tech home security barrier, then maybe this is the year when you finally do it.

We recommend starting out with a basic: a keyless smart lock from a trusted brand which can be operated with the tap of a button.

Among the benefits of adding this smart security feature to your door is the fact you have multiple options for locking and unlocking your door:

  • through a dedicated Yale Security app
  • through a dedicated key fob
  • by typing in a unique code.

This allows you to secure your home without the need to carry keys. Also, you can grant remote access, as well as monitor who’s coming and going.

To learn more about the benefits and find the best smart lock to fit your door, check out this resource. 

4. Get Better Acquainted with Your Neighbours

Not all home security solutions need to be in the form of a device to be effective.

Something as simple as forming a good relationship with your neighbours can help you gain peace of mind and feel more confident about the safety of your home – especially when you are away on holiday.

home security

It’s important to have people in the community whom you can trust to pick up your mail, check up on your house and make sure the landscaping doesn’t make it seem like your home has been abandoned.

In Closing

Improving the security of your home is definitely an investment, but it pays off to know your family and your belongings are better safeguarded against theft.

For more useful articles related to home safety, make sure to stay up-to-date with the articles in our blog section. You can also follow us on Twitter to find out whenever we post a new article.

October Wrap-up: The National Home Security Month Takeaways

home security

In the UK, the whole month of October is dedicated to home security.

Of course, the preoccupation for this topic is a constant one, but during this month, industry-related entities are trying to raise more awareness about it.

The Yale-sponsored initiative strives to address home security issues and has a dedicated blogging section where security tips are posted weekly. Other sites are trying to emulate this and share the same kind of awareness-raising content.

These efforts are necessary since it is reported that a quarter of Brits have no security measures in place.

Down below, you’re going to read about the main takeaways shared during October and hopefully, they’ll inspire you to take specific action on shielding your household from intruders.

Keep It Simple – and Safe

With all the noise around smart home tech, it’s sometimes easy to neglect security measures which have been around for quite a while. 

So if you have your eyes on some smart home security gadgets, make sure you also include traditional measures like:

  • double shielding entry doors with a night latch or mortice lock
  • upgrading the cylinder in case you have a PVCu or composite external door, as older cylinders are more exposed to lock-snapping
  • securing all windows with key-operated locks.

home security

Curated Smart Security Suggestions List

The National Home Security Month couldn’t have passed without British specialists picking a few smart security devices. This list of helpful devices will help you get an idea of what items you should invest in:

  • smart locks – keyless locks which let you control your door lock through an PIN-activated app on your phone. This way, you can access the lock remotely and even allow trusted persons to enter your home once you send them a one-time access code.
  • smart alarms – they allow you to rest assured you’ll be instantly notified in case any suspicious activity is recorded.
  • CCTV system – ensures remote viewing (i.e. watching over your home, while anywhere in the world) and lets you record activity outside your house to serve as evidence in case of a break-in.
  • automatic light switchers – even when you’re out on holiday, you get to set the way lights switch, thus letting the impression the house is actually inhabited.
  • digital door viewer – allows you to see who knocks at your door, thus reducing the possibility of your being a victim of burglars’ distraction tactics.

Clocks Go Back, Your Home Stays Safe

Normally, one wouldn’t think autumn daylight saving time could bring potential home security liabilities.

But burglars sure take advantage of extended night-time.

That said, here are a few aspects to pay attention to once daylight time starts decreasing:

  • It’s best if you don’t keep garden furniture and tools outside.
  • Having external lightning in place is a solid burglar deterrent.
  • Secure any gates or fencing.

home security

Halloween Season Home Security Tips

During Halloween time, lots of people roam around, so the likelihood you open the door to strangers increases.

The first thing you can do to prevent this from happening is having a ‘Do not disturb’ sign posted at your door. This way, you avoid opening the door too often and exposing the interior of your home.

Plus, avoid sharing your location on social media when going out during Halloween– you never know who could use this information to take advantage.

New Year’s Eve Resolution: Home Security

With all the above tips in mind, how about you assess them and consider a new home security strategy as a New Year’s resolution?

At Lockrite, we’re always here to support you with this decision and provide a suite of locksmith services that meet the highest British standard.

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