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Keep It Protected! – NHSM Week 3

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Think about what means most to you.  Perhaps your laptop holds precious pictures of family, or you have items of jewellery that have been passed down through generations. These items undoubtedly have much more than just monetary value to you, so it’s important to keep them protected at all times, along with other items of high value in your home.

Secure what’s important to you…
Computers, cash, electrical goods and jewellery are among the most commonly stolen items in domestic burglaries. To protect these valuable items, make sure that they are never left in view, and make sure that any windows, doors or cat flaps (if you have one) are locked at all times when not in use. 

Another good idea is to keep valuables (like car keys!) away from the front door, where burglars can use crafty techniques such as ‘fishing’ to retrieve them through your letter box. And, for additional peace of mind, store valuable items and important/confidential documents in a home safe that is securely bolted to the floor or wall; this will also help to protect you from Identity Theft.

Burglar Alarms
If you haven’t already  got one, you should give serious consideration to having a
home alarm system installed. This would mean that if there is a break in, you can be notified straight away, and the police can be dispatched if necessary. Intruder Alarms also act as a great visual deterrent, with 63% of burglars saying that they would avoid targeting an alarmed home all together. 

If you’ve already got an alarm system in your home, remember to check it regularly and keep it properly maintained to ensure that you’re still getting the most from it. Remember that the average life span of an alarm system is around 10-15 years, so if yours is this age or older, it may be time to consider an upgrade!

 Social Media

Facebook Status about going on holidayModern day burglars are turning increasingly to social media channels such as Facebook & Twitter in order to determine who and when to burglarise.  They use it to figure out your schedule and whereabouts, and even to eye up your possessions from a safe location.


An advanced search on a social media platform can be used to target people that are likely to be away from home…

A criminal can search for people ‘checking in’ at the local airport, and check the feed periodically to look for new victims. For this reason, you should be very careful about what you post if you are ‘checking in’ somewhere that might lead someone to believe that you are going away from home. Never post pictures of your new gadgets or gizmos, and make sure that you don’t ever share your personal information. 

Click here for more information about how burglars are using Social Media

If you’d like more advice on keeping your home and valuables secure, or if you require the help of a Security Expert, contact our team today! Call us on 0191 270 0808, or email us at info@tynesidesecurity.co.uk – we’d love to hear from you!

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Lock It Up! – NHSM Week 2

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It’s week 2 of National Home Security Month! This week, we’re discussing how to secure the entry points to your home.

Making sure that the entry points are properly protected is an essential foundation for any secure property. Unfortunately, savvy criminals have a number of techniques up their sleeve for getting into your home uninvited, including lock snapping, ‘fishing’, tracking victims and much more. Gladly though, there are a few things that you can do to help beat the burglar this winter. Ranging from simplistic and cheap to professional, higher impact solutions, we’ve got plenty of tips and advice to help you secure your home.

Doors 

As obvious as this may sound, your first port of call is to make sure that you always lock your door when you go out, no matter how quick you’ll be. Remember, 36% of all burglaries are crimes of opportunity, with burglars letting themselves in through unlocked doors or windows.  And, with 59% of burglaries occurring when the victim is at home, it’s a good idea to lock them when you’re in the house too!

 The next thing to check is the quality of your doors & locks. If your door is hollow, it would definitely be a good idea to replace it with a solid door, which will give added resilience against forced entry. Extra security can be added if door is more than 44mm thick, as this will allow for a mortice lock to be installed.

Mortice locks are a good security feature because the mechanism of the lock is actually embedded into the door and frame, as opposed to a cylinder lock which is not flush to the surface, making it vulnerable to lock snapping. If replacing your door is not viable though, replacing the lock is likely to be your next best option. If you must opt for a cylinder lock, make sure that meets standard, TS007. Look for a 3 star solution, so either a TS007 Kitemarked 3 star cylinder, or a TS007 Kitemarked 1 star cylinder combined with TS007 Kitemarked 2 star armored handle/lock surround, to help protect from lock snapping.

3* Cylinder Lock Solution meeting BSI TS007:2012

Windows
Windows are a vulnerable entry point to your home for obvious reasons. As well as ensuring that they have the best possible lock fitted to them, putting a protective, clear film over windows will make them more difficult to smash, meaning that any potential criminal would have to spend longer breaking into your property. The amount of time needed to break into a home is a big factor for a burglar when deciding who to target, because not only does it increase their chances of being caught, but it shows that you are security conscious and likely to have taken other protective measures.

Another great idea to improve window security is to have ‘shock detectors’ fitted to windows as part of your Intruder Alarm system, causing an alarm to go off if if someone is trying to smash or bump the window open.

If you’d like more advice to secure your home, or if you require the help of one of our Security Experts, contact our team today! Either call us on 0191 270 0808 or email us at info@tynesidesecurity.co.uk – we look forward to hearing from you!

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Week 1 – National Home Security Month is Back!

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National Home Security Month October 2015 LogoThat’s right, it’s been an entire year since National Home Security Month! We’re back once more to give you lots of tips and advice to help you secure your home in time for winter.

If you’re not familiar with it, National Home Security Month (NHSM) is a nationwide initiative to raise awareness about the importance of keeping your home safe and secure. With statistics showing a 20% increase in burglary during winter months, the aim of the campaign is to help people to improve their home security in time for the darker nights approaching.

Each week of NHSM has a different security focus, so that you’re sure to receive current and professional advice over a multitude of topics. This year’s schedule is as follows:

Week 1: NHSM is back! – introduction to NHSM [w/c 28th September]

Week 2: Lock it up – securing the entry points to your home, helpful information and easy things that you can do to increase the security of entry points. [w/c 5th October]

Week 3: Keep it Protected – how to protect your precious items such as jewellery, electronics & important documents. [w/c 12th October]

Week 4: The Great Outdoors – security information for sheds, outbuildings & gardens. [w/c 19th October]

Week 5: Smart Home Security – Information on some of the many gadgets available to help keep your home safe and secure. [w/c 26th October]

Keep up to date with the latest tips & advice on our blog and social media channels!

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Security Tips for Students

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Student leaving the house If you’re starting college or university this year, firstly, good for you! Further education is a great opportunity to broaden your horizons and meet new people, whilst gaining skills and knowledge that could be crucial to your career later in life.
However, with moving out, freshers week, and lots of new places and faces, it’s not surprising that security can often take a back seat when it comes to beginning your studies.

Unfortunately though, students are considered to be a high risk group, with 1 in 5 students falling victim to crime during their time at college or uni*, which is slightly less shocking when you consider that:

  • students on average are likely have more valuables per head than other groups (ie. laptops, tablets, smart phones, games consoles, jewellery).
  • It’s not uncommon for students to take a very lax attitude towards locking doors, keeping keys safe etc.
  • Forming lots of new friendships, students are likely to be more welcoming and more trusting of new people, allowing them into their home or to use their things. 

Fear not though! There are a few simple rules that you can follow to reduce your likelihood of being targeted, both during your time as a student and long after you graduate! 

Moving Day
 On the day of the move it can be extremely tempting to leave your door unlocked when coming and going, especially if you’re running up and down the stairs more than a few times. Don’t bow to it! It’s possible that someone may have seen you carrying things into your new home, and if they see something that they like, and they see an opportunity to take it, a burglar wouldn’t hesitate to do so. Be sure to lock up all doors and windows every time you leave the house, no matter how long you’re going to be.

It’s also likely that you’ll have bought some new bits and bobs to take with you to your new home (you may have invested in a new TV or laptop for example). When it comes to disposing of the packaging, it’s best not to leave the box on display outside of your house, as this essentially advertises the contents of your home to passers-by, like a burglary menu! Instead, make sure that boxes are taped with the pictures facing inside to avoid attracting any attention.

Laptop bag with valuablesCaring for Valuables 
Valuables such as jewellery, watches & tech devices are a favoured target for thieves because of their high demand and monetary value. But for students, laptops, tablets, smartphones etc hold much more value than just in the monetary sense. Most rely heavily on tech to to complete & store assignments that may be crucial to their course. -All the more reason to take extra care (and always back up your files!).

One of the first things you should consider is property marking, so that if by chance any of your valuables do go missing, you’ll have a better chance of getting them back. You can purchase clear UV sprays or pens to do this which are relatively cheap, and could save you a lot of money in the long run! If that doesn’t sound like your thing, you can log your  possessions immobilise.com, linking details about them to your contact information, so that the police know who to contact if your things are ever handed in.

It’s also a good idea to consider using a lock on your bag or backpack, so that people can’t get into it when you’re not looking. This is particularly helpful if you use public transport or walk through crowded areas on your way to lessons.

Nights Out 
On a night out with friends, it can be easy to get carried away and let your guard down with regard to safety and security. Thankfully though, by setting (and sticking to!) a few simple ground rules, you can reduce the risk of your night being spoiled by something unexpected.

Firstly, always try to stay in a group. If one of your friends has a few too many, make sure that they get home safely and aren’t left on their own. Remember, if you look out for your them, then they’re more likely to look out for you!

When the fun’s over and it comes to heading home, always make sure that you use a reputed, fully licensed taxi company; never accept a lift home from a stranger. If you decide to make your way home on foot, make sure you’re always with a friend and stick to well lit areas and main roads. 

Lastly, if you’re afraid of losing your door key on a night out, please resist the temptation to hide a spare under a doormat or a plant pot! This is the oldest trick in the book and, unfortunately, criminals are definitely wise to it. Instead, consider investing in a lockable keysafe; these are relatively cheap to buy and ensure that your spare key is kept out of the wrong hands. -Just make sure that you can remember the code!

 *[Source] The National Union of Students 

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Job Vacancy! Intruder, Fire & CCTV Engineer in Newcastle & Surrounding Areas

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Intruder, Fire, CCTV Engineer

Job description

Tyneside Security are looking for an experienced engineer who has a good all-round knowledge in security and fire systems.

Requirements

Candidates need a good all-round knowledge of Security and Fire systems, are able to work on their own initiative and as part of a team when needed. The Ideal candidate will:

  • Have a good basic education and ideally a relevant qualification in the electrical industry
  • Be able to communicate effectively with both customers and colleagues.
  • Be able to plan and work methodically to a high standard.
  • Be prepared to be flexible and work indoors and outdoors on a range of sites.
  • Be prepared to use step ladders and other access equipment.
  • Be computer literate
  • Have experience of working in a service environment and working on out of hours call out rota arrangements would be an advantage.
  • Have a clean UK driving license
  • Have all good all-round knowledge of all Fire and Security systems including Access Control, Intruder, Fire Alarms, Door Entry and CCTV.
  • Experience of IP CCTV systems and networks would be highly desirable.
  • Past experience of working within an NSI or SSAIB approved company desirable.

Maintenance of Systems

  • Visit customer premises and conduct and record functional tests on their systems.
  • Repair and replace system components as necessary
  • Maintain tools, calibrated test equipment and plant
  • Maintain van stock of spares and consumables
  • Attend Customers premises in response to system failures and malfunctions
  • Participate in out of hours call out arrangements
  • Check systems to locate faults
  • Identify and rectify faults, repair and replace system components as necessary.
  • Leave systems functioning to Customers satisfaction
  • Return faulty equipment

Customer Service

  • Delivering excellent Customer Service at all times
  • Presenting a professional image through high standards of personal appearance including upkeep of work wear and Company vehicle.
  • Communicating with Customers to ensure their security systems and service contracts arrangements are meeting their requirements.
  • Ensuring Customer documentation is current and in good condition
  • Training customers on the correct use of their system
  • Identifying opportunities to sell extra works and system enhancements
  • Maintaining a clean and tidy working environment

Remuneration

Starting salary negotiable

  • Overtime paid after basic hours work and on-call
  • Travel expenses paid
  • Car/Van, Uniform and mobile
    .
    Apply
    If you’d like to be considered for this vacancy, contact us today! Email your CV and any additional information to info@tynesidesecurity.co.uk, or call us on 0191 270 0808 
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Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector Standard Changes

Imminent changes to the Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm Standards will hopefully save hundreds of lives and thousands of pounds worth of damage each year, by ensuring that all rental properties are properly equipped with detection devices. This is huge progress for the fire and CO safety sector, who will be very pleased to see a reduction in the following statistics: 

  • In 2013 – 14, Great Britain’s Fire and Rescue Services attended around 212 500 fires.
  • Over 2/3 of fire related deaths occurred in accidental dwelling fires. 
  • Dwellings with no smoke alarm accounted for 38% of deaths in domestic fires in Britain.
  • nearly 1/5 of deaths occurred when the fire alarm did not work.
  • 11% of all fires occurred between 12am – 5am, responsible for 1/5 of all fire related deaths in Great Britain.

What’s Changed?

Published on 11th March 2015, the proposed new regulations will mean that it will become  a legal requirement for landlords to provide adequate smoke and carbon monoxide detection in all of their rental homes, regardless of the age of the property. Smoke detection is required on all floors of the property which have a room that is considered to be ‘living accommodation’, which includes bathrooms, hallways and landings. CO detection will be required in any room that houses a solid fuel combustion device, such as a coal fire or gas boiler. The new legislation also states that on the first day of a new tennancy, all of these detectors must be checked by or on behalf of the landlord to ensure that they are in good working order. 
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Failure to adhere to these regulations is punishable by a fine of up to £5000.  
Because second best will never be good enough.If you require further information, or if you would like the advice of one of our Fire  & Security Experts, contact our team today! You can call us on 0191 270 0808, or email us at info@tynesidesecuity.co.uk. We’d love to hear from you!
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