advice

Who cares? We're insured

Don't wait until it happens, before you buy an alarm

It's not just people going on holiday who should protect their apartment or house against burglars. Well-secured doors and windows are a first step in reducing overall risk. Householders' insurance only covers material loss and damage to property.

A few minutes are enough to force entry

"It was dreadful. We came back from holiday in a really good mood. We'd had a relaxing time, and were only a little tired from the long car journey. At home it was absolute chaos. Burglars had forced open the terrace doors, they'd turned the whole house upside down, and taken everything that had any value at all. And to cap it all we weren't insured. We hadn't felt it was necessary."

A massive shock: That's almost always the first reaction to a burglary. The encroachment on an individual's private sphere, the sense that your security has been lost, or even severe psychological consequences often create more trouble than the damage to property itself. Research has shown that many victims of burglary continue to suffer long after the event. They no longer feel at ease in their own home, or experience insomnia or nightmares.

No one is really safe. "I haven't got anything worth taking" is often a mistake that claimants only recognise when it's too late. Burglars can't tell how much or how little there is to steal from the outside. If their loot is rather meagre they may let rip and start wrecking a home, so that they end up destroying all the furniture and fittings. And that's all you need after a burglary!

Secure your home when you are away

Around nine out of ten burglaries occur when the occupants are out. Holidays are particularly dangerous times. It's definitely worth getting neighbours, friends, or relatives to keep an eye on your house or apartment. And that's not just for watering the flowers and feeding your pets. They also need to collect the post regularly, and open and close the curtains.

Many burglars opt for the classic mode of entry through the front door. They generally lever open the door.

Other burglars break in through windows, or through doors on a terrace or balcony. Windows and doors to balconies and terraces that can be reached easily from the outside shouldn't be left in a tilt position when you go out. This simply gives burglars an easy entry, and may put your insurance cover at risk. But even locked windows and terrace doors can be opened. Only additional key-lockable locks offer maximum security.

Recommended: Householders' insurance

One of the benefits of a householders' insurance is that it covers the value of stolen property or items that have been destroyed as a result of a burglary. However, this reimbursement cannot replace items with particular sentimental value, nor can it guard against psychological shock. Taking adequate precautions to prevent burglary under all circumstances is the only way of preventing losses of this nature.

Emotional responses to Burglary

People react in different ways to burglary - some experience burglary as an irritating inconvenience, while others feel frightened or angry. These reactions are normal and usually temporary. Talking to a sympathetic listener can help.

Children may have strong feelings about a burglary. Encourage them to talk to you about how they feel and let them know that you understand.

What to do if you have been burgled:·

  • Make a list of all stolen items and any damage to your home. You will need this information for the police and for any insurance claim.
  • If credit cards or cheque books stolen, inform your bank and/or credit card company immediately.
  • If you have a home contents insurance policy, inform the insurance company and ask for a claim form.
  • You may need emergency repairs. If you are a tenant you landlord, the council or housing association should arrange for any necessary repairs. If you own your own home you will have to arrange this yourself. The cost should be covered by your building insurance policy.· If any official documents such as savings, pension, rent and benefit books have been stolen, inform the issuing authority as soon as possible.

Being targeted by criminals can be very frustrating. Shock, anger, fear, guilt and worry are all common experiences following crime.

People are often surprised at how deeply being a victim of crime affects them and unexpected symptoms can be experienced.

Particular kinds of crime often have specific practical and emotional consequences for victims.

Common Symptoms Experienced Following Burglary

If you have been burgled you may experience some, if not all, of the following symptoms. These are common reactions

You may experience:

A sense of guilt, which may be accompanied by crying (this will seem strange and friends may not understand, but it is normal)

Decrease in concentration (this is often experienced at work, and sometimes makes it impossible to return to work)

Loss of short-term memory (you may find it difficult to follow a conversation, or even remember a question you have just been asked)

Decrease in general self-confidence (you may feel you are unable to go out, or manage your usual daily routine)

Inappropriate sense of fear (the fear can be enormous and you can feel ill from it)

Insomnia (the inability to sleep)

Nightmares

Eating habits change (you may find that you are unable to eat as previously)

Panic attacks (for no reason you may suddenly find yourself terrified, and your heart pounding)

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, remember that your reaction is quite normal and try not to worry.

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Don't be Dim

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Is your home safe?

Burglaries - Is your home safe?

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Burglaries happen on an everyday basis and probably more regularly than some of us can imagine. Some people will never experience a burglary in their life, some people will experience it more than once. My home has been burgled twice in the past, after that I researched a lot about this criminal offence and I made sure I took the right steps to prevent another burglary. I will share with you what houses are at risk of burglaries, at what times burglaries mostly occur, and also we will look at some safety measures you can do to prevent your house from burglars.

There could be many reasons why a burglar would target your house. But there are some factors which make some houses more vulnerable to burglary. So what houses are at risk?

- Houses near criminal offenders (i.e. drug addicts) or houses located in a high crime area

- Houses previously burgled - these houses are up to four times more likely to be burgled than non-burgled houses. The suggested reasons are : easy access or revisiting the house for replaced property.

- Houses near burgled houses - sometimes burglars return to previously burgled houses, and if that house has improved its security measures, they may choose another house nearby.

- Houses on dead ends or cul-de-sacs - these houses are attractive to burglars, as there is significantly less traffic in these areas and also the burglar is less likely to be noticed by neighbours.

- Houses on corners - these houses have less immediate neighbours, and the burglars can assess the occupancy of these houses easier.

- Houses next to alleys - alleys offer burglars escape and limited visibility to neighbours.

- Houses empty for long periods - for example holiday houses

- Houses with cover such as fence, walls, trees or evergreens.

- Houses that are isolated from view - this lessens the chance for the burglar being heard or seen

- Houses with poor lighting

- Houses without security measures

- Houses whose residents are careless about security - for example unlocked or open windows or doors.

- Houses with weak entry points - rusty locks, worn window and door frames, or cheap material on newer houses are all attractive to a burglar.

Research shows that burglars most often strike on weekdays from 10 a.m to 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. This makes sense as these are the times when most people are at work, therefore the houses are empty.

Security measures

It is proven that houses without security measures are ten times more likely to be targeted than those with security measures. So what kind of security measures can you use for your home?

- Alarms - alarms are very popular and also very effective. Burglars are very likely to avoid houses with alarms installed.

- Dog - a small dog attracts attention with its barking, and a big dog can pose a physical threat to a burglar. In most cases just a presence of a dog in your home will discourage the burglar to enter.

- Motion detector lights - Burglars do not like to 'work' in bright light.

- Electronic timers - now this is a good idea especially if your house is empty for a longer period. You can set the times when you want your lights or electrical equipment to go on or off to make your house look occupied.

- Deadbolt locks

- Surveillance cameras, CCTV - like with alarms you can get a dummy CCTV if you do not want to pay for the real one. It will be very unlikely that the burglar will try its authenticity.

- Make sure all your windows and doors are locked

- If your house is going to be empty for a longer time, have your neighbour to collect newspapers or leaflets from your driveway . You can also ask your neighbour to park his car in your driveway occasionally.

Nothing is 100% burglar proof, but these tips will definitely lessen the chance of your home being burgled.

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Flats and apartments

Keys

This article has been reproduced from the Metropolitan Police website for the purpose of education

Providing the front door is less than 4.5 metres above ground level the advice given in the Doors section is applicable. However, in those situations where this is not the case, i.e., most typically flats two floors or more above ground level, the level of security is dictated, to a degree, by statutory fire regulations. Their basis is that the Fire Brigade should not be hindered unreasonably in its job of rescuing trapped occupants.

These regulations prohibit the fitting of a locking device on the front/final exit door which, if operated, requires a key release to open it from the inside. This would exclude the use of standard mortice deadlocks if they can be operated from the inside. They specify that exit from the flat is achieved by the operation of a single action release, opening being accomplished by means of a handle or thumb turn.

It is essential that your home feels safe and secure. This section contains advice and tips to help you improve security within your flat or apartment.

Burglars will often target blocks of flats because they can easily gain access to them through a communal entrance, which may have poor access control. Once inside they will often go straight to the top floor flats first, as there is less likelihood of passers by seeing them whilst they break in.

So, if you own or manage a flat which is off a shared landing and not on the ground floor, remember that your front door is your only form of defence against intruders.

Tips

  • Invest in a strong door and door frame with good quality locks.
  • PVCu and aluminium doors generally have multi-locking systems. When you lock the door, remember to remove the key. Always put keys in a safe and easily accessible place in case of fire.
  • Internal letterbox shields also prevent access to the handle inside or keys being fished through the letterbox.
  • Frames should be reinforced with reinforcing metal strips called ‘London’ and ‘Birmingham’ bars.
  • Hinge bolts should be fitted to outward opening doors.
  • Glass panels in doors should be replaced with laminated glass or reinforced with security film or grilles.
  • Door viewers enable residents to see callers before they open the door.
  • Wooden back doors should be solid timber, with a British Standard 5-lever mortice lock and two mortice rack bolts.
  • French, patio and balcony doors should have a minimum of three locking points. Patio doors should be fitted with an anti-lift device to prevent them being lifted from their runners.
  • All ground floor windows and any windows that are easily accessible must have key operated window locks.
  • Audible intruder alarm systems with flashing lights are a good deterrent against burglary.
  • Security lighting increases vision and makes burglars feel vulnerable and at risk of being seen.

Access into communal entrances

When evaluating communal entry security, Fire Regulations must take precedence over all other considerations. If in any doubt, consult your local Fire Officer as well as your local police Crime Prevention Officer.

Doors without Electronic Access Control

Ideally the door should be fitted with a lock which has an automatic deadlocking facility, approximately a third of the way down from the top of the door. Additionally, a mortice deadlock latch should be installed a third of the way up from the bottom of the door and it should be used as often as is practicable. These locks must be suitable for emergency exit purposes, in that they must not require key release from within, opening being achieved by means of a handle or thumb turn. Where there is any conflict between security and fire requirements or legislation, the latter must prevail. In any case of doubt, seek the Fire Officer's approval.

All doors must be fitted with an automatic closing mechanism, both properly adjusted and regularly maintained, to ensure that the door is secured at all times. Doors should never be left wedged open, as this not only negates any security within the building, but may also contravene any Fire Regulations.

Doors with Electronic Access Control

The remote release lock should be of a type that has an electrically operated bolt action with an automatic deadlocking facility, or is a magnetic type lock. It is imperative that the system has a safeguard incorporated, which ensures that the lock can be released in the event of a power failure.

Access Control Systems

It is preferable that at least one of the following security measures applies:

  • The door is secured at all times and visitors are permitted entry via a remote release facility which is linked to an audio-visual or audio only entry-phone.
  • The door is secured at all times and visitors are met personally at the door.
  • The communal entrance is constantly monitored by a receptionist or concierge

 

Link to source website

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Doorstep selling

Website link to the Office of Fair Trading:

The OFT also have their own Video Channel on You Tube with some very interesting topics covered.

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Fireworks safety code

Firework Code
• Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114.
• Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
• Keep fireworks in a closed box.
• Follow the instructions on each firework.
• Light them at arm’s length, using a taper.
• Stand well back.
• Never go near a firework that has been lit.
   Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.
• Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.
• Always supervise children around fireworks.
• Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.
• Never give sparklers to a child under five.
• Keep pets indoors.
• Don’t let off noisy fireworks after 11pm.

www.gov.uk/fireworks

Link to Business innovation skills website

© Crown copyright

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About burglars

Burglars, of course, come in all shapes and sizes. But there are chracteristics that the vast majority of them tend to share:

  • Very, very few burglars are specialists.
  • The majority of burglars steal to fund a drug or drink habit.
  • Only around five per cent of them actually suffer from kleptomania.
  • They rarely steal for themselves.
  • They will sell what they steal within half an hour.
  • They prefer to steal in areas where there is someone to sell to - a 'fence'.
  • The only thing that a burglar is concerned about is the potential value of the item he is stealing.

The five top targets of burglars are:

  1. Portable computing devices
  2. Smart phones
  3. Cash and Jewellery
  4. Bicycles
  5. Home Entertainment Systems

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It's MINE Technology - Simply Smarter Security

Choose a Smarter way to protect your property and your loved ones.

Crime has declined hugely in the past two decades, led by enormous reductions in car crime and burglary. Thefts of cars, for example, fell by 70% between 1995 and 2011.

However there has been a rise in other types of crime, particularly thefts of high value items such as smart phones, iPads, and handbags. Thefts from gardens and garden sheds have also shown a significant increase. In the same period where car theft declined, bike theft rose by 44%.

Car theft declined because technology got too tough to crack, immobilisers and GPS, for example. Now It's Mine Technology is bringing the same approach to protecting your personal possessions.

Combined with the latest findings from behavioural psychology It's Mine Technology is designed to make a thief think twice before looking for another victim.

With It's Mine Technology your personal valuables are truly protected. And with the It's MINE brand, if that special something does go missing, it's as good as found.

It's Mine - Simply Smarter Technology.

  • Cars & Vans
  • Motorbikes
  • Caravans
  • Trailers
  • Bicycles
  • Alzheimer's Sufferers
  • Luggage
  • Handbags
  • Purses
  • Manbags
  • Coats
  • Gloves
  • Hats
  • Scuba Gear
  • Children
  • Antiques
  • Golf Clubs
  • Cameras & Lighting
  • Construction Equipment
  • Equestrian Equipment
  • JetSkis
  • Skiing Gear
  • Guitars
  • String Instruments
  • Home Cinema
  • Hi Fi
  • Farm Machinery
  • Shotguns
  • PA Systems
  • Computers
  • Mobile Phones
  • iPads

http://www.itsminetechnology.com/

Link to Independent Video review by Jonathan Margolis:

http://howtospendit.ft.com/gadgets/11661-protecting-whats-mine-and-yours

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Sheds and Garages

By following some simple steps you may be able to prevent this type of Burglary!

The recent spate of incidents have seen high quality power tools, hand tools, road bicycles and mountain bikes, being stolen from sheds.  Owners are being urged to assess the security of their sheds, garages, and outbuildings.

The Police are urging owners to ensure they are secure and are offering some practical steps that can be taken to stop such burglaries, which include :-

  • Ensuring that the sheds or other buildings are in a good state of repair and that any damaged or rotten sections which could make it easier for a thief to gain access are replaced.
  • Use quality close shackle padlocks which cannot be easily levered or cut.
  • If you have a window in the shed, garage or outbuilding, consider whether you actually need it and if not, consider boarding it over securely. Otherwise, make the window opaque or cover windows to ensure the property inside is not on display.
  • Consider fitting key operated locks to any opening windows or screwing them shut.
  • Consider lining sheds with plywood sheeting to make it more difficult for a thief to get through without proper tools and lots of time
  • Consider fitting an alarm, these are readily available from DIY stores or local locksmiths.
  • Inside the shed, garage, or outbuilding, chain any tools through their handles to large heavy items such as lawn mowers or cultivators. If you have neither of these fill a bucket with concrete and, using a masonry fixing, chain your tools to this.
  • Mark all valuables with your postcode and house number; record serial numbers of all equipment and keep the records safe.
  • Remember we DO have the website to register your items and this will make it easier for us to return any items should we find it. This includes items in your house as well.  www.immoblise.com
  • Ensure sheds, garages and outbuildings, are securely locked and never left unlocked at anytime.

If you have any information with regards to this type of crime or any other types of crime then please contact the Police or Crimestoppers.

You call may result in us catching the perpetrator(s) before any other crimes are committed.

If you require any assistance please contact the NHW office - Contact page

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A parents guide to knives

Keeping your child safe from knife crime

You can play an important role in stopping knife crime becoming a part of your child’s life. Knowing the law, talking to your child about the dangers and looking out for changes in their behaviour can help keep them safe.

Know the law

Before talking to your child about knives, you need to know the facts:

  • it is illegal for anyone to carry a knife if they intend to use it as a weapon – even in self defence
  • police can search anyone they suspect of carrying a knife
  • carrying a knife could mean being arrested, going to court and getting a criminal record, or even a prison sentence

Knives in school

It is a criminal offence to have a knife or other weapon on school premises.

Schools are able to ‘screen’ all pupils for knives at any time, without consent, even if there is no obvious reason for suspicion (screening is when an electronic ‘wand’ or a screening arch is used to find metallic objects). They can also search any pupil for a knife without consent if they have reasonable grounds for suspicion, or call in the police to conduct a search.

If a pupil refuses to be searched or screened, the school can refuse to have the pupil on the premises. If this happens, it is seen as an ‘unauthorised absence’. This can affect you, as all parents have a legal responsibility to make sure their child attends school.

If a knife or other weapon is found on a pupil, the police will be called and it is likely the pupil will be arrested.

  Your responsibility

All parents are responsible for their child’s behaviour. If a child is excluded from school for persistent bad behaviour, or criminal behaviour like carrying a knife, then the parents can be given a Parenting Order by the courts. This is designed to improve the child’s behaviour and make the parents take responsibility for their child’s behaviour.

Talking to your child about knives

The best way to stop your child getting involved with knives is to talk to them about the dangers. This may not be easy, as they may not want to talk about it, but keep trying as this is the first step to keeping your child safe. You should remind them that by carrying a knife they are:

  • giving themselves a false sense of security
  • potentially arming an attacker, increasing the risk of getting stabbed or injured
  • breaking the law

Keep a look out

Sometimes there might be obvious reasons for you to think your child is carrying a knife – like a knife going missing from the kitchen. However there are other more subtle things that you and the parents of your child’s friends can look out for:

  • school’s not going well, or they don’t want to go in to school at all
  • they’ve been a recent victim of theft, bullying or mugging
  • they have a different network of friends who may be older than them

 

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