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IDS Security News
All the latest security news and information, plus insights and updates from IDS Security Systems Ltd.

Security camera on the wall of a house

CCTV cameras are commonly used to monitor commercial premises such as offices and warehouses. They are useful for deterring criminals, and if a break-in does occur, CCTV footage can serve as evidence of the crime and help the police to identify the perpetrator.

These are all great reasons to protect your business with a CCTV system. But is it worth setting up CCTV cameras outside your home, too?

Bernard Hogan-Howe, the former head of the Metropolitan Police, thinks so. In 2015, he advocated putting CCTV "in every home" to help police detectives solve more crimes.

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The Regulatory Reform Order, or RRO, is the UK's legislative document about fire alarms operation and installation. This document is broken down into several sections and subsections can be difficult to digest if you're not a fire safety professional. So, in this blog, we aim to give you a bite-sized version of the UK's fire alarm regulations. 

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Wall covered in CCTV cameras

CCTV cameras are a tried and tested method for protecting business premises. Not only is CCTV an effective way to deter (and capture evidence of) criminal behaviour, modern systems can also be tied to smart systems that will trigger facilities like lights, doors and gates to give you extra peace of mind.

If you're beginning to think about installing CCTV cameras, it's important to know the basics of where to place your cameras in order to make the most of your security system. Placing cameras in the wrong points may render your security system useless, so make sure you have the right number of cameras in the right places!

Where to place your CCTV cameras

Here are our recommendations...

Anywhere past break-ins occurred

Looking at the history of your building will make it easier to identify and monitor potential weak points. If intrusions have occurred in the past, it's important to increase security at the break-in point(s) to make sure lightning doesn't strike twice.

Easy targets

Spots like the front door, back door and ground-floor windows represent very obvious access points for burglars and trespassers. These are key places to consider when installing CCTV cameras, as the majority of break-ins occur in these vulnerable spots. Nearly 75% of thieves come in through the front door, so this is a particularly important spot to monitor.

Places with valuable items

Locations where high-value items are kept (e.g. garages, till points, offices housing large amounts of cash) can be an attractive target for criminals. Placing CCTV cameras in these high-risk areas should help to keep your most valuable assets safe.

Blind spots

Even a small blind spot can present an opportunity for a crafty criminal. Use multiple cameras to cover multiple angles and eliminate blind spots - make sure there's nowhere for would-be thieves to hide!

Communal areas

Hallways, kitchens and communal work areas are ideal places to install CCTV cameras. Remember to ensure that your CCTV cameras aren't monitoring other people's properties or private areas like restrooms.

IDS Security's expert security engineers have been installing CCTV cameras for years - we can carry out a survey of your premises and design a CCTV camera system that's ideal for your requirements.

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For those of you with pets, you may have experienced that awful sinking feeling when you arrive home from the shops and the burglar alarm is going wild! Immediately your mind jumps to conclusions, but upon closer inspection, you realise it was just Dolly jumping up on the sofa to get comfortable that's triggered your alarm.

Of course, if the alarm goes on and on without being silenced, you're upsetting your pet, disturbing your neighbours and potentially wasting police time. All of this can be avoided with a pet-friendly alarm system, so let's take a look at what they are and how they work. 

What is a pet-friendly alarm?

A pet-friendly alarm is not that different from your typical intruder alarm. The main difference is the way the passive infra-red motion sensors are designed and calibrated. This makes your intruder alarm tolerant to small changes in passive infrared heat at floor level. 

How does a pet-friendly alarm work?

A passive infrared motion detector is capable of detecting thermal changes in the environment. When a burglar enters your home they create a disturbance in the empty room's passive infra-red energy, triggering the alarm and letting you know there's been a break-in. This method works fine, in theory, until you throw a permanent resident like a pet into the mix!

When you opt for a pet-friendly alarm, your passive infra-red energy detector is set to ignore movements within a certain height or weight range. For example, if your pet remains on the ground level and weighs less than 35kg then they won't trigger the alarm. 

Of course, if a burglar enters the house, they're usually much taller and larger than your average pup, triggering the alarm and letting you know that you've got an unexpected visitor in your home.

What are the flaws of pet-friendly alarms?

If you have pets that spend most of their time basking in the sunshine or laying in front of the fire while you're out then these types of alarms should work well for you. However, if you have a big dog (weighing 40kg or more) that loves to jump up at the window every time someone walks past the house, then this type of alarm might be quite unreliable. 

What are my options?

If you think that a standard pet-friendly alarm isn't a good fit for your home, then there are plenty of other options for you to consider.  In-house security cameras, for example, can help you keep an eye on the activity in a room to make sure that the alarm hasn't falsely detected your pet.

Smart devices connected to your mobile phone or smartwatch will allow you to quickly review the intrusion and determine whether to disarm and rearm the alarm or not. This can be particularly handy if you have a lively little pet in your home.

Another alternative would be a specialist sensor such as a glass-break detector. This type of detector is able to monitor the sound frequency of the room and will activate an alarm when the sound of glass breaking is detected!

Get in touch with us to discuss your pet-friendly requirements and we will be able to design a bespoke alarm system to suit you and your pet's needs. 

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5 Fire Safety Tips

Waking up to smoke and flames is possibly one of the worst things that can happen to your family and home. From April 2018 to March 2019, over 30,000 fires occurred in homes and other buildings in England, resulting in millions of pounds of damage. The worst thing of all is that the majority of these fires could have been prevented with adequate fire safety measures. Families, homes and business can be kept safe when proper precautions are put in place, such as creating a fire escape plan and ensuring your smoke detectors are functioning properly. Here we list the top fire safety tips to help prevent fires from happening and to limit their effects if and when they do occur.

 

1.      Get a smoke alarm

Smoke alarms are one of the most important ways to protect your home and business from the risk of fire. At the very least, it will alert you of a fire before it gets out of control, giving you enough time to get out of the building and contact the fire service. There are several important things to remember when it comes to smoke alarms. These are:

  • Have at least one alarm on every floor of your home or business
  • Test that it is working every month
  • Never disconnect or take the batteries out
  • Replace the batteries annually
  • If you’re hard of hearing, install a strobe light or vibrating pad alarm
  • Only buy reputable smoke alarms that feature the LPCB logo or kite mark

 

2.      Be conscious when you are cooking

Despite cooking being a regular daily routine for most households, it is still a fire hazard, accounting for 48% of accidental dwelling fires. So, to help prevent fires from cooking here’s what to do and what not to do:

Do’s:

  • Keep your oven and hob clean at all times – build-ups of grease and fast can trigger a fire
  • Keep your toaster clean for the same reason
  • Keep plugs and electric leads away from water
  • If fat that you’re cooking with begins to smoke, immediately remove them from the heat – fat can easily set alight

Don’ts:

  • Leave pots and pans unattended
  • Pour water onto hot fat
  • Leave flammable materials near a lit hob
  • Leave children unattended in the kitchen or near appliances
  • Leave saucepan handle sticking out where they might get knocked over

 

3.      Be mindful of electrics

Nearly 25% of all fires caused in England during April 2018 to March 2019 were caused as a result of electrical distribution and appliances and therefore should be one of the main focuses when it comes to preventing fires in your home and business. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Ensure all electrical changes conducted in your home and business are performed by a qualified electrician.
  • Check all electrical cords regularly, ensuring no cords run across doorways and carpets where they could be damaged.
  • Limit the number of plugs you have in an electrical outlet or power strip.
  • Only use lightbulbs that match the recommended wattage for each lamp.

 

4.      Keep an eye on candles

Candles cause at least two house fires a day in the UK. So being mindful about how many candles are lit and where they are placed in your home is important. Here’s how to stop your candles from becoming a fire hazard:

  • Keep candles away from curtains, shelves and other flammable materials.
  • Always burn candles in a secure holder.
  • Never leave children or pets alone when candles are lit.
  • Blow out candles fully before you leave the room.

 

5.      Create a fire escape plan

Fires in the home can spread in minutes, therefore every second counts. Have a plan in place whereby you and your family know what to do when a fire occurs is crucial to yours and your family’s safety. Everyone should know who to call in the case of an emergency, as well as knowing what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do if they hear one. You should also establish and practice an escape plan, especially if you have small children. Here are some tips for creating an effective plan:

  • Draw a floor plan of your home that shows all doors and windows.
  • Show and discuss the plan with all members of your family.
  • Identify at least two ways out of every room, if possible. This could be through either windows or doors.
  • Once outside, everyone should meet at an agreed-upon place that’s a safe distance from the house.

These tips can also apply to businesses and their staff members.

By following the five tips outlined above, you can make incredible strides to ensuring your home and business not only prevents damaging fires but can limit their effects if they occur. Here at IDS Security Systems, we supply high-quality fire alarm systems that can help detect when a fire occurs, potentially saving you, your family and your employees. Click below to learn more!

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If you would like to learn more about our range of fire alarm systems, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the IDS team today!

 

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