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

If Home Alone has taught us nothing else – and I think we can all agree that it’s taught us a lot – it’s that opportunistic criminals love nothing more than cashing in on Christmas, occasionally through hilarious, madcap means.

Sadly, most of us don’t have a Kevin McCallister on hand to fend off such yuletide looters, leaving your home very much alone and wide open to festive thievery.

Luckily, there are a few simple ways you can boost your Christmas home security this December…

 

christmas home security, christmas safety checklist

 

Christmas Safety Checklist

Designed to ensure you and your family have a very merry Christmas that goes by without a hitch, here are our top five tips for keeping burglars at bay and your home safe this festive season.

 

Window of Opportunity

A common mistake for many homeowners looking to deck their homely halls with outside Christmas lights is feeding cables and extension leads through partially opened windows.

Naturally, this provides an effortless entryway for would-be burglars to gain access to the inside of your property.

In fact, it’s a literal glowing sign for any thief looking to go rockin’ robbing at Christmastime and a schoolboy error that should be avoided at all costs.

Where possible, opt for battery-powered and decorative illuminations to avoid any need for a plug-in power source altogether.

There are even solar-powered lights on the market if you want to kill two birds with one stone and give back to the environment at the same time.

If mains-powered decorations are all you have and the only option available, consider installing an outside electrical outlet to power your lights without needing to use the inside.

 

Box Clever

With Christmas refuse collection notoriously disorganised and infrequent during the festive period, it’s not unusual for bags to mount up by the time collections are finally made.

In the case of recycling, this can leave you with a veritable shop window right outside your house, telling the entire street what now lies inside your house post-Xmas.

For passing burglars, this can be like watching The Generation Game, providing a glorified conveyor belt of boxes, packages and containers to whet their appetite.

To keep your contents protected, be sure to rip or fold up any boxes to obscure their previous contents, particularly those that housed something valuable, e.g. a games system or an iPad.

Better still, try to keep your recycling bags off the street and out of view until the night before collection to reduce the chances of a crafty criminal-turned-Columbo detecting what valuables you and your family had for Christmas.

 

Christmas Vacation

Many of us will be looking to spend our Christmases with friends, family and loved ones at various points throughout the festive period. Naturally, this can and often will, involve leaving your property unattended in the process.

If you are going to be vacating your home for an extended period of time over Christmas, taking the appropriate precautions is vital when it comes to protecting your premises.

For extended absences, you may want to ask your neighbour to pick up any deliveries that may build up outside your door to make it less obvious.

Even if you only plan on staying elsewhere overnight, it’s well worth investing in a light switch timer to make it seem as though your house is occupied with periodic lighting.

A typical burglary takes less than ten minutes from start to finish and a good light switch timer can cost less than £30.00. If you can put a price on piece of mind, £30 is definitely a bargain.

 

Keep Gifts Under Wraps

Gifts nestled safely under a Christmas tree is a given for most houses at Christmastime. However, that doesn’t mean you need to give the street a perfect view of your festive haul.

Leaving your presents in full view of the window – particularly when it comes to houses that back directly on to the street – allows burglars to size up your presents before Christmas has even arrived.

What’s more, once Christmas Day has come and gone, any expensive presents left in full view can leave would-be thieves salivating like a dog in a butcher’s window.

Simply drawing the curtains or placing such items out of obvious view is an easy way to remedy this, so be sure to get into the habit sooner rather than later.

Similarly, broadcasting the newest additions to your contents collection online via social media can also be a risky action. After all, how well do your really know your social media connections?

You could be advertising to the wrong crowd without even knowing it, so think twice before you post that status thanking your partner for the new 65” Smart TV that now sits proudly in your living room.

 

Roasting on an Open Fire

Taking steps to deter thieves and keep your home secure from criminals isn’t the only way to keep your property safe at Christmastime – it’s also important to take fire precautions as well.

Christmas trees are a common offender when it comes to household fires at Christmastime, so keeping your tree away from open flames is a simple yet hugely effective way of reducing the risk of fire during the Christmas period.

Avoid placing your tree anywhere near a heating source, such as a fireplace or potentially flammable electric heater. Meanwhile, always refrain from lighting candles anywhere near your tree.

In addition to that, you may want to think about the tree lights as well. Old Christmas lights can pose a greater risk of catching fire and could see your festive fir light up in an altogether more dangerous way should a bulb blow.

Finally, be sure to switch your tree lights off whenever you leave the house and before you go to bed. Not only will it save you money on your electric bill, it also reduces the likelihood of a fire occurring in your absence.

 

So, there you have it: five great ways to boost your Christmas home security. For more advice on how to keep your home secure at Christmas, why not drop us a line? Call now on 029 20 753 251 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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home security for halloween

Tonight the trick or treaters will be out in force celebrating Halloween, and while this is a time for fun and fright, it's important to keep your home safe and free from pranksters! Here are a few ways you can protect your home from misbehaving monsters tonight...

Jack-O-Lanterns & Lights

While the friendly (or fearsome) faces of jack-o'-lanterns will let people know you're celebrating Halloween, you should also want to consider leaving your porch lights on for a few hours. Alternatively, fit your home with a motion sensor light that will automatically illuminate as passers-by head towards your home. Illuminating your home will deter unwanted visitors and vandals while also making it much easier to spot someone acting suspiciously!

Go for the Garage

Cars are such an easy target on Halloween, so, if you can, we recommend parking your car somewhere secure and out of sight. A garage or even a well-lit area can prevent you from waking up to a nasty new paint job courtesy of pranksters and their spray paint! Consider moving your car to a neighbour's driveway or garage if you don't have one yourself.

Opt for Flameless Candles

With so many people walking around your home, it's very likely that one of your pumpkins could be knocked or kicked over. When you use real candles, there's a possibility of a fire! Why not choose flameless candles instead? They will keep your home safe without putting a dampener on your devilish decorations!

Snap Some Shots

Before the sun sets, take some pictures around your home. this will help you prove if any vandals have de-faced your home in the morning! Better yet, use your CCTV system to keep a close eye on the events of the evening. You can kick back, relax and watch a scary movie in peace knowing that your property is safe and secure!

If you want any more advice about keeping your home safe tonight, or if you want to improve your home security for the future, give our advisors a call on 029 20 753 251.

On Sunday 27th October the clocks go back, which means it's time to update your home security routine. When the dark nights draw in, there's often an influx of house robberies and car thefts as criminals take advantage of the earlier dusk.

Securing your possessions is of utmost importance at this time of year. Many of us are starting our Christmas shopping, and nothing screams 'easy target' to a criminal more than the brand new PlayStation you've haphazardly left in the boot of your car. Taking a little extra time to make sure your home and vehicles aren't vulnerable can make all the difference, but this isn't the only step you should take. Let's dive into some other important precautions...

Light it Up

A great way to give the illusion that someone is home is by leaving a couple of lights on around the house. Worried about your energy bills? Try plugging your lamps into timer switches or switch to energy-efficient bulbs.

Similarly, pick a parking spot that's in a well-lit area rather than parking your car in the shadows. Burglars are far more likely to target cars in secluded side streets! You could even add external lighting to your home or driveway to keep these areas safe and sound. 

Lock and Check

Make sure easily accessible windows, doors and gates are locked before you head out. Taking five minutes to whip around your house and garden to double-check everything is secure will save you days of stress and heartache when you come home to a house that's been ravaged by burglars. 

Keep an Eye

For an added layer of security, why not consider adding CCTV inside or outside your home? Speak to our advisors about adding CCTV that can be remotely accessed from your mobile phone wherever you are. Even if you're working late one night or visiting a Christmas market, you'll be able to keep a close eye on your home & belongings! 

Intruder Alert!!

A great alternative to a CCTV camera is an intruder alarm. We offer intruder alarms with 24/7 monitoring packages, so if someone did attempt a break-in, we'd be on the case immediately. Concerned the police wouldn't get there in time? We use the latest digital signalling equipment to make sure the relevant emergency service units are contacted automatically if an incident was to occur. 

If you'd like to speak to a member of the IDS team about improving your home security before winter truly takes hold, get in touch

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Criminal mastery has long been a common theme on the silver screen, from The Italian Job and The Sting to Goodfellas and Snatch.

Even Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves made waves as the presidential pair of surf-loving swindlers in Point Break.

However, despite what Hollywood’s best efforts may have you believe, not all law-breakers boast the glamorised criminal intellect of Keyser Soze in real-life.

In fact, in the cold light of day, many criminals wind up looking far less like The Joker and far more like a bunch of clowns.

Witness the witless in action as we shine a searchlight on the hapless and the hopeless in this shameful rundown of stupid criminals.

Ocean’s 11 these are not…

 

stupid criminals

 

Stupid Criminals UK

The title of “World’s Dumbest Criminal” has been passed around more times than a herbal remedy in Snoop Dogg’s dressing room.

However, you don’t need to look far to find examples of illegal idiocy. In fact, there are plenty of examples within our very shores.

 

Phoning It In

Losing your mobile phone can be an annoying and, at times, distressing occurrence… especially if you do so while committing a house robbery.

One careless criminal did just that, leaving his mobile phone at the scene of the crime, complete with selfies as evidence.

Despite claiming his phone had been stolen when questioned, the presence of stolen goods in the suspect’s home proved otherwise.

Unfortunately for the 44-year-old thief, the phone wasn’t the only thing that was charged. He was later sentence to 160 hours of community service.

 

Every Little Helps

Anyone with an ounce of common sense will be well aware of the importance of a clean social media account.

Unfortunately, common sense isn’t always that common. Case in point: this 32-year-old man from Norfolk.

The sloppy criminal posted a Facebook update on his profile that simply read “Doing. Tesco. Over” with an accompanying picture of himself brandishing a blade.

Apparently possessing an unhealthy dislike for his local Tesco store, the careless criminal planned to raid the supermarket that evening.

However, the post gave the police a welcome heads up, allowing them to intercept the man in a supermarket sweep of their own just 15 minutes later.

The man was sentenced to four years in prison and presumably had his Club Card revoked for life.

 

Love at First Swipe

A thirsty Scottish shoplifter became a victim of love after opportunistically swiping a bottle of vodka from an off-license.

However, it wasn’t some quick-witted local hero that apprehended the Smirnoff-swiping swindler but something far more simple.

Prior to pocketing the bottle, the shoplifter had incredibly left his name and number with the cashier after asking her out on a date.

Following the monumental oversight, the police quite literally had his number and the careless culprit had earned himself a date with the law.

 

A Safe Bet

A bank manager with a gambling habit seems like the perfect storm for bad news. Unsurprisingly, that storm soon came to pass and didn’t go by unnoticed.

Having already pilfered £3m from private investors through a bogus investment scheme, the 58-year-old Halifax executive from South Wales went a step too far when he began dipping his fingers in the till or, more specifically, the safe.

Bringing his total swag to an even £10m, the Swansea man stole £7m from the bank’s safe, incredibly leaving behind a signed IOU in its place.

The outlandish stunt was inevitably discovered by stunned auditor’s and the ludicrous loan was repaid in the form of a 12-year jail sentence.

 

Goldilocked Up

A Lancashire couple were left stunned when they returned home from holiday to find an unexpected guest in their home – a sleeping burglar.

The retired pair from Leeds found the Polish thief asleep in their bed, presumably replenishing his energy after a tiring day on the rob.

Investigators found that the sleepy bandit had made himself quite at home, even washing his underwear and cooking during his stay.

The intruder even attempted to clean up after himself by doing the dishes. Unfortunately for him, those domestic duties weren’t enough to save him from the law.

 

Home Security with IDS

While the above examples of criminal idiocy may be astonishing in their stupidity, that’s not to say you should let your guard down and leave your home unprotected.

At IDS Security, we offer a wide variety of home security solutions to keep your property and its inhabitants safe.

From CCTV cameras to burglar alarms and everything in between, we can help you make your home as safe as houses.

 

For more information on home security solutions from IDS Security, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 029 20 753 251 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

Contact Us

Certain home security measures will largely fall into the realms of common sense, hammered home ad nauseum over the years by everyone from the police to news presenters.

Whether it’s setting up a security camera, installing a burglar alarm or simply keeping your valuables out of view from the window, such steps are a great basis for a secure home.

But what if you want to go one step further and really ramp up the home security?

The good news is, you don’t have to look far for a solution. We’ve got a handful of additional safety measures you can easily implement to make your property as burglar-proof as possible.

 

home security tips, home security ideas

 

Home Security Ideas

The garden is, for all intents and purposes, the gateway to your home. As such, it’s also a key area when it comes to home safety.

Opportunistic burglars can prey on those with lacklustre security in their gardens, making the most of dark patches, bushy covering and general chinks in the homestead’s armour.

Consider making these small changes to your outside space in order to keep your property as secure as possible.

 

Lock Your Outbuildings

An unlocked outbuilding is like a cartoon pie cooling on a windowsill – it’s the dream sight for an opportunist and really is asking for trouble.

Whether you own a shed, summer house or garden room, any kind of detachable outbuilding will be a prime target for petty thieves.

This can prove to be particularly costly when it comes to outbuildings like workshops, which are likely to house expensive items, machinery and materials.

What’s more, these outbuildings could also provide burglars with the tools they need to break into your actual house, whether it’s a ladder, a crowbar or even a shovel.

Keep your outbuildings secured with a padlock and consider accessorising with an alarm. If windows are present, ensure they are all equipped with sturdy locks or seal shut permanently.

 

Secure Your Bike

Bikes are one of the most commonly stolen items from the home and, as such can benefit greatly from additional security.

If you own a bike, you’ll be all too aware that a good one isn’t cheap. Protect your investment by buying a bike store for your garden.

Smaller than a shed yet arguably just as robust, if not more so, these handy bike boxes make for the perfect hideaway for your two-wheeled transport.

Secure with the appropriate padlocks for the ideal concealed area for you and your families bicycles.

 

Immobilise Your Car

It’s not just your two-wheeled transportation you should be concerned with either; your motorised vehicles can be just as tempting to thieves.

While you may think your car is safe when it’s stored on your drive or parked in a well-lit street, that’s not always the case.

Installing a security post or bollard on your drive can be a fantastic way to ensure your car stays put where you parked it.

At IDS, we specialise in a variety of barrier systems, including rising bollards that can be perfect for driveway use at residential properties.

 

Anchor Garden Valuables

It’s amazing what criminals will steal in the hopes of financial gain, from children’s toys and outdoor furniture to plant pots and garden gnomes.

The front garden is particularly at risk from such theft, given the open nature of its situation. As such, it’s a good idea to secure your garden valuables by tying them down in place with cable ties.

 

Upgrade Your Gate

A haggard, old gate isn’t worth the rusted hinge it hangs on, while a damaged wooden fence that barely stands may as well be a revolving door.

Metal gates are a great solution, providing visibility and durability in equal measure. If you prefer a wooden alternative, aim for a fence with a trellis panel at the top.

The opaque body of the fence will prevent snooping eyes, while the trellis top won’t be strong enough to support a climbing intruder, posing the risk of injury and/or discovery.

For heightened security, adding an additional padlock is a wise move, ensuring your gate remains shut when you want it to be.

 

For more hints and tips on keeping your home safe and sound, check out our blog on “Common Home Security Mistakes”. Knowledge is power and knowing what NOT to do can go a long way.

 

 

If you have any additional safety queries or are interested in implementing IDS Security options in your home, why not get in touch today? Call now on 029 20 753 251 or drop us a line using the link below.

Contact Us

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