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

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!

 

Can I Install My Own Security System

If you’re thinking about adding a security system to your home, one of the main things to consider is its installation. Are you going to take the DIY route and install the security system on your own, or are you going to get the system installed by a professional security company? In this blog, we take a look at the two methods of installation, their pro’s and con’s and which option we believe is best!

Before we look at the two installation options in closer detail, here is a quick overview of why each option could be best suited to you.

DIY installation could be the choice for you if:

  • You’re a DIY enthusiast and enjoy getting hands-on
  • You want a simple system that covers the main areas of your home
  • You want to avoid installation fees
  • You don’t want strangers in your home

Professional installation may be the choice for you if:

  • You’re looking to install a complex security system that covers a large portion of your home
  • You have a budget to cover installation costs
  • You don’t like doing things yourself and would rather someone else do it
  • You don’t mind people being in your home

 

Installing your own security system

There are many benefits to performing a DIY security installation. First and foremost, it will save you money. Secondly, it’s a great option for homeowners who don’t mind rolling their sleeves up and getting the job done themselves, avoiding the need to work around an installer’s schedule and having a stranger wander around your home when you’re not there. With most DIY security installations, you own the equipment from the get-go. This can sometimes mean a larger up-front cost, but it also means that it’s far easier to take your system with you if and when you move property. This is a particularly useful option for people who are renting their home and do not own it.

Another great positive about DIY security installations is that it’s not always as hard as you think. Even though professional installation requires ‘no work’ on your part, the ‘work’ required for DIY installations is minimal. Self-install alarms are often completely wireless, so all that is required is that you’re somewhat handy with tools. However, DIY security installation isn’t perfect for every situation. In most cases, you’re not going to be a security expert, so you may struggle to understand if you’re setting up your equipment correctly. Even though you can live-chat or contact support over the phone, they’re not going to be able to see inside of your home to offer specific recommendations that a professional installer could make whilst being in your home. DIY security installation comes with the risks of improper equipment placement and the chance of missing a security vulnerability that a professional could easily catch.

Professional security installation

The biggest and best part of a professional security system installation is that you get back to sit back and relax whilst all of the hard work gets done for you. You’ll never have to worry about whether or not you did it wrong or spend countless hours listening to automated directions or reading confusing instructions. You’ll have to make time to be home during the installation, but you can get other things done during this time and leave the work down to the professionals.

An additional reason to choose a professional installation is that you benefit from a professional’s experience and knowledge. With DIY installation, there’s always a chance that you may miss something, such as placing a motion sensor too high or not noticing an obvious security vulnerability. A lack of expertise could cost you far more time and effort in the future if it was to ever lead to a break-in. An installer can ensure your equipment is properly set up, guide you through the ins and outs of your system and make suggestions for how best to secure your home. Despite the numerous perks that come with professional installation, it’s not without a few drawbacks.

If a technician is required to come out and install your system, it’s going to cost you. It can also be a slight inconvenience if you need to schedule a time to be home when an installer is available. You’ll no doubt save time by not having to install your home security system, but you’ll still have to be home when the technician arrives. If you’re busy, going through this may cause a headache.

Which one is right for you?

Of course, when it comes to choosing an installation method for your security system, the choice is completely up to you. However, from our experience, we believe that a professional installation should always the way to go. Ultimately, the reason for getting a security system in the first place is because you want your property and possessions to become more secure, reducing the chances of a break-in. With a professional installation, the level of security is increased. There are no risks of your system failing or a security vulnerability being missed when a professional technician is present.

Here at IDS Security Systems, we provide a range of quality security systems suited for a variety of properties, serving any requirement. Whether you’re looking for a simple intruder alarm, CCTV cameras or access control, our team of experienced professionals are able to assist with the best possible solution for you, which includes expert installation, meaning you won't have to install your own! To find out more, get in touch with a member of our team today by clicking below.

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With more than 400,000 bikes stolen each year in the UK, it comes as no surprise when you hear tales of bad luck and theft from bicycle owners when then they return to their bike. Whether it’s one of your most prized possessions or a cheap buy to get you from A to B, it’s never a nice feeling when you come to realise that your bike has either been stolen or has missing parts. Therefore, it’s important to put into place the measures that fend off any potential bike thief. To get you started, here are some top tips for bike theft prevention.

Tips for Bike Theft Prevention

 

1.      Choose a suitable lock

The first and most obvious thing to do to prevent your bike from being stolen or a victim of theft is to get a suitable lock. Just like car thieves, bike thieves will always find a way to get the bike they want. Therefore, you want to choose a bike lock that provides a level of security suitable for the location where you leave your bike. A smaller, lightweight bike lock is often suitable for quick stops at local shops, whereas if you’re planning on leaving your bike unattended for a whole day whilst you’re at work or school, then a more secure, heavy-duty bike lock will be required. A smaller lock offers lower security, whilst a bigger lock provides more security. Choosing a bike lock that suits your needs is the most important thing to consider first.

2.      Secure your bike frame & wheels to an immovable object

To ensure maximum security, your bike’s lock cable or chain needs to be long enough to wrap around the bike’s frame, both wheels and whatever object you’re locking the bike too. If you lock just one of the wheels to something, a potential thief can simply remove the wheel and steal the rest of the bike. Alternatively, if you just secure the frame and not the wheels, you risk losing them. Especially if you have a quick-release feature. If your bike isn’t long enough to secure both wheels, then locking the frame and front wheel should be enough to warn off thieves as they may be reluctant to attempt to remove the rear wheel from the chain. Lock your bike to an enclosed object that won’t let the lock be slipped off easily, such as a bike parking rack. If using a free-standing pole such as a signpost, ensure that the pole is high or bulky enough that your bike and lock can't just be lifted over the top.

3.      Lock your bike in the right location

Choosing a place to lock your bike can be a tough situation. If you choose to secure it in a secluded location that is out of sight, then it may be less likely to be noticed by a potential bike thief. However, it may also present the perfect opportunity to be stolen as people are less likely to witness the crime. You need to find a location that offers a good balance of seclusion and visibility. If your workplace or school contains a space to park your bike then use it or if they allow you to bring your bike inside then take advantage.

4.      Keep a record of serial numbers

Every bike should have as serial number edged onto it. This is usually stamped on the underside of the bottom bracket shell, the part of the bike frame where the pedals connect. If you are having difficulties locating your serial number then take it to your local bike shop for some assistance or check your receipt, serial numbers are often printed on them. If your local authority has a bike registration service, then take advantage of it. If not, then there are several online services that let you register your bike’s serial number and report it as stolen if necessary, such as the National Bike Registry. If your bike is ever stolen (touch wood), the serial number can help to get it back. Many bodies of the law, when recovering stolen property such as bikes, tend to look for serial numbers and then look them up on the mentioned online services so they can easily find out who the bike belongs to.

5.      Move your bike regularly

Moving your bike regularly can be a great way to prevent it from being stolen. Thieves tend to understand and learn where bikes are left and for how long, making them an easy target. By regularly moving your bike, you detract attention from it and can avoid any potential thief learning your routine.

6.      Make your bike unappealing

Just as a magpie is drawn to shiny objects, leaving your bike locked up dressed in accessories and looking good, unfortunately, will attract unwanted attention. Therefore, it may be a good idea to dress your bike down, making it blend in rather than stand out. Start by removing any accessories such as flashy lights and attachments or simply cover it up. Hide your bike’s branding or components with tape or something more permanent to make it more subtle and easily recognisable if it were to be stolen and sold on.

By following these bike theft prevention tips, you will be well on your way to ensuring your bike is kept safe and sound whenever left unattended for a period of time. To learn how IDS Security can help with bike theft prevention with our range of security systems, be sure to get in touch with a member of our team today!

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Most Burgled Items

When a burglar targets a home, it’s highly unlikely that they’re looking for what’s in your fridge, although that has happened in the past.  

The majority of burglars are targeting homes that they know contain high-value items that they can easily take and sell. The emphasis for most burglars is to ‘get in and get out’ as fast as you can with as much as you can, which is why many burglaries are committed within 10 minutes!

Now, there are a number of ways that you can help to prevent your home from being the victim of a break-in; from adding security cameras to getting a guard dog. But, the most effective way is to make sure your home doesn’t become a target in the first place. How do you do that? First things first, ensure that your high-value items are out of sight. Keep them locked away in a secure place away from windows and doors. According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales 2019, 699 domestic burglaries took place from March 2018 to March 2019, up from the 691 burglaries that took place during the previous 12 months. Here are the most stolen items:

  1. Watches & Jewellery
  2. Purses, Wallets & Money
  3. Computers and computer equipment
  4. Electrical goods
  5. Mobile phones
  6. Clothes
  7. Food & Toiletries
  8. Handbags & briefcases
  9. Furniture & household items
  10. Personal documents
  11. Vehicles
  12. Keys
  13. Garden Furniture

 

Securing your home

Burglars often admit that their number one reason for changing their mind about burgling a house is seeing it has a working alarm system. The smallest amount of doubt about committing a break-in as a result of seeing a security system in place can result in your home being skipped by criminals. Therefore, investing in a fully-functional and effective home security system could potentially be the difference between your most valuable items being there one morning or not.

Here at IDS, we provide a range of home security systems that ensure your home is secured and protected 24 hours a day. From CCTV cameras to intruder alarms, our solutions work to minimise the risk of criminal activity on your property, whilst maximising the protection of your high-valued goods. You can even combine our security options to create one bespoke, security system that is tailored to your property and security needs!

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If unfortunately, you’ve been the victim of domestic burglary, you can find out the steps that you need to take here.

For more information on our home security systems or how IDS can help to make your home less likely to be targeted by domestic burglary, please do not hesitate to contact us today by calling 02920 753 251 or emailing us at admin@ids-securitylts.co.uk.

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