Coronavirus (COVID-19): Keep your premises safe with our new Temperature Screening and Density Control systems!
IDS Security News
All the latest security news and information, plus insights and updates from IDS Security Systems Ltd.

storage unit security

If you own a storage unit that contains either highly-valuable or sentimental goods, you'll want to make sure that it is always kept under the tightest security measures to ensure your belongings are as safe as possible at all times.

At the most basic level, you can expect your storage unit to have a strong lock and maybe a nearby security camera but if that's not enough, there are further measures that you can implement.

This blog is here to provide you with additional security systems for storage units that increase the level of security for your goods!

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uk crime rates and coronavirus

For the past year, the UK has been subject to a range of lockdown restrictions that have drastically changed our normal lives. The usual routines of heading out to work, popping to the pub on a Friday, and meeting friends for coffees have been taken away from us in order to keep the country safe. 

When thinking about the impact that the "stay at home" orders have had on crime rates, you'd probably expect to see them go down dramatically. After all, a large number of crimes including drug dealing, anti-social behaviour, and shoplifting require criminals to go outside. 

That being said, it might be naive of us to think that criminals who already break the law on a daily basis are sticking to the lockdown restrictions religiously, even if it means putting their lives and the lives of others on the line. 

So, let's dig a little bit deeper into some crime statistics that were collected during lockdown to find out whether crime rates have, in fact, gone up or down. 

Data collected by The Office for National Statistics

During the months of April and May 2020, the UK was put under strict national lockdown restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19. The Office for National Statistics conducted a Telephone-Operated Crime Survey to find out how trends in crime were changing during this period. 

They were then able to compare the crime rates during this two-month period to a pre-lockdown two-month average to establish whether or not crime rates had gone up or down.

What did they find out?

The Office for National Statistics reported that during the period between April and May 2020, crimes (no including computer misuse or fraud) fell by 32%. During this time, there was also a shift in the public's perception of police officers, with 91% of all adults in the survey reporting that they were satisfied with the way the police in their area were responding to the ongoing situation.

Which crime rates fell the most and why?

There are a few crimes in particular that happened far less frequently due to lockdown restrictions. One of these was theft. In fact, theft offences fell to almost half the level recorded in April and May 2019.

Of these theft offences, domestic burglary saw a significant drop. With people at home more frequently and for longer periods of time, the opportunity for domestic burglaries in vacant properties was dramatically reduced. 

Shoplifting offences were also less frequent. A lot of shops that would usually be open to the public were closed, therefore removing the opportunity for theft in public spaces.

Were there any exceptions to this trend?

Yes, sadly the coronavirus pandemic didn't stop certain criminals from carrying on with their daily business. Drug offences actually rose by 22% in April and 44% in Mary 2020 compared to the same months in the previous year. 

This doesn't necessarily mean that the number of drug offenders doubled during this time. With police attention away from crimes like shoplifting and domestic burglary, and with fewer people out on the streets, it was easier to identify potential criminal activity and prosecute accordingly. 

Home and Business Security

While these statistics indicate that certain crime rates have gone down, that doesn't mean that now is a time to neglect your security measures. 

Business owners, who may have empty premises for the next few months (or longer) should really consider improving their business security to protect any assets inside. While shoplifting is certainly easier when a shop is open and operational, burglars are guaranteed to attempt a robbery at an unoccupied business if they can see there are no security measures in place.

Business Security >

Homeowners who have been spending more time than even in their properties might have become a little bit relaxed with their security systems. After all, we know that burglars are unlikely to attempt a break-in if they know you're at home. 

That being said, many of us will be returning to work, visiting friends, and (hopefully) heading off on holidays later in 2021, so now is a great time to get your home equipped with a reliable home security system. 

Home Security >

Our engineers are still working despite the COVID-19 lockdown and we've got measures in place to keep you safe. Get in touch to arrange a free quotation today!

Read More: Keeping You Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic

covid pandemic workplace changes

The coronavirus pandemic has been challenging for businesses across all sectors, but we knew it was vital to keep providing reliable security services for businesses and homeowners throughout this troubling time.

During the first lockdown, we provided an emergency callout service while we got our safety procedures in place. Thankfully, we were able to return to a fully-operational service within the first month! We've been able to remain open throughout the pandemic, but in order to do this, we've had to make some significant changes to the way we work. 

Pre-booked appointments

One of our main goals throughout the pandemic has been to minimise disruption for our clients and keep our services running "as normally" as possible. We've found it really beneficial to speak to our clients over the phone or via email to pre-book their appointments. 

Arranging appointments ahead of time provides peace-of-mind for our clients, ensures they're prepared for our visit, and allows us to make sure everything is safe for our engineers before they arrive on-site.

Social distancing & hygiene

Social distancing has become a part of everyday life now, and we're sticking to the guidelines too. All of our technicians are keeping a safe distance while they work & avoiding face-to-face contact where possible.

On top of this, we've introduced some new protocols to make sure people entering the IDS offices are adhering to the guidelines too. We've got designated car parking spaces & we've provided handwashing stations near our doors so people can sanitise their hands before entering and exiting the building.

Our engineers are issued with...

We knew, from the very beginning of the pandemic, that our engineers would need to be prepared before entering your homes to keep you (our clients) and them (our staff) safe. Before attending an appointment, our engineers are issued with:

An information pack containing:

  • IDS COVID 19 Risk Assessment
  • Working Safely from a vehicle
  • Working Safely in other people’s homes
  • IDS Hazardous Substances Safety Information Sheet – Alcohol Hand Sanitizer
  • Coronavirus COVID 19 follow the rules info sheet
  • NHS Wales Cough and Sneeze info sheet
  • How to put on a mask
  • IDS Question card

A hygiene pack containing:

  • Face Shield
  • Half face P3 Mask & Filters
  • KN 95 Masks
  • Surgical Masks
  • Nitrile Gloves x 100
  • Disinfectant wipes x 200
  • Keep your distance – 2m sticker
  • Hand Sanitiser – liquid 250ml
  • Hand Sanitiser – Gel 500ml
  • Liquid Soap
  • COVID 19 Procedure Reminder Card

Hopefully, this gives you an overview of the different protocols we have in place to continue working safely throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand that security systems are (in some cases) more important than ever before. With a lot of offices and businesses closing their doors for the time being, there are a lot of vulnerable, empty properties that need an additional layer of security.

If you're looking to improve the security systems in your premises, don't hesitate to get in touch. Take a look at our home and business security systems by clicking the appropriate buttons below:

Home Security >                          Business Security >

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One of the most common questions asked by homeowners thinking about installing a home security system is "will my security system work when the power is out?" 

And the simple answer is, it depends on the security system that you have. So maybe the answer isn't always that simple. However, wanting a security system that works around the clock regardless of the circumstances is what every property wants, right? 

So, if you're unsure on which security systems continue to work during a power outage, you can find out here with IDS Security Systems!

CCTV Camera

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your covid-19 fire safety questions answered

COVID-19 has completely changed the way that a lot of us work. Consequently, there have been a lot of changes to fire safety guidance and procedures too. We know you have a lot of questions about what you can and cannot do in relation to fire safety - well, today we're going to answer as many as we can!

The person responsible for fire safety in my workplace is self-isolating. What should I do?

No one can predict if and when members of the team will have to self isolate, your NHS Track and Trace app could alert you at any time. That's why it's important that people with responsibilities such as fire safety ensure that there are trained staff members who know the fire safety procedures so an incident can be managed effectively. 

There should be a premises fire risk assessment that's made available to all members of staff on-site so that everyone understands how to react to an escalating fire safety situation.

Can firefighters carry out a risk assessment of my premises for me?

No, the emergency services shouldn't be contacted unless the situation at hand poses a significant risk to life. A responsible person should be able to carry out a fire risk assessment for you. If you're unsure whether you need to update your fire alarm systems, we can offer a FREE security survey to help you out!

Can fire and rescue teams still respond to 999 calls as usual?

In line with the Government guidance, most fire and rescue services are doing their best to limit non-essential contact. That's why it's important that we all try to limit the number of false fire alarm alerts!

Read More: Preventing False Fire Alarms

Firefighters will still attend 999 calls if the risk is deemed severe enough to warrant a call-out. High-priority cases will be dealt with first. Head to your local fire and rescue website for more information on their current procedures.

emergency exit

Can fire exits be locked if there are fewer people on the premises?

As a general rule of thumb, no fire exits should be locked or blocked regardless of the number of people inside. There always needs to be a suitable number of fire exits available to occupants at all times, including signage and emergency lighting. Refer to your fire safety risk assessment as a guide, and if you're still not sure, speak to the person in charge of fire safety on your premises. 

Can fire doors be wedged open to limit the contact with door handles?

No, fire doors should never be propped open because this makes them ineffective in the event of a fire. Fire doors keep you safe by preventing a fire from spreading from one area of your premises to another. They can only do this if they're closed!

If you're concerned about people touching the fire door handles on a regular basis, then you should employ other hand hygiene tactics, for example:

  • Add a hand sanitising/hand wash station nearby.
  • Increase the number of times that handles and hard surfaces are disinfected. 
  • Ask employees to take a different route in and out of the building (unless it's an emergency of course!)

Should employees congregate outside if the fire alarm goes off?

Yes, if the fire alarm goes off, it's absolutely vital that all persons inside the building exit quickly and in an orderly fashion. They should congregate at the pre-determined fire assembly point.

What if this conflicts with social distancing?

If you're worried about social distancing at your fire assembly point there are a few things you can do. Firstly, you can choose a different fire assembly point that offers more space. Where this is not possible, you may need to revise instructions and expectations.

One way you could improve safety at the fire assembly point is to make sure that all persons have a face covering on them at all times while they're inside the building. Should a fire alarm occur, they can use their masks to provide some protection, even if social distancing is not 100% possible. 

Keeping your employees/occupants safe should be your number one priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, if you don't have an adequate fire safety system in place, get in touch with the IDS team today!

Our Fire Alarm Systems >

Read More: Fire Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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