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

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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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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what do burglars look for

Throughout our lives we are taught, 'don't leave your phone lying around in plain sight', 'make sure you lock the car', 'shut the windows before you go out', and for good reason. Vulnerable homes, easy opportunities and a quick profit are what drive burglars to commit their crimes. If you fail to put precautions in place, you might just fall victim to your local robbers, so let's delve into the things burglars (and you) should look for to keep your home safe.

What are burglars looking for?

  • Money
  • Jewellery
  • Phones, TV's, laptops etc.
  • Prescription drugs

Bear in mind that burglars will tend to look for small, light and valuable items before turning their attention to larger, potentially riskier items. If they're travelling on foot, burglars will look for things that can fit into their backpack or on their person. When storing your valuables, we recommend purchasing a safe or putting things in a secure safety deposit box. Your sock drawer, jewellery box and bedside cabinets are among the first places a burglar will look when they arrive in your home!

Common tactics burglars use when choosing a target:

  • Vacant = vulnerable

Consider this, a burglar is roaming the streets outside your home and peering in the windows to assess which home has the most to offer with the smallest risk. Are they more likely to break into the home with the family wandering around and the lights clearly on, or the home that looks like it's been abandoned for the weekend... It's a no-brainer. Leaving a light turned on and ensuring your house isn't left vacant for long periods of time is a great way to deter burglars. 

If you do need to leave your house unattended for longer than a few days, why not consider adding a home security system? This could include a remotely controlled and monitored CCTV camerasintruder alarms, door entry systems and more. 

  • Doggy-deterrents 

Although we're sure you don't need another excuse to add a furry friend to your home, having a dog in the house can dramatically reduce the likelihood of a break-in. Burglars tactically choose homes without a sharp-toothed and noisy intruder alarm, and it's understandable why. Dogs are protective of their owners and their homes and will no doubt put up a good fight if they feel threatened.

Not allowed a dog in your property? Why not play the burglar at their own game and employ some cunning tactics of your own. Hang a 'Beware of the Dog' sign on your gate or leave a dog bowl and some toys outside to throw burglars off the scent.

  • Spotting easy entry points

Another tactic that burglars employ to choose when targeting a home is looking for easy entry points. A window left open or a door that's slightly ajar is just asking for trouble, be extra vigilant when you leave the house. Note that even a locked door can be an easy entry point if you leave a key in an obvious and easily accessible place eg... under the mat (the first place any burglar would look). 

If you want to keep your belongings safe and out of the hands of burglars, don't hesitate to get in touch. We have a range of systems that you can combine to create a bespoke security solution for your home! Call us on 029 20 753 251 now.

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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