6 top tips for keeping your home under wraps this Christmas

Christmas is a busy time buying and wrapping the perfect presents, decorating the tree, attending parties and ticking everything off the festive list. But, how can you make sure your efforts aren’t wasted on someone out to help themselves to a slice of your hard work?

Here are 6 Tricks you can tick off your festive list to help keep your home safely under wraps this Christmas:

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1. Secret present stash – hiding your gifts from your loved ones at home can be really tricky. Remember that keeping presents in your car or van is a no no, it’s just a risk not worth taking. Finding somewhere at home to keep your presents is definitely the safest option. However, if your home doesn’t have the perfect hiding place and you decide to store larger gifts in an outside shed or garage, just check they’re locked securely and ideally are covered by a security light or monitored by a home security cctv system.

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2. Once wrapped – for most of us the wrapping process can take hours, unless you’ve mastered the art of gliding scissors or tape-less wrapping. Once your stunning gifts are wrapped and labelled we’d advise you keep them back in your perfect hiding place until Christmas Eve. However, if you like to put them under the tree nice and early, make sure they’re not visible to anyone passing by your home or attracting any unwanted attention.

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3. Increase your home comforts this Christmas – Christmas is a great time to entertain and enjoy your beautiful home, but it’s also a time we need to be a little more security conscious. So to help increase the comfort of your home, why not install a home security system which can monitor your home whilst you’re out buying the last festive, finishing touches. With an easy to use mobile and tablet app, you can check all your cctv cameras whilst you’re out. You can check to see if that all important last parcel was delivered!

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4. Not so social – it’s all too tempting for you and the family to post photos on social media of your festive home with the presents laid out under the tree, but with loose privacy settings and location tracking switched on, are we making it too easy for our festive images and address details to get into the wrong hands? Take a few minutes to check your social media privacy settings, and save posting photos of your beautifully wrapped presents until Christmas Eve.

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5. After Christmas – for the lucky ones, Santa might bring you a sparkly new MacBook Pro, or a top of the range road bike or perhaps a state of the art 4K TV. If you’re throwing away the packaging, don’t leave it outside your home, visible to passers. Instead, break it up and disguise and big brand names on the packaging so’s not to advertise what valuable goodies are now at your address.

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6. If you’re away this Christmas – for the lucky ones jet setting this Christmas don’t forget to leave your home looking well lit, secure and as though you’re still home. Take a look at another of our blogs for more tips on ways to keep your home safe Before you head off on your…. Summer Festive Holiday!

We wish you all a merry Christmas!

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We’re here for you all year round. For a FREE no obligation quote for all your new home requirements, please call us on: 01235 413823 or simply book your perfect quotation slot on our website here.

Join us for more great security tips and advice @whitehorsealarm

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Security fit for Royalty

What does it take to secure the UK’s most affluent home estates?

Providing the ultimate security system for royalty, political leaders, A-list celebrities and large, privately owned estates is a fascinating business and one which draws on specialised expertise from all areas of the security and lifestyle management services. It takes our breath away when we arrive at one of the stunning UK estates, sometimes steeped in historical importance and new contemporary luxury homes.

A-List properties

Protecting rare car collections, pool houses, art galleries, spas, luxury goods, fine jewellery, family heirlooms are some of the areas which need bespoke security measures. For clients who have such things, security plays an essential part of living for each member of the family and staff, with tight protocol to immediately act on any breach of security.

But what are the premier estate, security must haves?…

We asked Kevin Watkins, Director and Founder of Ardagh Consulting who offer a premier estate and bespoke concierge service. Having worked for the Royal Household, he and his team are no strangers to working with stringent security systems both in the UK and worldwide.

“So Kevin, what are today’s premier estate owner, security must haves?”
“Working from the outside in, automated gates are a must. They not only let you control who comes onto your estate they also help you reduce the risk of burglary by restricting people from being able to see your valuable estate assets such as cars, statues, garden sculptures and equipment etc. Next is a robust cctv and alarm system, good reputable locks, then you need to install panic alarms which link directly to the emergency services or a security company. Then you’d need at least one strong room etc…”

Stong Room

What’s a strong room?
“You can have one or multiple Strong/Safe room(s) built into your home. They’re made of 6inch solid steel and built to protect a handful of people against intruders, attack etc. These are a ‘must have’ when keeping our clients safe. Without giving away too many secrets they are intriguing rooms which you wouldn’t necessarily associate with being a place to stay safe. They’re an easily accessible room fitted with a: water supply, phone – directly linked to the police, toilet, usually the estate safe and a few comforts etc. These rooms are monitored by the internal cctv cameras and are designed to lock you in until it’s safe to come out.”

Dining Panic Buttons

We’ve seen them in the movies, but do your clients have panic buttons?
“Of course, panic alarms and buttons are a standard security protocol for our clients and are part of their lifestyle. Designed to trigger an instant police or private security agency response, you can typically find these throughout each estate we work with. Each button carries an unique identity to the person’s whereabouts so they can be found and helped in an instant. Buttons are usually fitted into places where the homeowner and family spend a few or more hours of their time, day or night and so can be fitted into desks, beds, kitchen draws, near strong rooms etc. Even if they never get pressed the buttons are there to add a level of reassurance to our clients and to continue to make them feel secure at home.”

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Is it important to integrate the security systems into their lifestyle?
“Integration is absolutely essential. The cctv cameras need to have the capability to be monitored outside the home or estate, by an external business or agency and also on the move. Our clients are able to switch to channel 999 on their tvs where they can monitor their 20 or more cameras. Much like White Horse Fire and Security our clients must have an app to monitor their cctv whilst away from the estate, on business or pleasure. From their lutron and gardening lighting, to their smart heating control, everything needs to be integrated and seamless from the moment they arrive at their automated gate and that’s what our bespoke concierge service is for.”

Personal security

How do you keep clients safe whilst they’re away from home?
“Well where to start?..if they’re not being personally escorted, there are so many ways, but staying in tune with the latest wearable technologies and digital tracking devices is a very important strand of what we can offer our clients. We work with a host of excellent businesses and agencies to give our clients the very best and latest in remote security. For instance, our female clients tend to have a very small digital tracker and personal alarm in their handbags, so the police or security agency can locate the client and handbag in the event of a theft or more extreme – kidnapping. As you can see we offer our clients a very wide range of bespoke concierge services to suit their individual needs.”

Kevin, thanks so much for your time to explore the world of premier estate, concierge service.

If you have any home estate security questions or concerns please get in touch: www.whitehorsesecurity.co.uk

Join us on Twitter @whitehorsealarm for more great security tips and advice.

 

Concept to reality – 5 Simple Security rules for Constructing your Perfect Home

When designing your brand new home it’s important to consider any security systems you may need so they can be incorporated in the design stage of your new home build.

When you think of home security, you don’t need to think like MI5 or the FBI. Instead, follow these 5 simple security rules to create a beautiful home that has the perfect balance of design, privacy and security. We want to help you create a new home that is a welcoming place for family and an unappealing option for intruders.

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Follow our 5 simple security rules when constructing your perfect home:

1 Securing your perimeters
Security designs should firstly look at securing the very edge of your land or plot. Make sure your land is protected with a strong, well maintained perimeter wall. Consider a local stone wall or tall, close-board fence around your entire perimeter to put off anyone looking for an easy entrance into your grounds. These walls can be monitored by CCTV cameras for added protection. Make sure any gates are tall enough for people not to be able to look into your grounds, and are made from strong wood or metal. There are lots on the market to choose to complement any home design. For added protection choose an elegant, high-grade automated gate which can be controlled digitally from the comfort of your car as you arrive home.

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2 Noisy landscaping and visible security systems
Well thought out landscaping is probably the last thing on your mind when building the house of your dreams but it helps a new build fit into it’s surroundings and add the wow factor as people arrive at your home. When deciding on your landscaping materials, always use gravel or similar as it creates a noticeable noise which can give you warning when an unexpected visitor is walking or driving towards your home.

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UK Police advise that having a visible home burglar alarm and CCTV system can act as a deterrent and reduce your risk of burglar. These can be wireless or hardwired so speak to a reputable security company and they will talk through the options before you finalise your designs.

Keep your home well lit with security lighting which comes on when motion is detected. For a taste of luxury, install a lutron garden lighting system and will be able to digitally control your garden lighting and dimming whilst energy saving.

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Make sure your windows and doors all have a strong locking system

3 Loveable, lockable doors and windows
There are some lovely new door and window designs on the market so whether you’re choosing something simple and elegant or old and re-claimed, make sure your doors and windows have a robust locking system fitted.

Many new, contemporary homes are designed using floor to ceiling sheets of glass to give the home a bright and airy feel. This can make homes more vulnerable as assets can be easier to see from outside your property. Consider fitting internal blinds, a one-way glass or frosted glass option so you can enjoy the added light and view of your garden, whilst blocking people from looking into certain parts of your home.

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4 Smart home security
With the increasing use of smart phones and devices in our daily lives, consider how smart do you want your new home to be? We’ve mentioned some automated ideas above which help increase your home security such as, automated gates, CCTV, home intruder/burglar alarm etc and these can all be controlled via an app on your phone and tablet. You can monitor your home whilst you’re away, it’s that easy. Smart homes, add to your lifestyle and give you the peace of mind that your home is in safe hands.

5 Insurance specification is key
Always check your home insurance policy and adhere to all the security specification stated. For instance, your insurance company may ONLY payout in the case of a burglary if your cars are always kept in the garage and jewellery might only be protected if kept in a personal safe. The specification might also only protect you if you have a fully and regularly maintained home intruder/burglary alarm system. Be sure to read through your documents and keep checking the latest regulation as these can change from time to time.

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A clear security system brief for your designers and builders will help keep costs on track and all contractors understand exactly what you’re looking for in your new home build.

Let us help you, for a FREE no obligation quote for all your new home requirements, please call us on: 01235 413823 or simply book your perfect quotation slot on our  website here.

Join us for more great security tips and advice @whitehorsealarm

How to choose the best security for your home – what you need to know…

Helpful tips and advice for anyone thinking about protecting their home…

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“Homes with no security measures in place are 5 times more likely to be burgled”  Police.uk 

For most people, home is where the heart is. It’s where we raise family, entertain friends and is a relaxing place to come back to after a long day at work. The “door’s always open” lifestyle is one we Brits love to share with friends and family.  Although with residential crime on the rise we need to get better at locking our front door when we leave. But how many people still leave a key under the flowerpot – just in case?!

Safeguarding your home can be changing lifelong habits and not making it easy for the ‘baddies’. Why not go the whole hog and protect your home and belongings with a robust, yet subtle security system which can help you continue to enjoy that feeling of home every time you step inside your front door.

Over 15,800 crimes were reported in the Thames Valley during March 2017!  Police.uk 

Those who have been a victim of crime at home often feel a sense of loss for the comfort home can bring, so here are some tips for making the first step to finding the best security package to protect your home:

So, do I need a home security system?

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Firstly, changing any unsecure bad habits can help keep your home protected. Keeping your gates locked, garden fences is good condition and your property well lit etc greatly reduces your chances of being burgled which is great news, and very easy to implement. Having a visible burglar alarm is recognised by the police as acting as a deterrent against residential crime and a simple security system can help ward off unwanted visitors too. It’s also worth considering the peace of mind a security system can bring to you and your family whilst you’re at home, on holiday or away on business.

Take a look at the Police website for the crime map in your area, not to scare you but to become more aware of any potential risks in your area and to better equip your decision making. There are also some more great tips on keeping your property more secure.

For those with large properties a security system can help protect everything within your boundaries including your: motor home, paddocks, out buildings, car garages and studios etc. A close, trusted neighbour or housekeeper can be very handy when you’re away to help keep a close eye on your property and for some this is all the peace of mind they need. However, if you don’t have anyone who can do this for you a security system might just be the perfect answer. With modern technology now there’s no need to have large ugly cameras everywhere and miles of untidy cabling either. Security cameras and fittings can be discrete, wireless and monitored via an easy to use app on your mobile or table, which covers every inch of your home and grounds.

 

What security system do I need?

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A home intruder alarm is a great start to securing your home and sensors can be set up at your front door, side gates, back door, basement entries, gates and also within the home and any outbuildings. CCTV can give you 24/7 cover of your home giving the peace of mind that any abnormal behaviour will be captured on your cameras. White Horse Fire & Security offer residential clients a clever mobile/tablet app so you can monitor your home digitally 24/7. For larger properties and estates, an automated gate can offer you a secure way to restrict who has access to enter your driveway. There are a number of unique designs on the market to fit your style of property and they can be managed and monitored remotely. These 3 systems are commonly used together to secure the smallest and largest of houses around the UK.

 

How to find the right security company for my home

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Simple recommendations from people within your area, your neighbours, friends and acquaintances are a great start at finding which companies are providing home security services. For many people who’ve inherited a security system from previous owners may not know a lot about the system, don’t worry any good security company will be able to take over from a previous provider or upgrade you to a newer system.

Google it! This never fails to bring up a list of the larger national security companies, but try to look past the sponsored adverts at the top of of the page and dig a little deeper. Look for companies with the best star rating (up to 5 gold stars before their company name). Have a read through the comments to get an idea of what’s good and what’s not and these often highlight levels of customer satisfaction. It’ll make your decision making process a whole lot easier.

 

How to compare your top 3 shortlisted security companies

Comparing the top 3

Once you have shorlisted your top 3 companies, compare them on paper and make sure they tick all your security and personal needs. Here are a few things to check for when tallying up pros/cons and cost:

  • Check what security elements and systems they’d suggest for a home and estate of your size.
  • Ask what added extras you’d need to pay for such as call out charges for instance, you can be charged as much as £75 per call out! It’s good to know this up front
  • Compare their costs and the system guarantees they offer, ie. White Horse Fire & Security offer a maintenance package to guarantee parts and labour for 5 years!
  • Check what level of maintenance you can expect to receive
  • Are they SSAIB certified?
  • What level of phone support do they offer? Can you pick up the phone any time of day and speak to someone when you need them?

 

You should have everything you need now to choose the right security company and security system to secure your home. White Horse Fire & Security, like all good security companies, are fully SSAIB certified, offer a 24/7 support line to call whatever time of day or night. We also offer 24hr monitoring with police response if you need this.

Take a look at what our wonderful customers think of us on the Testimonial page of our website.

If you’d like to speak to someone about finding the perfect security system for your home, call Helen today: 01235 413823

How secure is your company? Check out these 5 ways to secure your business

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Door access – make it a priority

Commercial Security – 5 ways to secure your business

Having a security system in place not only protects your commercial property, it also helps safeguard staff whilst in the workplace and after they have left for the day. For businesses up and down the country, we’d recommend working with a local security company who can find the best security solutions, with minimal disruption to you and your staff.

Whether you have had a security breach in the past or are looking to install a robust system into your commercial premises for peace of mind  White Horse Fire & Security have put together 5 ways to secure your business:

  1. Door access – Choosing a security system for your front and rear doors, basement entrances or reception is a simple but effective way of knowing exactly who is entering your commercial property and restricting unwanted visitors. There are a range of professional door security products and solutions available including: swipe card and toggle systems for staff and visitors allowing entry into an external or internal door. Keypad code access is commonly used and very effective when the codes are regularly changed. Staff personal identification products give a visual indication who is a member of staff and who is a scheduled visitor. New staff can easily be added to or removed from the system. Door security systems can be integrated with your current systems in place or can be switched over from your current provider.
  2. Intruder alarms – These are an audio device that start when one of the motion sensors detect movement within one of your secure zones. If an alarm is triggered, the main control panel will indicate which secure zone has detected movement. Alarms like these can be set up to alert a member of staff that a specific sensitive area has been entered and it can also alert you when an intruder has entered the commercial property, outside working hours. So what happens if the intruder alarm is triggered? For the ultimate protection White Horse Fire & Security can make sure when your intruder alarm is triggered, the local police will be at your commercial property in a matter of minuets.
  3. Commercial CCTV – is a well known and trusted way of helping keep an eye on your property. CCTV can give you great coverage from the boundaries of your property, garages, outside office space, car parks, lock ups, storage spaces and small internal spaces. White Horse Fire & Security offer a fully integrated app on your phone or tablet, giving you 24/7 surveillance even when you’re away on business. Work with your security company to get the most out of your cameras and images. When choosing a security company, make sure your cameras are all set up correctly and tested to meet your specific needs. For larger commercial premises, your CCTV system can be hard wired or managed centrally via a hub, so no need for miles of untidy cabling.

  4. Gates, barriers, turnstiles – each business has its unique business security needs to help keep commercial property secure and there are lots of vehicle security products on the market to help with this. Audio/ intercom systems and monitored gates have become very popular with larger businesses and those with many different buildings to cover. If you own a large commercial property, an automated gate with intercom system can give staff an efficient and effective way of allowing visitors to enter your property and at the push of a button staff can grant permission to enter. Vehicle registrations and daily deliveries are easily managed and tracked via these systems. Like White Horse Fire & Security, your security company should carry out 6 monthly maintenance checks on your security fixtures such as barriers and hydraulic fluid checks etc to make sure they remain in full working order.

Whatever your commercial security needs, a good security company can help protect your premises and help safeguard your staff. White Horse Fire and Security are SSAIB Certified for 24hr police response and we are here for you 24/7. We offer a 5 year guarantee and no call out charge with our maintenance package.

Call Helen today to arrange a FREE quote: 01235 413823 www.whitehorsesecurity.co.uk