Should You Install a Safe at Home?

Safes are a security measure that you’ll usually encounter in commercial environments, in which they are installed to keep profits safe until they can be taken to the bank.

They are also frequently used by the hospitality industry, where you’ll find them in hotel rooms. These are for guests to store valuables that they don’t want to take with them or leave lying around.

However, they’ve recently become a lot more common in residential homes too. More and more people are including safes as an extended part of their security systems.

Closed home safe

So what are the benefits of installing a safe within your home?

Security

The number one reason for installing a safe in your home would be because of the security benefits that it brings you. It lowers the risk of having your valuables stolen if a burglary was to take place. A lot of people have items of jewellery that have been passed down through generations but that they don’t actually wear. A safe is the perfect place to store it and keep it safe.

Safety

Apart from keeping valuables safe from theft, it also keeps your possessions safe from getting lost or misplaced. They don’t have to be used to store lots of money or jewellery; many use them to store important documents. Forever losing your passport? A home safe is a really good place to keep it – you know it’s safe and secure. Your important documents will also be protected from other elements, such as in the unlikely case of a fire.

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Access

Having your items stored safely in your home, rather than in a bank of vault, makes it really easy to access whenever you need them. Instead of paying for a security box elsewhere, which you will have to make the effort to travel to, it’s much easier having everything in one place in your own home.

Peace of Mind

Knowing that your valuables are locked up securely in a safe spot within your home will allow you peace of mind when you’re out of the house. It’s not always possible to take everything with you, so a safe gives you a safer alternative. 

If you would like to speak to us about installing a safe in your home, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

As a professional locksmith in Kent, we specialise in a whole range of high quality security products that are designed to keep you and your possessions safe and secure.

For more information, give us a call on 0208 471 9000 and we will be more than happy to help. 

Posted in Blog |

Should You Install CCTV at Home?

CCTV security systems are common in commercial and industrial properties. Businesses rely on these cameras to keep their stock safe and secure, especially during the times in which they are away from the premises.

However, these days it’s becoming a lot more common for people to install a CCTV security system at home. This is because people are determined to protect their family and property from theft and vandalism.

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They can be a brilliant addition to your home security. If you’re not convinced, here are some of the main benefits of installing CCTV cameras at home.

They Deter Crime

By installing a CCTV security system outside your home, you will be deterring crime and stopping people from breaking into your home. Just the sight of cameras installed outside a property is often enough to make thieves think twice about breaking in – it poses too much of a risk for them. No criminal wants to be identified or caught breaking into a property, something that is a really possibility when there is CCTV cameras involved.

They Allow You to See Hidden Areas of Your Property

For people who live in large properties or properties with a lot of hidden areas, it can often be impossible to keep an eye on everything. A CCTV security system gives you the opportunity to observe areas of your land that you can’t always see too well. It also allows you to see the front of your home without having to open the door. If there is any suspicious activity happening around your house, you’ll be able to observe on the camera and take appropriate action.

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They Make You Feel Safer

A lot of people who have CCTV cameras installed in their home have said that it makes them feel a lot safer. This is especially true for the people who live on their own. It gives homeowners peace of mind that their property is being protected – whether home or away. If you’re heading on holiday, you don’t need to worry about your home being targeted when empty. For people with young families, a CCTV system gives them added protection that allows them to know their children are safe and secure.

They Are Not Just For Security

Whilst CCTV and security cameras are mostly used externally for security, to protect your home against theft, they can also be used inside your home for safety reasons. Do you have elderly parents living with you, or children who are home alone at certain parts of the day? You can’t be in the same place 24/7, but by installing security systems in your home, you can keep a close eye on your loved ones. Looking to install security cameras in your home? We can help!

Fixing the security camera

AFS Security Systems are a reliable and professional locksmith in East London and the surrounding areas. Providing high quality and up-to-date security systems, our team of security experts can help you successfully protect your residential, commercial or industrial property.

If you would like to speak to us about securing your premises, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can give us a call on 0208 471 9000 and we will be happy to give you more information on our services. 

Posted in Blog, security |

You Couldn’t If You Tried: The World’s Most Secure Places (Part Three)

It’s been a while since we revisited our ‘you couldn’t if you tried’ series, which is an interesting and in depth look into some of the world’s most secure locations.

We’ve previously looked at places such as Fort Knox, Area 51, Air force One and the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. Of all of these have places have just one thing in common; they are all heavily guarded and protected.

Jail Cell With Open Door And Bunch Of Keys

We’ve looked at even more of these well guarded and secure locations – enjoy!

Bold Lane Car Park

You hear a lot of horror stories about people having their cars stolen from public car parks, or coming back to find that someone has broken into it. Luckily for those parking at Bold Lane Cark Park in Derby, this is a problem that they never have to worry about.

Described as being the ‘Fort Knox’ of car parks, it’s definitely a location in which you wouldn’t think twice about leaving your car. You can’t enter the car park without a ticket indicating which exact car spot you are parked in, and once parked in there; your car is protected by motion sensors and alarms. Your car can’t move an inch without the sensors picking up on it – so forget anyone stealing it. There is also good quality CCTV cameras and panic buttons.

Bank of England Gold Vault

This is the UKs largest gold vault and is only second to the Federal Reserve Bank in the USA. It is thought to contain over 4,600 tons of gold – this is the reason for why it’s so heavily guarded.  Security includes a bomb-proof door that can only be unlocked by using a voice recognition system and then two or three keys. It’s exactly sure how far down the vault is buried in the Bank of England building, but it’s been said to have more floor space than a 47 storey building.

 Vintage Safes

HavenCo

Located in the North Sea, about six miles off the coast of Britain; HavenCo is considered one of the most secure locations in the world. The company base was founded back in 2000, but was shut down back in 2008. The company were one which provided data protection to thousands of important people. You had to be an authorised staff member to enter the base. The fact that it was located in the middle of the North Sea was almost enough security in itself – someone would have to be brave to try access it.

 

We can’t promise security quite like the ones mentioned above, but we can secure your property against burglary. As professional locksmiths in Kent, we offer a range of security solutions that can help secure your home or business.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can ring us on 0208 471 9000 and we will be more than happy to help you out.

 

Posted in Blog, history |

When is it Time to Change Your Locks?

Changing the locks in the home is something that many homeowners don’t even think about. Although locking doors is very important, there are some cases where it might not be enough.

Having the locks changed in your home is important, so why do people rarely do it? It’s a really good way to keep your home safe and stop people from entering your home without permission.

There are many times in which your safety would benefit from changing the locks – here are just some of the situations in which it should be considered.

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Recently Moved Into a New Home

If you’ve recently moved into a new home (or you have the keys to your new home already), we suggest hiring a professional locksmith to come and change your locks. In fact, we would definitely make this a priority. You don’t know who the previous homeowners have given a key to – it’s much safer to change them. You’ll have peace of mind that you (and whoever you give them to) are the only ones with access. If you’re in rented accommodation, it might be worth asking your landlord for their thoughts on changing the locks before you move in.

Lost Your Keys

We’ve all been there! Losing keys is both frustrating and a huge pain – it means you often have to go get another set made ASAP. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a spare key that doesn’t mean you’ll be stranded outside your own home. This is where a lot of homeowners go wrong – they replace the keys instead of replacing the locks. How do you know who has picked up your keys? What if they were stolen on purpose? Don’t wait until it’s too late, you should get the locks changed right away.

Young handyman in uniform changing door lock

Relationship Has Ended

Have you recently got out of a relationship with someone who you lived with? Did you previously give a key to someone who you no longer speak to? This is the perfect opportunity to change your locks. Whether it’s the breakdown of a romantic relationship or a friendship, you probably don’t want this person to have easy access to your home. It’s definitely recommended for those times where things didn’t quite end mutually – don’t risk something getting stolen or someone getting hurt.

 

If you want to hire a professional locksmith in east London to change your locks, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at AFS Security.

You can give us a call on 0208 471 9000 and a member of our team will be happy to help you with all your security needs. 

Posted in Blog, security |

New Homeowners: 4 Safety Tips to Consider

Buying and moving into your very first home is extremely exciting. After the years of saving, the months of filling in important documents and speaking about finances, and the weeks of packing up everything you own into cardboard boxes, you’ve finally completed all the hard parts!

However, before you get too comfortable in your new abode, there are certain things you need to consider when it comes to home security.

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Get to Know The Area

Being new to the area means that you have no idea what is usual or unusual activity. You don’t know what cars are usually parked on your street, or whether this or that person always walks past your house. This is why we suggest that you familiarise yourself with your surroundings as soon as possible. Take some time to walk around each day – the more you realise what is ‘normal’ or ‘typical’, the easier it will be to notice when something is more suspicious.

Meet Your Neighbours

You’ve probably chosen a safe area to move into with neighbours that you know are pretty decent. Therefore, it’s definitely a good idea to get to know them as soon as possible. You don’t have to make them your new best friends but it’s worth introducing yourself and being polite.

When it comes to preventing theft, your neighbours often act as an extra pair of eyes or ears. They will be able to let you know if someone suspicious is hanging around and come on check on you if they hear any weird noises.

Smiling aged female friends relaxing with cup of coffee on balcony

Change Your Locks

Whilst the people who owned your house before are probably really nice people, you still have no way of knowing how many people actually had keys to the property. They could have given spare keys to anyone – you wouldn’t have a clue. It’s not worth the risk – have them changed as soon as you move in – if not even earlier!

This will prevent unwanted visitors from having access to your home and therefore protect you against theft taking place in the future. Just hire a professional locksmith who will make that it’s done accurately and quickly.

Install Home Security

As we always say, the best possible chance you have to preventing theft is to install good home security. Being new to an area could potentially make you a target to opportunist burglars, which is why it’s essential that you get your security sorted ASAP. A good system will let you know (and the police) when something happens in your home when you’re home or away – so get one put in whenever you can.

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If you’ve recently moved into a new home and would like to change the locks, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re a professional and experienced locksmith in East London who will be more than happy to help you out.

Just give us a call on 0208 471 9000 and a member of our team will be happy to help.

 

Posted in Blog |

My House Has Been Burgled. What Should I Do?

Coming home to find that your house been burgled is a horrible feeling. As well as being a shock, it also has the potential to be a devastating experience for some people.

We hope that none of you have to experience the upsetting realisation that you’ve had your home broken into. However, we think that everyone should know what to do in the aftermath – just in case it ever happens.

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Phone the Police

Phoning the police is the very first thing you should do when you realise that you’ve been burgled. The sooner you report the crime, the more chance of catching the criminal. Having the incident on police records is also useful for a number of different reasons, such as claiming on the insurance for missing items. The police will also give you a contact number of victim support – you might need this in the upcoming weeks.

Secure the Property

Once you have phoned the police, you should make sure that your property is secure. Close any open windows, lock the doors, and then wait for them to arrive. You shouldn’t try to clean anything up – you might move some important evidence. We suggest waiting at a neighbours until the police arrive – or getting someone to come and sit with you if you’re alone.

Hands entering a code

Make a List of Anything That Has Been Taken

Although it’s probably the last thing you want to do, it’s important that you walk around the whole house and make a note of anything that is missing or damaged. Not only will this be helpful to the police, it will also help you with the insurance. The descriptions should be detailed – include the estimated value of each one too.

Contact Important People

There are a couple of people that you should contact after a break in. These include:

  • Insurance company – Give them the list of stolen items, as well the police reference number that you will be provided with.
  • Bank/Credit Card Supplier – If you’re cards have been stolen, you should contact the appropriate people to get them cancelled ASAP.
  • Locksmith – Has your doors been broken into? Have they taken spare keys? Now would be the right time to change all your locks.

Talk to Your Friends & Family

Don’t suffer in silence. You might be feeling sad, lonely, or even frustrated and annoyed with yourself – your friend and family will understand. If you don’t want to be alone in your home, just ask someone to stay with you. It’s a traumatic experience and you shouldn’t go through it alone.

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Having good security in place is an excellent way to prevent your house from being broken into. From high quality alarm systems to secured locks, good security could save you a lot of money in the long run.

If would like a professional and experienced locksmith in Essex to come install new secure locks in your home or business – we have you covered.

Just contact us on 0208 471 9000 and a member of our team will be happy to help.

Posted in Blog |

Burglary 101: The 4 Basic Types of Burglars

Not all burglars are the same. Yeah they all break into property that isn’t theirs and they all steal things that don’t belong to them – but this doesn’t make them equal.

There are a number of different reasons for why people choose to steal, as well as a number of different ways in which they do so. Some burglars simply take advantage of lapse of security, whilst others are more calculated and violent.

Burglar caught on the roof of a house

We’ve taken a look at the 4 basic types of burglars that you may encounter.

The Amateur

Otherwise known as an opportunist, the amateur burglar is a petty thief that will strike when an opportunity arises. They seek out easy targets, such as houses that have windows open or doors unlocked. It’s rarely planned – they don’t know who they are stealing from or what they are stealing until in the moment.

They are more likely to steal items that they can sell for cash – anything that is easy to grab in a hurry.

This is the most common type of burglar, and one that can be prevented with good security.

The Scouter  

Whilst still not the most highly skilled criminal, the scouter spends a little more time planning a burglary before carrying it out. An amateur acts in the moment, whilst a scouter will watch a property for quite a while before selecting it as a target.

They will choose homes that with minimal security measures – although they may enter by smashing a window or kicking in a door. They will steal anything they can find that may be of value.

Again, you can prevent this type of burglar by installing high quality security. A good alarm system will scare them away.

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The Prowler

The prowler is one of the scariest types of burglars because they aren’t afraid to do whatever it takes to get what they want. They will gain entry to your house in a number of different ways – disguising themselves as delivery men/women are common.

They will often study your property, taking note of the security system so that they can work out how to bypass it without detection.

They know what they are breaking in to steal and will have it planned out so that they leave without getting caught.

 The Professional

The professional burglar is one that you probably won’t come across but definitely would have heard about in the news. They rarely target the average home – their jobs involve places in which are of high value such as banks or vaults.

They often work as part of an organised criminal organisation which makes it hard to identify them. They will be targeting specific items of high value and would have been planning it for a long time.

 You don’t have to worry about this type of burglar but they do exist.

 prisoner

Now that you’re aware of the different burglars, it’s definitely time to update your home security.

As an experienced locksmiths in Kent, AFS Security care about your safety. We understand that good security is important when it comes to having peace of mind in your property, which is why we can help you with all your security needs – commercial or domestic.

We provide a comprehensive range of security products, which we will be happy to discuss with you. Just contact us on 0208 471 9000 and a member of our team will be happy to help.

Posted in Blog |

Seasonal Safety Tips: Keep Your Home Safe This Christmas

We can’t quite believe that October has come and gone. We’ve only just put away our Halloween decorations for another year, but we’re already thinking ahead to the next big holiday.

Now that we’re in November, many of us will be thinking about starting our Christmas shopping. With the big day only 7 weeks away, there is no time like the present to make a start on our present buying.

However, apart from fun and celebrations, the holiday season also brings out the opportunist burglars. As our houses fill up with high value goods, these criminals won’t be able to resist breaking into unsuspecting homes.

Christmas stocking

Don’t let thieves take away your festive spirit – follow these home safety tips for protecting your home and possessions this winter.

Hide Your Christmas Gifts

You don’t just need to hide Christmas presents from young children, you should also think about keeping them out of view from opportunist burglars too. If your Christmas tree can be seen through your window, you definitely shouldn’t be leaving presents underneath for everyone and anyone to see. Wrapped gifts under the tree are like an open invitation to burglars – so don’t make it easy for them.

Don’t Advertise Anything on the Internet

Travelling over Christmas? Just bought your loved one an expensive watch or laptop? Don’t advertise this information over the internet, as you have no idea who is reading. If someone knows you’re not going to be home over the holiday period, what is stopping them breaking into your home whilst you’re away? You should never post that you’re going away – share the details of your vacation when you are safely back home.

The same goes for sharing what presents you have bought. Don’t let the whole world know that you have expensive items under your tree.

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Secure Your Property

Don’t take any unnecessary risks with your home – make sure it’s completely secure. Even something as simple as a burglar alarm will add some extra protection to your home. It will alert you of unwanted visitors, as well as deter them away from the property.

We also suggest that you get a full security service carried out so that a professional can assess what your property needs to be fully secured.

Also, please remember to always lock your doors! You would be surprised at how many people are caught out this way.

If you would like to secure your property before the festive season kicks in, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Here at AFS Security, we are a fully experienced locksmith in Kent who specialise in a number of different security solutions.

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For more information on our services, just give us a call on 0208 471 9000 and a member of our team will be happy to answer any questions.

Posted in Blog |

Bizarre Burglaries: The Strangest Robberies That Have Ever Taken Place (Part Three)

What makes a burglary bizarre? We think it’s when something so random gets stolen, your first reaction is to think that it’s a joke. A house was stolen? That can’t be true! Someone made away with tons of sand from a beach – surely not?

Well, as we’ve been investigating, these burglaries might sound bizarre but they are most definitely true.

Burglar caught on the roof of a house

If you’ve been following our bizarre burglaries series closely and waiting with bated breath for part three – you’re in luck! We’re rounded up some more strange tales of less than normal burglaries that have happened around the world. Enjoy! (And if you haven’t already, go and check out part one and part two now)

Green With Envy

Irish house wife Denise Thompson was a keen gardener. She was especially proud of her front lawn – it was green, thick and healthy. With four young children and two dogs, the garden was somewhere she spent a lot of time. It’s not surprising then that she was devastated when someone stole it. Yeah – they took it all.

Denise went away with her whole family to visit her husband who was working away. When the family returned, they came in through the back door. Not suspecting anything amiss, she was shocked when she opened the front blinds and noticed that her whole garden was missing. Who took her grass? All that was left was mud as a replacement.

Neighbours claimed that they saw a white truck and trailer parked up outside her home but assumed it was a landscaping job. Did a company do it by accident? Nobody knows. Weird!

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Monkeying Around

How does one steal a 350-lb inflatable gorilla? Surely someone would notice one of these going missing from the roof of a shop, right? Well no one claimed to have noticed in California when this very thing happened.

The inflatable gorilla used to sit loud and proud on top of a car dealership. It often deflated when the weather was windy so no one though anything of it when it disappeared from sight. Even the owners of the dealership just assumed that it had deflated and did nothing about it. When they eventually climbed onto the roof to blow it back up, they were amazed to discover that it was actually missing! The gorilla was tied down by cables – so how did someone manage to free it and get away unseen? We assume it was the work of a couple of people but we’ll never know for sure.

The case still hasn’t been cracked but we’re sure someone is laughing somewhere.

 

If you want to prevent bizarre burglaries (or just the normal kind) happening to your home or business, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

As a locksmith in east London, we specialise in a range of security solutions that are designed to keep everything that you care about safe.

For more information, please give us a call on 0208 471 9000 and a member of our team will be happy to help.

Posted in Blog |

The Greatest Prison Escapes of All Time: Pankhurst Prison Escape (Part Three)

It’s been a while since we revisited our ‘Greatest Prison Escapes’ series. So far, we have looked at two high profile prison breakouts; the escape of American prisoner Frank Abagnale and Mexican kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.  

Picking it back up today, we will be taking a closer look at a prison escape that occurred back in 1995, this time from a prison in the UK. HM Prison Pankhurst is the prison in question – once a top security prison but was later downgraded in the 1990s.

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The Criminals

Andrew Roger, Keith Rose, and Matthew Williams, were the three prisoners who managed to escape from the HM Prison Pankhurst back in 1995.  All three were serving life sentences, with Roger and Rose both doing time for murder, whilst Williams was imprisoned for arson and bomb making.

Whilst most prison escapees get lucky and stumble across the instruments needed to aid their escape, these three cunning prisoners actually made all the equipment they needed; ladder, gun and master key. They all worked in the prison’s metal shop, making this possible over time.

The ladder was a 25 foot and made from steel – used to scale the prison fence. This wasn’t the most impressive thing that they made though – they constructed a key that opened every key and door in the prison – all made from memory.

The Escape

The prisoners at Pankhurst were all allowed to spend time in the small gym – this time was allocated every day. On the day in question, the three prisoners went along to the gym as normal. However, taking advantage of a distracted guard (or two), they unlocked the door at the back of the gym and escaped. They simply cut a hole in the fence (with another weapon they carved) and used their steel ladder to climb to safety (and freedom).

Luckily for the authorities (and unluckily for the prisoners), they were caught just a mere 4 days later. They were hiding out in an airfield, hoping to steal a plane for amateur pilot Rose to fly. In the end, the airfield was obviously a lot more secure than the prison ever was!

 Plane at the gate

We’re glad that the criminals were caught in the end, but it’s still really interesting to read about these prison escapes. We hope you enjoyed reading as much as we did writing!   

It just shows that you can’t be too careful when it comes to security – even high security prisons need to upgrade their security.

As locksmiths in Essex, AFS Security understands the importance of security. We offer our customer’s peace of mind by helping you with all your security needs – whether residential or commercial.

For more information on how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can give us a call on 0208 471 9000 and a member of our team will be happy to help.

Posted in Blog |