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Locksmith Clippings and Musings – April 2017 – Helen Duval

Whilst it might seem like common sense to most of us to have some kind of protection in and around the house, there still appears to be an enormous amount of people who consider the bare basics, that have always worked, are enough to deter opportunist burglars.

According to Neighbourhood Watch there are a number of principles that homeowners should apply to give them complete reassurance when their homes are empty. Whilst Predictive Policing is being introduced to areas with high crime such as central Birmingham it is nowhere near as safe an option as Tom Cruise demonstrated in Minority Report, so until it is, we have to rely upon a few trusted methods and some ‘Smart Technology’ to keep our castles secure.

Figures show that burglaries during the month between December and January increased considerably with home and vehicle theft still making big crime statistics. This is attributed to people simply not checking up on their home security frequently enough – if a burglar wants to try his luck to get in, they will, making it hard for them to break and enter is obviously what is needed.

Reminding homeowners about their vulnerabilities remains important with drop shots still a big source of revenue for locksmiths.

Neighbourhood Watch recommends reinforcing the WIDE principles as many homes stay safer than those who choose to believe that their current security measures are enough.

Windows – should have locks on each and every one and in some cases where there are old frames there should be two installed

Interior lights – should be left on a timer during holidays or breaks away to deter thieves from trying to enter.

Double or Dead bolts ought to be fitted on doors, including conservatories and garages.

Exterior lights should have a sensor fitted.

With Easter being another time of year when people travel away it is important to remind homeowners that any keys, money or valuables are not left in full view should anyone look in through the windows. A house, should look occupied and it is always sensible if people mention to their neighbours that they will be away.

Whilst dogs may well protect a person inside the house, they don’t necessarily stop a determined burglar just by barking at them. Professionals will have worked out ways to by-pass canine friends if they have seen weaknesses at a property.

As ever the industry continues to strive to keep homes and cars safe and secure with Hoppe having introduced a new, free information product guide that includes advice and technical information the range.

Locks, latches, handles and hinges are all incorporated featuring the best of the company’s hardware solutions for windows and doors. A focus has been placed on the 1697 product lines which incorporate the recently relaunched panic and emergency door hardware.

As ever the catalogue offers advice on buying and the most up-to-date industry standards which includes test data and installation advice.

Andy Matthews, Sales at HOPPE (UK), stated:

“We’re proud to showcase all our product ranges and share our technical knowledge with our customers. We’re always on hand to give any specification advice and answer any queries because we want our customers to feel confident about the product choices they are making.”

Personal safety has also been a focus this month with Master Lock launching a new lock box where portable valuables such as wallets, keys and iPods can be conveniently stored for people on their travels. Made of steel the concept provides peace of mind to store all those important personal items via the portable lock box.

With a 3-digit combination code, the Lock Box is light and easy to transport, with a steel tethering cable giving added security.

Taster Sessions

It was really good to learn that the Mears group had instigated a free ‘trade’ taster session where women in London could sample life within the Repairs and Maintenance sector. Working in partnership with Construction Youth Trust, the most recent workshop was held at the Training Centre in Bermondsey where it was hoped that women looking to develop careers in building maintenance could experience a trade first hand.

The taster session included practical training from qualified trades people who work in in a number of trades and who coached on a variety of skills including plumbing, joinery, as well as painting and decorating. Advice was also given on career prospects and the support systems available.

Another 3 taster sessions are planned for this year in Manchester, Brighton, and Canterbury.

Gainor Keeton, Mears Project Manager, commented, “Only 1% of construction trade operatives in the construction sector are female. We are determined to do better than this and to increase the number of tradeswomen across the social housing building maintenance sector.”

Finally, with women in the workforce in mind, an excellent female role model has been appointed by Yale security specialists with Veronica Adams appointed as Territory Manager for the South East region. This reinforces the company’s focus to further strengthen its support network for trade customers.

Veronica has a wealth of experience through her previous role at Mila Hardware, which had a strong involvement in the security sector.

Helen Duval

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