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Everything you need to know about access control systems

Ensuring the safety and security of your business is key. There are many types of system available to help you achieve this, one of which is an access control system. These systems do not only protect your staff and building, but they also enable you to control who comes into your building and see those that are trying to get in without permission.

Here, then, is the lowdown on access control systems, and what you really need to know about them as a business decision-maker.

What is an access control system?

If you want to be able to control who enters your building, this is what you would use an access control system for.

It allows those who want to enter and have permission, to access the given property by way of a security code or other entry requirement.

Many of these systems are equipped with a camera so that it can be seen who is trying to gain entry. This can be especially useful if your office is far from the entrance.

The entry system can either open the door with the right entry requirement, or be opened by you or a colleague.

In order to obtain the right equipment and installation, you will need to find a qualified company for the access control system installation in London or wherever your business is located.

Types of access controls

Depending on your needs and preferences, there are a number of ways in which you can have people gain access to your building through an access control system. Here are some of the typical ways you can set it up:

  • Card readers

This is arguably one of the most popular ways for people to gain entry using an access control system. Anyone requiring access will be issued with a card that can be swiped or held against a card reader. When the card is checked, it will allow entry if it is still valid.

It is a good idea to limit the time these cards are active, such as for one year. This helps to stop old cards from being used, in addition to allowing for an audit of the system.

  • Keypads

For companies that don’t want to use cards, there is also the option of having a keypad. This requires the user to enter a code that will allow the door to open. The only downside to this is that it requires the users to remember the code, plus, other people may be able to see someone inputting the code.

As with cards, it is important to change the code at specific intervals to help maintain the integrity of the system.

What are the benefits?

One of the biggest benefits of having an access control system in place, is the ability it gives you to control who enters your property as a means of increasing security at your business. It also enables you to help keep entry secure without having to employ additional security personnel.

Furthermore, an access control system can enable you to log entry to the building, should there be any problems that require investigation.

Conclusion

Access control systems are one of the best ways to keep your commercial property secure and help ensure the safety of your employees. Such a system is also easy to maintain and audit if controlled properly – so, why not contact the Firstford Ltd team about how we can have such a measure installed at your own premises?

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Keeping Your Business Premises Secure In 2022

Break-ins, burglary, and vandalism are issues that every homeowner and business owner fears having to deal with. Even the smallest hiccup can unsettle your business – and the time spent recovering from the crime could add up to a significant loss of earnings.

So, how can you help keep your own business premises better protected against such risks this year? Let’s outline some of your options.

Install security systems

Firstly, it’s important to decide what you need out of your security system. Choose from a range of functions such as video surveillance, entry systems, intruder detection, and burglar alarms. You might also consider whether you want your alarm system to ring out loud, or silently notify you or the authorities on a smart device.

Install the tailored commercial security systems in London that best meet your needs, and the requirements set out by your insurance provider. This will ensure that if you ever have a break in, the necessary protocols will be optimised to your personal requirements without voiding the terms of your insurance contract.

Use a deterrent

A visual deterrent can go a long way to putting potential criminals off vandalising your premises. For example, one study found that something as simple as outdoor lighting could cut crime by as much as 39%. This is surely unsurprising, because intruders to a well-lit property are likelier to be spotted and caught.

Of course, not every business can afford to keep lights on 24/7, and this can also raise your carbon emissions. So instead, you might opt for motion-detection lights, which will only come on when an intruder is detected. Not only can this help to reduce energy usage, but it can also effectively startle any wannabe criminals.

CCTV in blind spots

Many businesses will have already weighed up whether a security guard is necessary. While some multi-occupied office buildings may have such a detail, many small businesses may forgo this extra employee – after all, you can see everything from your desk by the window, right?

Many premises actually have blind spots – that is, places on the property that cannot be seen from the windows and doors. This is why it could be a very wise idea for you to identify where the blind spots are around your business premises, and install CCTV to cover these spots, allowing you a 360° view of the building at all times.

Check the exterior for weak spots

Items such as ladders and rubbish bins can assist burglars in getting into a property. So, make sure that any ladders at your business premises are packed away at the end of the day, and bins are stored a safe distance away from any windows.

It is also a good idea to include safety precautions around any gates, walls, or fences that you have – even if they are locked and secure. This allows you to identify if anyone crosses the boundary towards your property, before they even have the chance to enter the premises.

Remember to lock up when vacating

This might seem a very simple tip, but we are all guilty of forgetting things now and again! Always double-check, then, that you have locked all windows, doors, fire exits, and gates once everyone has left the building.

For extra precautions, if your building is on the older side, consider investing in some better doors, windows, and locks. This will reduce the risk of the locks failing at any point, thereby improving the all-round security of your building.

Follow these top tips and you will be sure to optimise the security of your business premises in 2022, so that you can sleep that little bit easier.

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Why your business should invest in a fire risk assessment

Every business should invest in regular fire risk assessments for each physical site in its portfolio. But before we think about the ‘why’, let us start with the ins and outs of what a fire risk assessment involves.

What is a fire risk assessment?

Fire risk assessments review the given physical building, inspecting the premises for potential fire risks. After risks have been identified, recommendations can be made as to how you might better protect the building against the risk of fire.

It’s the law!

A fire risk assessment is a legal obligation of businesses and owners of multi-occupied dwellings in accordance with Article 9 of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. This legislation stipulates that “the responsible person must make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks” in order to identify risks and implement the appropriate fire safety measures.

As you can see, according to legislation, it is the legal responsibility of the “responsible person” to make sure a fire risk assessment is undertaken. The responsible person in a commercial business is often the business owner, manager, appointed fire safety manager, managing agent, or landlord, depending on whether you rent or own outright your space.

Who can undertake a fire risk assessment?

Fire risk assessments should only be carried out by a “competent person”, that is, someone who has the experience and expertise to identify risks and suggest safety protocols to mitigate this risk.

Although this does not necessarily have to be a ‘risk assessor’, the benefit of employing a qualified and certified safety expert to conduct your fire risk assessment in London is that you can have peace of mind that your building complies with all health and safety legislation.

All the findings of the risk assessment should be recorded in detail, alongside all safety measures that have been recommended. The fire safety protocols should then be implemented at the earliest convenience, which must be reviewed and updated regularly.

Why should your business invest in a fire risk assessment?

You will need to pay the price if you don’t

As conducting a fire risk assessment is the law, not conducting one is a crime. Thus, if you do not possess a fire risk assessment, and have not correctly implemented adequate fire safety protocol, you can receive a large fine and even a prison sentence upon prosecution.

Prove you did everything you could

In the unfortunate event of a fire in your business, proof of fire risk assessments beforehand will show that your premises have been regularly inspected, and so you have done everything you could to prevent the fire from occurring. Therefore, it is always best to keep written evidence of a fire risk assessment, whether it is with a logbook or a folder of signed and dated recommendations.

Risk to life

At its most basic, a fire risk assessment protects your employees or tenants. Without a fire risk assessment, you risk the lives of the people you work alongside every day.

Protect your business

As a business owner, your business is your biggest financial asset. As an employee, the business is the sole source of your income. Thus, protecting your place of work against fire damage not only protects the physical building, but also the financial investments and capital wrapped up in its walls.

And there you have it – everything you need to know about why your business must invest in regular fire risk assessments.

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Will domestic CCTV become more popular?

During the lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, urban crime as a whole plummeted in cities around the world. One of the crimes that fell significantly was burglary, as more people were staying in their homes 24/7 as part of the restrictions.

However, now that many of us have begun to return to working in the office, and have more freedom to take trips away, this has led to rising anxiety about leaving our homes unattended. In fact, the Independent reported that a third of Britons are more anxious about home security post-lockdown, and 48% more attached to our property and possessions than ever before.

Thus, it can be predicted that advanced home security systems may become increasingly popular in the near future. With this in mind, let us take a closer look at domestic CCTV, and how this sector of home security can benefit you.

Advantages of installing domestic CCTV:

Integration with smart home security

Smart home security and surveillance technology has been steadily increasing in popularity over the past few years, and forecasts for the future are no different. In 2023, the global video surveillance market is projected to be worth 62.6 billion US dollars.

One benefit of domestic CCTV installation in Essex is that these surveillance cameras can often be integrated with other smart home security systems in order to create a bespoke, tailored home security solution that is fully automated and fuss-free.

Deterrent

Even if the CCTV camera is switched off, the very sight of there being domestic surveillance on the property can be a huge deterrent to would-be burglars. Having domestic CCTV makes criminals less likely to target your home as the risk of being caught will be foreseen to be much higher.

To increase the effectiveness of CCTV as a deterrent, make sure that the camera is visible to people off your property, and advertise its presence clearly, ensuring that potential thieves are well aware of your home security systems.

Monitor blind spots

CCTV can be extremely useful for elderly people, vulnerable adults, and women who live on their own. For these people, heading outside in the dark to check out an unusual noise might not be possible, or at least not a sensible option.

Instead, CCTV can monitor the blind spots around your property that can’t be seen from your windows. This allows you to check your property from the comfort of your home, and enables you to identify any impromptu visitors before unlocking your door.

Collect evidence

In addition to identifying visitors to your property, the video of the visit can be saved and stored. If you fall victim to the unfortunate event of a crime, such as a robbery or vandalism, then the video of the crime can be used as evidence for your home insurance company.

The video can also assist police in making an identification of the culprit. When the camera gets a good shot of the face, police can use facial recognition or line-ups to identify the person who committed the crime, bringing them to justice.

Overall, it is clear that domestic CCTV will likely become more popular over the next few years, especially as the country largely returns to working in the office post-pandemic. And with the extensive list of benefits it can bring to your home security, there is no wonder as to why this is.

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Are burglary figures on the rise since the lifting of lockdown restrictions?

The coronavirus pandemic changed the world as we know it, as the world was thrown into various lockdown restrictions to control the spread. But how have these restrictions and the subsequent restored freedoms affected the rate of burglaries? Let us take a look.

How did lockdown affect crime figures?

During the lockdown restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, crime fell significantly around the world. According to The Guardian, robberies declined by an average of 46%, vehicle thefts by 39%, assaults by 35%, burglaries by 28%, and minor crimes by 47%.

Another study found that average daily robberies including muggings plummeted by 85% in Lima, 80% in Barcelona, 60% in London, 58% in Brisbane, and 50% in Rio de Janeiro. Robberies also fell by less than 50% in Amsterdam, San Francisco, Chicago, and Helsinki.

What did the experts predict?

When most people were forced to work from home during lockdown, and only a small number of places were physically open for business, this is likely to have put off burglars with the understanding that they would be more likely to be caught. However, as lockdown restrictions have eased, there has been more opportunity for home burglaries, as a significant number of people are no longer home 24/7.

In June 2021, Scotland Yard expressed fears that crime would go up after the lifting of lockdown rules. DCS Lee Hill cited pent-up aggression and increased opportunity as reasons for these concerns.

But it is one thing to predict potential consequences, and another thing to look back at what actually occurred once lockdown restrictions did ease earlier this year.

There’s evidence of higher burglary rates since the end of lockdown

Since lockdown restrictions were lifted, as published by WalesOnline, an insurer said there was a 6.2% increase in burglaries from the first to second quarter of this year. In other words, there were apparently 3,600 more reported burglaries between April and June than in January to March, amounting to around £169 million in stolen property.

These figures coincided with 20% of people reportedly spending more time out of their homes to take advantage of the restrictions being lifted, leading to many of them becoming extremely concerned about their vulnerability to burglary.

Although burglary figures do indeed seem to be on the rise since the lifting of restrictions, there are a few ways you can help protect your home and your family from potential break ins.

  1. Install security systems

Installing a burglar alarm and/or a motion sensor is the first line of defence against robberies.

  1. Ensure your burglar alarms are working properly

Once you have a reliable security system and burglar alarm, you need to make sure that they are maintained, so that you can be confident of them always working properly. We would urge you to enlist a professional for this task – and sure enough, Firstford offer burglar alarm servicing for customers in London and Kent.

  1. Lock your doors even when in the house

Locking your doors and windows during the day and night – even when you are just upstairs – will give you the peace of mind of knowing that no one can easily enter your home.

  1. Keep valuables out of sight

Leaving your valuables out where they can be seen just advertises to criminals that you have things worth stealing. So, make sure you keep them out of sight.

Would you like to discuss your home security needs in greater detail with qualified and experienced professionals? If so, please do not hesitate to contact the Firstford Ltd team today.

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Three Christmas gifts to keep loved ones’ homes secure

When many of us think of Christmas gift ideas, we might imagine either very ‘dull, worthy but practical’ things – like the ever-dreaded socks – or relatively frivolous items, such as novelty mugs or merchandise related to the recipient’s favourite sports team or movie star. What you probably won’t think of – at least at first – is anything to do with home security.

But why should that be the case? After all, an investment in the safety and security of someone you love – and their existing possessions – is surely one of the best investments you could conceivably make.

Plus, the Christmas period might be the ideal time to introduce certain security measures to your or someone else’s home. This much is clear from statistics – as cited by the Express – indicating that burglaries in the UK double from November to December.

So, here at Firstford Ltd, we thought we’d take you on a tour through three of the possible festive gift options related to home security that your recipients might be especially thankful for.

A CCTV system

Could you really buy a loved one of yours a complete CCTV system? The short answer is, yes you could! It might be an especially good idea, however, to arrange for the installation of such cameras at your own home, for protecting yourself and relatives who live with you. After all, you will be familiar with the property, so you will already have a sense of its potentially vulnerable areas, and what you would and wouldn’t want to have in a CCTV system at your home.

And the great news is that here at Firstford Ltd, we are accredited experts in domestic CCTV installation in Essex. This enables us to discuss and advise you on the bespoke arrangements that are likely to work best for warding off potential intruders from your property, accounting for both your practical and budgetary needs.

A paper shredder

OK, so we’ve established that even a CCTV system can be a Christmas gift. But what if you’re seeking something a little… simpler, and perhaps more affordable, for that special someone who would nonetheless appreciate it as a means of making themselves feel safer in their home?

In that case, getting them a paper shredder could be ideal. As the name suggests, these are machines that can efficiently shred all personal and business documents that may contain sensitive details, such as the relevant person’s name, address and even bank account information.

When a lot of us imagine the ‘typical’ home burglary, we might picture someone in a balaclava taking away an obviously valuable physical item, such as a computer or a TV. But those of us who fear becoming victims of such an event will also want to make sure we don’t have too many sensitive documents lying around, given the aforementioned details that might leave open a risk of identity fraud.

So, don’t underestimate how much your intended recipient is likely to appreciate a good paper shredder!

A burglar alarm

With statistics having long suggested that intruder alarms can be highly effective as a deterrent to those who may otherwise look to break into a home, such a system can be another great thing to invest in as a gift for a friend or relative.

Not all burglar alarms are the same, though, and you will want to be sure that the burglar alarm you purchase for your intended recipient meets their needs. This is why it can again be a great idea to speak to us, as we can provide the complete design, supply and installation service.

This is another purchase where, when the property where the alarm to be installed is not your own, it makes sense to let the recipient know that you’re planning to buy an intruder alarm for them. This would allow our team to then visit the recipient’s property and undertake a risk assessment, to help us ensure the final system fulfils all crucial requirements.

One recent trend in burglar alarm systems, for example, is ‘smart’ functionality, which would allow the user to control aspects of the system remotely and receive alerts to their smartphone, even when they are physically nowhere near their home. You might therefore want to ask your intended recipient whether this is something they would wish to have in their home burglar alarm system – and the same goes for monitoring packages, of which we can also provide a generous range.

There you have it – just three examples of feasible Christmas presents that can also aid in improving home security, at a time of year when this should be a particularly important priority for us all. Get in touch with the Firstford Ltd team today, and we will be pleased to give you the benefit of further specialised advice and guidance, whether you are buying for someone else or even yourself.

 

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Five Reasons Your Smoke Detector Might Give A False Alarm

Five Reasons Your Smoke Detector Might Give A False Alarm

A police siren, an alarm clock, a car alarm and a smoke detector. All “necessary” horrible noises. A police siren alerts you to the fact that crime in your area is being dealt with, an alarm clock helps you wake up in time for work, a car alarm alerts you to the fact that your car may have been damaged and a smoke detector alerts you, as the name suggests, to smoke being detected. Well, not always…

Here is five reasons your smoke detector could be going rogue.

 

Inside a Smoke Detector

Understanding how smoke detectors work and what they contain is key to understanding why yours may be on the blink.

There are two primary types of smoke alarms: photoelectric and ionization.

Photoelectric smoke detection uses light in the form of a steady beam. Once smoke particles find themselves in various sections of the device, the particles scatter within the beam and redirect it to a thing called a photocell, which then sounds the alarm and alerts you to smoke.

Ionisation smoke detection utilises the science of ions and electrons that circulate around electrodes- a cool lesson, right? When smoke finds itself in the ionisation chamber, it sticks to the ions in the alarm, which disrupts the chemistry and gives out the required alert.

Both types of smoke detection will activate when smoke enters the chamber within the alarm system. However, both are susceptible to malfunctions for various reasons.

 

Overcooked Food

The most common reason for an incorrect alarm activation is overcooked food. Does your alarm go off every time you cook food a minute longer than you should?

If your alarm is installed more than 10 feet away from your oven, hob or toaster, but it still sounds every time your toast goes slightly too brown or your steak is well done, you may want to test and adjust the sensitivity of your alarm.

 

Placement of Your Alarm

This is a follow on from the previous point, but something that is important to keep in mind regardless of your cooking appliances.

It isn’t just cooking devices you should look to avoid, as installing your smoke detectors beside a window or door can also be a common culprit in causing false alarms. Something as simple as a draft can interfere with more sensitive sensors, even causing the illusion of smoke within the alarm from exterior particles that have drifted indoors.

 

Dust Build-up

Another also very simple but often very frustrating cause of a false alarm activation is build-up of dust. Dust can also affect your smoke alarm regularly. For this reason, we recommend cleaning your smoke detectors with a vacuum attachment that can reach up and keep your sensors clean from dust build-up.

Steam or Water Vapor

High humidity carries dense moisture particles that are thick enough to cause confusion within your smoke detector as it mistakes them for smoke. In extreme cases, the air is dense enough to trigger the light beam sensor housed in the photoelectric section in some alarms.

The same concept applies to steam. So, if installing your smoke detector outside of your bathroom or by an area that regularly steams up, you may want to reconsider to avoid annoying alarms.

 

Unwanted Visitors

You see the small holes in your smoke detector? These holes are designed for steam, smoke, or fire particles. They’re not for insects.

Unfortunately, insects didn’t get the memo.

Often insects will crawl inside for a dark, warm safe haven. Once they’ve made themselves at home, insects can set off the alarm by tampering with the sensors. You may want to open up your smoke detector to see if there’s any unwanted visitors inside.

 

Do none of these seem to apply? Well here at First Ford, we have Burglar Alarm System Installation Experts ready to replace your faulty system with a brand new, state of the art one!

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Are Crime figures on the rise?

Surprisingly crime figures have decreased since this period last year, with an overall fall of 12 percent this is mainly due to the covid-19 situation we have been in the past few years. When you talk about crime rates you look at two things; crimes recorded by police and crimes reported in an annual survey of 38,000 members of public. Within this article we will discuss the crime figures and how the pandemic has affected this.

Throughout periods of national lockdown, crime was at its lowest since 2016 at 5.5 million offences recorded. The third lockdown everyone was told to stay at home, limiting opportunities for individuals to commit crimes as they were not allowed out of the house unnecessarily. Fines were put in place for those who didn’t have a valid reason for travelling, which acted as a good deterrent. Therefore, criminals were less likely to go out and commit crimes as police were hot on everything at this point as they had more control over the public. However, you had rises in anti-social behaviour for example, those breaking lockdown restrictions.

A national police chief said ‘While crime levels are lower, the latest figures show smaller reductions than seen in recent months, suggesting a gradual return to pre-pandemic levels. This is what we have been anticipating, with restrictions easing over the last few weeks and months as part of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.’

These increases and decreases of crime can affect how much is spent on policing and other services, the prime minister recently announced his proposal to increase the number of officers to 20,000 within the next 3 years. If crime rates keep increasing as quickly as they have been the government need to spend an extra estimated £3.5 billion, which is huge but what is needed to protect our country.

In terms of specific crimes, robbery and theft have dropped dramatically which makes sense due to the current circumstances of covid-19 and that everyone’s at home constantly and it would be rather difficult to burgle a house. But we’re most likely to see an increase in this area now that the restrictions are lifting, people are now investing into a burglar alarm service which acts as a deterrent and creates peace of mind for home owners. On the other hand, rises in fraud and computer misuse has come into play.

In addition, there was a spike in drug crime due to the restrictions providing police with the opportunity to target drug dealers due to them having inflexible ways of moving around and the police force were running more proactive drugs operations. Sadly, another crime which increased due to the pandemic was domestic abuse due to victims being trapped at home with their abusers, aggravating pre-existing behaviours in the household.

Another effect on the criminal justice system is the impact it had on the courts. A huge backlog of 57,000 cases, resulting in some cases not going before a jury until 2032 unless cases change dramatically, which is causing great heartache for the victims in those cases. The backlog before the pandemic was still bad at 39,000 cases due to courts being closed because of budget cuts but the pandemic just made this problem a lot deeper.

Overall, the pandemic has created some huge impacts on the crime rates and the criminal justice system, with some types of crime rates increasing and some decreasing. However, since the lifting of restrictions will these rates go back to how they was?

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How Office Life Has Changed Since Covid  

 

It isn’t exactly news that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we live in the UK. Perhaps the most noticeable of these changes, however, has been in our working habits.

 

When the coronavirus crisis began to make itself felt in the spring of 2020, many of us who were accustomed to working in an office switched to home working. Since then, we’ve often gone back and forth between the two with new lockdowns and reopenings.

 

Whatever the situation has been for you, we felt it was important to look back and take note of exactly how office life has changed for many of us since the pandemic began.

 

Not everyone has made the return to the office

 

Given the curious circumstances we’ve all faced since the COVID-19 outbreak first hit hard, it’s only natural that we would see a change in people’s working needs. In fact, an article published by BBC Worklife reported that 72% of people wished to split their time working from the office and from home.

 

New expectations have been created for employers about flexibility, working conditions and life balance, that can’t simply be undone. After decades of the ‘9 to 5’, and the belief that office-centric work was the best thing for business, it came as a surprise to some firms that embracing the change to greater employee freedom actually helped to increase productivity.

 

Making a huge shift like this has forced offices to embrace the best practices from office culture and switch their focuses to a more supportive culture. Importance is now placed on improving the lives of employees, while still getting the best from them.

 

Companies are going virtual first

 

After learning about their employees’ desire to change their working habits, many companies are taking steps to create a hybrid working environment, setting out a ‘virtual-first’ working pattern.

 

All this means workforces are being distributed across the office and home, and companies are taking necessary steps to ensure this happens efficiently. It also means that cloud storage is frequently being used for data, and that security measures are in place for different modes of working.

 

It has also meant, of course, previously ‘technophobic’ workers being given an enforced ‘crash course’ on modern communications solutions, such as Zoom. The end result is that the population is probably better placed than it has ever been before to work effectively from anywhere.

 

Embracing these new skills and technologies will continue to help businesses to flourish in the post-COVID world.

 

More focus on mental wellbeing

 

While there is no positive in the sharp rise in mental health issues we have seen as a result of the pandemic, this situation has at least forced many businesses to focus more closely on the wellbeing of their employees, beyond their physical health.

 

Now more than ever, companies are going above and beyond to promote positive mental wellbeing among teams. The focus on mental wellbeing in the workplace has gathered so much momentum, that even after the coronavirus, it looks set to keep going. The pandemic has forced businesses to understand and acknowledge the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace.

 

Changes to design and ventilation

 

Although we have returned to relative ‘normality’ in the UK, COVID-19 hasn’t just gone away. Even after most of the workforce has been vaccinated, the desire for space and social distancing remains. The post-COVID world will likely see fewer people working in the office, and businesses need to help protect the health of those who remain in the office.

 

Businesses also need to understand that not everyone returning to the office will be confident doing so. They need to return to a space that they feel is healthy and safe. They also need to be sure that the working environment will be clean, and that they will have access to all of the cleaning materials they will require.

 

Now is also an excellent time to introduce ventilation systems to the office, to make sure any once stuffy rooms have air running through them, to help filter out particles of the virus. Maximum occupancy signs should also be considered on meeting rooms and lifts.

 

Are your own organisation’s offices as secure as they can be?

 

With more people working from home – sometimes even entire workforces – it is more important than ever to ensure that your own organisation’s commercial buildings are well defended and secure.

 

If you are looking for access control systems in London, look no further than Firstford Ltd. We carry out CCTV installation, as well as maintenance work to make sure any potential issues are picked up on in good time.

 

Help to keep your building safe in these ever-changing post-COVID times, by reaching out to us to discuss the sophisticated security solutions we can provide in London, Essex, and elsewhere in the UK.

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Are home burglaries on the rise?

Are home burglaries on the rise?

It goes without saying that the majority of homeowners or renters are anxious to ensure their home is not broken into. But are the scary news headlines that we see at times about home burglaries and similar crimes necessarily a fair reflection of the reality?

To give you some peace of mind, let’s talk about whether home burglaries are on the increase as much as it might sometimes seem, along with some ways you can help prevent your home from being burgled.

Let’s look at the statistics

In 2020/21, the number of police recorded burglary offences in England and Wales amounted to 267,931 burglaries. This was actually a significant decline of over 116 thousand compared to 2019/20.

Since 2002/03, there has been a clear trend of declining burglary offences, with 2020/21 recording the fewest burglaries in this time period.

However, the significant drop in burglary offences over the past year may be largely attributable to the multiple coronavirus lockdowns. In fact, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), as reported by the BBC, noted an 8% fall in crime as a whole and a 24% fall in home burglary during lockdown.

This is likely to be because people spent more time in their home during this time, which will have deterred many criminals from taking a risk. However, as people are now returning to traditional workplaces and increasingly able to go on holiday abroad, many of us are able to move more freely, thereby potentially leaving our homes vulnerable again.

Furthermore, even if home burglaries are decreasing year by year, 267,931 burglaries is still nothing to ignore, especially if much of the fluctuation in crime rates during the year was potentially due to periods of lockdown.

With this in mind, here are a few ways you can make sure your home stays relatively safe from potential burglars, even as the UK begins to reopen after the pandemic.

  1. Install and maintain your burglar alarm

If you don’t have a burglar alarm already, now is the time to invest. A burglar alarm system can notify you of any attempt at a break in, or notify your neighbours with its loud noise if you are away from home.

You should also arrange for regular burglar alarm servicing to ensure your alarm is working correctly and properly maintained. This way, you can rest assured that if a burglar does strike one day, your home will be optimally protected.

  1. Lock your doors and windows

Always lock your doors and windows, even when you are at home! This prevents burglars having easy access into your property.

  1. Don’t leave valuables on show

If a burglar can see valuables through your window, this might make your property a more attractive target for them. Therefore, don’t leave items such as car keys, laptops, tablets, phones, and cash on show.

This also goes for power cables or chargers for these devices. If a would-be thief can see a charger, for example, then it will seem clear to them that you have the device that goes with it somewhere in the house.

  1. Use lighting as a deterrent

Outdoor and indoor lighting can also be used to deter burglars. When you are out, make your home look occupied by using a timer to control your lights. From the outside, a motion activated light can scare burglars away.

Overall, although home burglaries do not seem to be on the rise in the UK, it is still crucial to make sure you take appropriate action to help prevent burglaries from happening. This is especially important at the moment, as the UK gradually reopens in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can maximise security at your residential property to help stop budding thieves, please don’t hesitate to get in touch directly with the experts at Firstford.

 

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