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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.


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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Our Top 5 Favourite Heist Movies

As security experts, and commercial security system fitters across London and Essex, our job is to make your premises as heist-proof as possible. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them on screen. Here are five of our favourites.


  1. Oceans 11

Arguably the best cast ever assembled, certainly in a heist movie, this epic ensemble includes George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Julia Roberts. Steven Soderbegh’s update of the 1960 Frank Sinatra classic, intending to empty the vaults of not one, not two, but an incredible three Vegas casinos in the same night. The group use a heavyweight title fight as their cloak and dagger. One of Clooney’s best performances, alongside a second act which propelled Brad Pitt into stardom. Oceans 11 is one of the best heist movies ever and its rewatchable quality means its firmly secure on this list.


  1. Widows

The newest entry on this list, Steve McQueen’s classy thriller follows four women whose husbands died at the hands of police during an attempted heist. The widows then attempt to settle their sadly exploded partners’ debts, taking things into their own hands. To pay back $2 million to a crime boss the husbands had ripped off, they plan to make off with $5 million using a plan from one of the deceased’s notebooks. Led by an incredible performance by Viola Davis alongside Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki and Carrie Coon, Widows is a fingernail biting, intelligent film whose heroines give a fresh twist on a previously male dominated film genre.


  1. Inside Man

Spike Lee has seen an incredible resurgence in the last few years with critically acclaimed blockbusters such as BlacKkKlansman and Da 5 Bloods doing well on and off screen. However, it’s Inside Man that makes our list. When Spike Lee dipped into the heist genre, like most things he does- he smashed it. The heist itself comes early, and it’s a complex one involving thieves dressed as decorators and an elaborate hostage situation. As such, it quickly turns from you, the viewer, asking who was responsible to why would they do it? Featuring Denzel Washington and Chiwetl Ejiofor and a fantastic Clive Owen as a criminal ringleader, its everything you’d expect from Lee. It’s a fantastic, intelligent blockbuster of a thriller, and nobody captures New York quite like Lee does.


  1. Inception

Christopher Nolan’s thoughtful crime story did for the heist genre what he went on to do with Interstellar for the space genre. A complex and often hard to follow blockbuster pays off for the hard work it takes to reach the end. It’s a testament to how complicated the latter is that Inception has aged as relatively straight-forward to follow. The film follows Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) a criminal who doesn’t steal money or artifacts like other entries on this list, but instead steals mental information from his victim’s dreams. In a realm in which five hours of real time accounts for fifty years in the dream world, the stakes are high and the plan has to be executed with precision, pushing the boundaries of heist films like never before. Presented with an offer he cannot refuse, Cobb must perform an inception on his competitor’s ill child in order to have his criminal past wiped clean and the freedom to see his family once again.


  1. The Taking of Pelham 123

Walter Mathau is the bored, grumpy Lieutenant Garber, who finds the tedium of the New York Metro office shattered when a group of identically dressed and heavily armed men steal a subway train- Pelham 123. The gang, led by Robert Shaw’s brilliant psychopathic Mr Blue, wants a million dollars. How do they plan to get away with the money from hundreds of feet under the city? With great performances that are full of character, The Taking of Pelham 123 also has a funky soundtrack really, really kicks. Sometimes simple is better. Or in this case, best.


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5 Home Fire Solutions

If you are a landlord responsible for a rental home, how safe is it from a fire? You might lack a definite idea. According to statistics shared by the UK Government, fire and rescue services (FRSs) in England last year attended 27,482 dwelling fires – of which almost 90% were caused accidentally.

So, what could potentially start a fire in your property? As revealed in further Government-supplied statistics, most fires start when people are cooking – and, every six days, someone dies in a home fire resulting from a cigarette. Faulty electrics, meanwhile, cause about 6,000 domestic fires yearly.

As a landlord, you are legally required to undertake numerous safety precautions to protect your property and tenants. You could consider any of the following fire solutions we have available for landlords to use for any rental homes they may own in London and the South East.

Emergency lighting

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) outlines numerous legal obligations you must heed in the name of fire safety. Those obligations include checking that your tenants will have access to escape routes at all times – but how exactly would they find those escape routes?

They could do so with help from emergency lighting you to get installed at the domestic accommodation in question. You could task us with doing the installation work itself, ensuring that the safe exit routes will be clearly visible when they are urgently needed.

Emergency lighting is so-called as it is designed to continue running even when electrical failure leads to “normal” lighting elsewhere in the property failing – and consequently reducing visibility.

Fire alarm installation

The safety precautions you are legally required to take as a landlord include providing a smoke alarm in each storey of any rental property you own, as well as adding a carbon monoxide alarm to any room housing a solid fuel burning appliance, such as a coal fire or wood burning stove.

Fortunately, our BS 5839-qualified design and engineering teams are capable of comprehensively designing and installing fire alarm systems of any size or type.

For example, if you own any HMO (homes of multiple occupation) buildings, we can visit those to install communal fire alarm systems complete with AOV (automatic opening vents).

Fire alarm maintenance

Did you know that, each year, 35 people die as a result of their smoke alarm not functioning? It’s no understatement to say that working smoke alarms could save your tenants’ lives – hence why you should make sure all fire alarms fitted in your properties remain in good working order.

Fortunately, you can ensure exactly that by drawing upon our fire alarm maintenance service. As a bare minimum, the regulatory requirement is for you to have each of your fire alarms serviced twice per year, though four annual service visits would be needed for properties classed as higher-risk.

In regularly servicing your fire alarms, we can also help to prevent them from triggering false alarms and thus potentially wasting the precious time and energy of local FRSs.

Fire extinguisher installation

As regulations pertaining to HMOs are especially stringent, you should get in touch with your local council to understand precisely what regulations you must follow if you are letting an HMO. However, if the property is a large HMO, you will certainly need to provide fire extinguishers.

We can supply you with the fire extinguishers each of your properties need. In doing so, we will carefully consider what fire hazards these buildings pose. For example, we can install CO2 fire extinguishers at homes that have electrical equipment – though in many instances we tend to opt for water fire extinguishers, largely because they are renowned for their cost-effectiveness.

Fire extinguisher servicing

Any fire extinguishers installed in a given property of yours should be both checked when a new tenancy begins and periodically rechecked in the course of property inspections.

We can undertake fire extinguisher servicing in London, Essex and Surrey; keep in mind that each of your fire extinguishers must be serviced every 12 months.

You mustn’t overlook your fire safety obligations

It’s important that you look up the fire safety regulations you are, as a residential landlord, legally required to follow. If a fire breaks out at any of your domestic properties and you have failed to put suitable fire-safety measures in place for this accommodation, you could be hit with legal action.

For this reason, if you have any rental properties located in London or elsewhere in the South East, we urge you to contact us by phoning 01708 470351 or emailing sales@firstfordltd.co.uk.

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Top 5 Movie Security Systems

Top 5 Movie Security Systems


Wanting to keep your family safe at home isn’t asking too much, but when your family is The Incredibles, super villains can lurk in every corner, meaning a traditional burglar alarm servicing in London might not be efficient!

Then again, at the other end of the spectrum, you should also invest in something a bit more secure than spreading toys across the floor in the hopes that burglars won’t look down and will, in comedic fashion, slip and invertedly keep your home safe in the process. In the most extreme cases, we hope to provide a solution that means you don’t feel the need to instal a panic room that essentially seals off the most important part of the home, your family.

Here are a few of our favourite alternative movie security solutions which we wholeheartedly don’t recommend…


Home Alone

When two burglars can be taken down by a kid with a bunch of toys and a mindset for trouble you know they’re might have picked the right career path. It’s only by the end that they start to actually outsmart Kevin and begin to anticipate what he’s going to do. Thankfully it’s a kids a movie so even after outsmarting him, theres some classical comedy moments that leave the robbers in sticky situations- literally. In a real drama however these guys probably would have figured this house is no longer worth the trouble after a few broken bones and a trip to A&E on the cards.


The Incredibles

There aren’t a lot of better systems that can defend your home than a science fiction omnidroid that can think for itself and resist everything and learn from its opponents in order to never be outsmarted. This thing has been shown to be able to withstand nearly everything that Supers can throw at it throughout the film and just continued to be an all-round pain in the omnidroid. If you’re an evil genius or super villain then it’s the must have security tech for your evil lair. Might be slight overkill for your semidetached house in Brentwood…


The Italian Job

Any home with a fully operational guard tower is simply way too expensive to be considered attainable by any but the billionaires of the world. One way to take the stress off of having to keep your home secure is to just pay someone else to do it.


Bad Boys 2

Tapia in Bad Boys 2 goes one step further than a guard tower, he instead, has armed soldiers guarding his home at all times. Of course, that’s not much of a match in the film for a small band of highly specialized soldiers and a couple of ambitious detectives on the verge of so called retirement. Maybe a simple alarm system would have surficed…


Panic Room

The idea of a panic room is a simple one. In the time of panic, as the name suggests, you retreat into a purposely built panic room where you are safe until you re-emerge. Seems a bit over the top to us. Surely a CCTV and intruder alarms would be enough to keep you safe from most things? How bad must you have annoyed someone to feel the need for a panic room in the first place…


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