Choosing a post box – How the dog made a post or mail box vital

Ordinarily as daft as a brush, and about as aggressive, the pooch had one blind spot. He didn’t like post coming in through the letterbox, and since he was quicker off the mark than my friend, he always won the race to the front door when the post arrived. Normally it wasn’t a problem, (if you don’t count a few teeth marks in the bills) because that was all that came through the letterbox, which was equipped with those brush arrangements to keep the draughts out.

Post BoxIn the dog’s defence, the postie was in the house when my friend’s dog bit her. Or, at any rate, the part of her the dog bit was in the house. It was a nip on the end of a finger, and he was a medium-sized dog with powerful jaws.

However, on this particular day, one of the letters was flimsy, and required an extra push to get it past the bristles. And that’s when the trouble started. To be fair, the post lady was very good about it, in spite of wearing a bandage for a few days. She knew the dog, and was gracious enough to accept profuse apologies and a bunch of flowers.

But there was no way my friend could run the risk of a similar occurrence in the future. To paraphrase Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s Importance of Being Earnest,

To have a dog bite the postie once might be regarded as misfortune; to have it happen twice looks like carelessness.

Selecting the right post or mail box

He therefore bought a post-box to hang on the wall by the front door. There are any number to choose from, in a variety of styles and colours and made in steel or plastic. Picking the right one from a selection of post and mail boxes needs a little thought, and answers to a few questions will help you select the right one.

• How much post do you receive?
• Does the delivery include newspapers and magazines?
• Is the post box going to be exposed to the worst of the elements, or in a sheltered porch?
• Will you be able to empty it daily? If not, a larger roomier post box might be better
• What sort of property do you own? The post box needs to fit with the design, so if you live in a Georgian town house a cutting-edge stainless steel model might not be appropriate.
• What is your budget?
• How secure must it be?

Factoring in the answers to these questions will help you buy a post box that will give years of service. And as an added bonus, we’ll include free UK delivery on any post box bought from the Safety Storage Centre range*.

*Safety Storage Centre delivery information – Terms and conditions apply.

Your Holiday Security Essentials

Although the fickle weather is again contradicting the seasons, our great British summer and the holiday season is barely a week away. Whether you are loading up the car or heading for the airport make sure you have left your home safe from intruders by taking sensible precautions.
Our community police liaison officer and the neighbourhood watch have issued some good advice to minimise the risks both home and away. Go through the checklist before you travel.

191a – Cancel newspapers, milk and any other regular deliveries.

– Turn off the water supply and unplug all but essential electrical appliances.

– If you have an intruder alarm make sure you activate it before you travel. Preferably leave the alarm activation code and a house key with someone near to your home who you trust in case of emergencies.

– Lock the windows

– Let someone know you itinerary and give a contact number. You can also inform the police when you are away or if you have one, inform your Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator.

– Put valuables in a safe place preferably in a home safe with bolt down capability or in a good quality strongbox again fixed to a solid structure and out of sight. Move any other valuables such as ornaments out of plain sight.

– Secure any outbuildings with quality locks or padlocks and preferably lock expensive tools and equipment away in a secure steel tool chest or cabinet.

– Don’t take expensive jewellery on holiday if at all possible. If you must have your bling with you then hire a safe deposit box at your resort accommodation. You should also check your travel insurance cover is adequate.

– Carry as little cash as you can. The prepaid currency cards are a practical alternative and can be used like any other debit card, including making cash withdrawals from foreign ATM’s. You can usually get a better exchange rate into the bargain.

– If travelling by car don’t leave valuable in plain sight, particularly when the vehicle is unattended. Opportunist thefts from vehicles in service stations are common so lock valuables in the boot or glove compartment.

– Finally make sure you have the contact numbers should an emergency arise whilst you are away i.e. Insurance Help Line, Bank and Credit Card provider, Holiday Accommodation and Flight Provider.
Have a happy and relaxed holiday

Preventing thefts through secure storage

Thanks to the time and effort expended by a large number of public spirited residents we have a very active Neighbourhood Watch scheme operating in my area. Trouble is that it appears to do little to deter both the opportunistic and more organised thieves who of late have become more brazen often operating in broad daylight under the noses of residents. With no town gas supply, not surprisingly the most frequent thefts involve stealing home heating oil, but recently there has been a notable rise in thefts of grass mowers and power tools from outbuildings. The thieves probably calculate a ready market exists for their ill-gotten gains as spring approaches.
Insurance will ease the pain but standard policy excesses and loss of no claims bonuses can still leave you hundreds of pounds out of pocket. So what can you do?


Obviously don’t leave out buildings and sheds unlocked or leave windows open. The objective is to put as many security barriers in place as possible to foil the sneak thief and deter the more determined and better equipped criminal. Fit quality locks or padlocks and if possible steel lock covers to prevent access with bolt cutters. You can also buy anti-jemmy door hinges for a few pounds. If you have very expensive equipment like generators and ride on mowers consider extending your home security alarm. These days modern technology means this can be done wirelessly.
If despite your best efforts thieves do gain entry all is not lost (literally). My own mower is chained to the wall using two 15mm eyebolts. As for power tools and other expensive equipment the answer is to lock these away in a secure steel cabinet or tool vault. Depending on the size the Probe Industrial cabinet range provides security for lower value items. For added security you can utilise the heavy duty Oxbox or Tuffbank van boxes made from heavy gauge steel plate that have bolt down features and anti-jemmy lids.
Spending a couple of hundred pounds to safeguard against theft is worthwhile when balanced against the cost and hassle of replacement. The police also advise that thieves will return time and again to properties they consider easy prey so now is the time to be proactive so you don’t become a victim.

Water resistant storage a bigger priority

At long last Summer has arrived, at least for a day or two. River levels are falling and the farmers may at last be able to get onto their fields to harvest crops. It’s easy to forget that many businesses are still cleaning up from the devastating floods that hit many towns and villages earlier this month.

Although insurance will cover the cost of reinstatement, for the majority this will do little to help the business return to normal trading or replace business critical documents and customer records lost in the deluge. It is also an ever present worry that once at risk further flood events are likely to reoccur in the future.

Businesses in risk areas should consider additional measures to protect their operations so that normal service can be resumed as soon as possible. Fortunately there are a range of waterproof safety storage options to protect documents, cash and valuables from as little as £50 or so. All have the considerable added benefit of providing fire protection.

A Sentry or Phoenix portable waterproof document box and cash box come in a range of sizes ideal for the small business providing both water damage protection and security against unauthorised access. If you have larger quantities of paper based records and files that would be difficult to remove from the premises in a flood alert a waterproof filing cabinet such as the Sentry vertical file cabinet or the innovative Phoenix World Class lateral drawer model, is an effective safeguard against both flood and fire.

Businesses holding significant cash or water sensitive valuables such as electronic devices and digital media on the premises should consider a waterproof safe with bolt down facility. Advances in design and technology means they are now an affordable option for even the smallest business. The Burton Aquasec will withstand total submersion in water, is certified for 60minutes fire protection and at less than £250 is surprisingly cost effective.

If the climatologists are to be believed extreme and freakish weather is likely to become the norm in the years ahead so business attitudes to risk and preventive actions must adapt to safeguard business viability.

Key boxes ensure secure access to your home.

I was driving into the village where I live on yet another miserable rainy summer’s day when I passed a schoolboy walking the mile and a half road from the last bus stop into the village. Ordinarily I would not stop unless I was very well acquainted with the individual as sad to say these days such acts of altruism can and often are misinterpreted.

However as I looked back in the mirror I could see the lad was battling the elements so I pulled up and reversed back to offer a lift. It turned out his family had arrived in the village only recently and as he could not remember the house name he gave directions that led me to it. There were no cars on the drive or any signs of activity so I asked if his parents were around. They were both at work but he said he had a key. He thanked me for the lift and headed off but having had kids of my own I held back from driving off whilst I saw him safely inside.

Key Cabinet

The heavens chose that moment to unleash a torrential downpour while the poor lad was searching first his pockets then his schoolbag looking frantically for his key. Nothing I could do but watch and wonder what I would do next if he has lost the key. After what seemed an age he triumphantly held the key aloft and waved by which time he and the contents of his bag were clearly soaked.

For working parents it must be a logistical nightmare to arrange daytime care and supervision of the children and so called latchkey kids are all too common. To provide security and eliminate the risk of children or even parents losing the house key the security industry has developed some excellent weather proof home key boxes that you can mount outside the door to ensure a key is always to hand. They have combination or digital locks to control access and are also useful if you need to admit carers or workmen whilst you are away from home.

 

Storage Solutions for Paint

When it comes to the safe storage of industrial materials, paints can often be overlooked; many will forget – or even chose to ignore – that paints are actually extremely flammable and highly combustible.

paint storage solutionsSimilar in appearance to cabinets used to store other flammable liquids, paint cabinets are available in a variety of sizes – without compromising on the level of protection provided.

Usually constructed from steel with a powder coated finish, adjustable spill type shelves and incorporating a lift out liquid tight sump to assist with any unwanted spills.

Whilst it might be a cheaper option to simply store paints away in a standard cabinet, it certainly isn’t safe.

It’s because of this type of irresponsible practice that industrial fires are caused; while in the short-term money might be saved, the potential damage caused to your facility as a result of an industrial blaze will ultimately usurp the initial cost of a paint cabinet.

To insure your cash is Safe

Many businesses, particularly in the retail and leisure sectors, insure against theft out of necessity as having cash on the premises is a magnet for thieves. With savings interest rates and confidence in Banks at all time lows, apparently many householders are also reverting to the old days and stashing any spare cash in the mattress. If they are relying on a general household insurance policy to protect their nest egg they could be disappointed

Insurance is all about risk assessment and the higher the risk generally the more premium you will pay. In addition the insurance companies will be quick to find a get out clause if reasonable precautions are not taken to minimise the risk.  If you have failed to inform them that the risk even exists don’t expect your policy to pay out.

A lockable cash box is OK for small amounts of cash to allow day to day trading or to deposit the odd days shopping float, but larger amounts held overnight should be locked in a safe. It may not be common knowledge but any type of safe won’t do. If you want no quibble insurance cover the safe should be approved by the insurance company as suitable for the amount of cash you wish to secure. I am reminded of one chap who purchased what I would generously describe as a “budget” safe from a very well known retailer to house his daily takings of under £1000. The insurance assessor took one look at the safe and shook his head. The lock mechanism was gravity operated so he just turned the safe onto its top and the door opened with minimal effort.

This is an extreme case as there is a good choice of quality value for money cash safes available like our Sentry cash safes and Burtons excellent Torino and Magnum ranges. Once the cash held exceeds £5000 you may well consider a Eurograde Safe. Eurograde classified safes range from Grade 0 to Grade 6 and are accepted by virtually all major insurance companies as of a build quality and attack resistance to secure cash amounts ranging from £6000 to £150000 depending on the Grade. As a general rule you can multiply the cash amount by 10 to arrive at the amount of non cash valuables the safe can hold.

All of these safes also come with internal bolt down facility as to meet insurance company requirements it is recommended that any safe weighing under 1000kg should be securely bolted to the floor or wall or both. Be you a business or thrifty homeowner looking to upgrade from the mattress, make sure that your safe is fit for purpose and your insurance is adequate to cover your losses if the worst happens.