Most commonly stolen household possessions

The motivation of the average burglar is easy enough to understand. They target your home because they want to strip it of all the valuables they can. When it comes to protecting the home, a good way to do that is to identify what, exactly, they’re after and how you can ensure they don’t get their hands on it.

Most burglars take advantage of an opportunity for theft when they see it. A door left open, a bike left in plain sight, a clear unsecure window, these are the opportunities they’re looking for. During these impromptu robberies, it’s the easiest-to-grab items they will take. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most commonly stolen items and what you can do to protect them.

Smartphones

Small, easily concealed, and very easy to pick up and run, a smartphone left lying unattended will be one of the very first things a burglar takes on entering a home. Nowadays, smartphones come with features that can help you stop unauthorised access. For instance, linking it to a Google account can help you not only track the phone, but find its location so that you can alert the authorities.

Mobile computing devices

Many mobile computing devices, including tablets and laptops, come with similar features and software you can install that allows you to track it. There are also small devices that can be attached to your electronics that can cause an alarm when they are disturbed or act as a GPS tracker. If you have a decent sized home safe, you can also keep those devices locked away when they’re not in use.

Home entertainment

Our home entertainment systems are getting more sophisticated and, as a result, much more valuable. Your 4K 3D HD television, game consoles, and surround sound systems are light, very portable, and extremely easy to sell. You can secure things like TVs just as you would secure your bike. Using a heavy-duty chain and access caps, you can lock it to the wall mount or display stand so that it can’t simply be lifted. What’s more, those asset protection devices can be attached to all of your electronics, triggering a security system, if the devices are moved without the right authorisation steps being taken ahead of time. For smaller home entertainment devices such as VR headsets or game console accessories, home safes can provide complete protection.

Burgular

Cash and jewellery

Many people still keep cash savings in the home, whether it’s the Christmas piggy bank or your more substantial emergency fund. Jewellery is just as commonly found in the average household and can be just as valuable. Jewellery boxes, even those with locks and hidden compartments, are no match for a dedicated thief who will simply take it with them. The only effective protection on the market is bolted down home safes that are too heavy to easily transport and well secured against invasion.

Bicycles

In the UK, a bicycle is stolen approximately every minute. Since they can simply be ridden or wheeled away, they make not only the perfect portable steal but also a getaway vehicle. An expensive bicycle can be sold at an easy profit on online marketplaces. Registering your bicycle number and Radio Frequency Identification tagging can help the authorities recognise a stolen bike much more easily. However, investing in a premium quality D-Lock is still the most effective way to protect it. It acts not only as a preventative measure but also as effective deterrence.

Prevent burglars from targeting your home

There are three steps to effective home protection against burglary. Denying them the opportunity, deterring theft, and alerting you and the authorities. CCTV cameras are expensive, but they work in all three manners, as they are highly visible, showing that your home is protected. However, it can be just as effective to reinforce entryways and not leaving doors and windows wide open if you’re not in the home and fully aware of the surroundings. Buying heavy-duty locks for the doors and installing secure windows can stop them from easily accessing the home on a whim. If you can, invest in a home security system with an alarm that can contact you and the emergency services if it’s triggered.

If you want to make sure your home is safe, you have to do what you can to prevent burglars from entering the home and also from taking what they can if they do get in. Cash safes from Safety Storage Centre can play a key role in doing just that.

BBQ Gas Bottle Storage is vital this summer

In recent years, gas has taken over charcoal as the most popular method of barbecuing. This poses a couple of questions: Which barbecue gas do I use? And how do I store it safely? Fortunately, Safety Storage Centre are here to make things nice and simple for you, as we explain why BBQ gas bottle storage is vital this summer.

With temperatures climbing over 30C this summer so far, there’s no wonder families will be having 9 barbecues this year (on average). But with the rise of gas-based barbecues comes a set of relatively unaddressed safety hazards.

Firstly, let’s address the two types of barbecue gas that can be used. There’s butane, which was the more common of the two until recent years, and then there’s propane. Butane is stored in blue gas bottles, while propane is kept in red gas bottles – most barbecues are fitted with a red propane regulator as standard these days.

Regardless of which gas you need for your barbecue, storing gas bottles can result in injury or property damage when not done correctly and safely. It goes without saying that these high-pressured gas cylinders are a ticking time-bomb when mistreated and they could cause serious damage, so it’s imperative that storage is taken seriously.

BBQ Gas Bottle Storage is vital this summer

You should make sure gas bottles are always:

– Stood upright in storage
– Kept well-ventilated when stored
– Kept away from heat and ignition sources
– Stored outdoors and away from entry/exit points of buildings and drains
– Kept secure with controlled access

Want more tips for storing gas bottles correctly? Read Storing gas bottles: The basics

You should make sure gas bottles are never:

– Stored below ground level
– Stored in places where gas is prohibited
– Stored near corrosive or toxic materials

Our range of Gas Bottle Storage Cages are built for outdoor use, keeping gas bottles well ventilated and protected from unapproved access. Each cage is manufactured in the UK and can store from 3 to 30 gas bottles at any one time.

Are you ready to store your BBQ gas bottles safely? Our Gas Bottle Storage Cages are delivered QUICKLY and FREE to UK addresses! Let’s stay safe this summer.

Six life-saving lessons highlighted by Gas Safety Week

Does one of your gas appliances burn with a yellow flame like this one? Then it could be putting your life at risk. Safety Storage Centre highlights the risks posed by gas in the home and the workplace, and highlights the work of Gas Safety Week 2016 to keep everyone safe.

Carbon Monoxide and Gas Safety Week have lots in common – and one vital difference. Neither smells, neither tastes of anything, and it’s impossible to tell either is there unless you’re aware of them.

But the big difference is that whilst Carbon Monoxide could kill you, Gas Safety Week which runs from 19th September to 25th September exists to keep you alive.

It’s the one week of the year that seeks to highlight what should be in our minds the whole year through – that Carbon Monoxide can kill, and will do so without mercy if given half a chance. How deadly is it? Industry knows it as the Silent Killer. That just about sums it up.

So how do you know if you’re suffering from the early stages of Carbon Monoxide poisoning?

The symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  1. Weakness
  2. Nausea
  3. Vomiting
  4. Dizziness
  5. Dull headache
  6. You find to hard to breathe

They will happen if you breathe in small amounts; breathe in a lot, and the gas will replace oxygen in your bloodstream, and that’s when death could occur.

It’s facts like these that Gas Safety Week was created to highlight, for businesses, home owners and landlords.

Now in its sixth year, Gas Safety Week 2016 was launched in Parliament by Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield. He said the annual campaign had already made some changes for the better, but added that in spite of the progress, there was still some way to go.

He praised charities like the Dominic Rodgers Trust, which goes into schools to educate children about the issues.

Gas Safety Week

Jonathan Samuel is chief executive of Gas Safe Register, the organisation behind the annual campaign. He said his organisation’s role was to get the conversation started, and to encourage people to see the benefits of getting involved.

“It’s about ensuring people understand gas issues, and how to keep themselves safe,” he said.

We’d echo that objective, and offer these six top tips to keep safe from Carbon Monoxide.

Our six top prevention tips

  1. Have gas appliances checked annually. Gas Safe inspectors have found unsafe gas appliances in one in six of the 142,000 homes they visited in a year – so that’s a lot of potential for deaths…
  2. Look out for the flame on any gas burning appliances you may have. The flames should be blue with ‘sharp edges’. A yellow and ‘floppy’ flame is dangerous, and needs the attention of a professional. That’s because one of the reasons for a yellow flame is all of the gas isn’t being burnt. If it isn’t, Carbon Monoxide could be building up. Get an expert in to check.
  3. Don’t have ‘mates’ work on any gas appliances you may have at home or at work. The only people qualified to work on them are on a Gas Safe Register. and will have a card to prove it. Ask to see it.
  4. Get a carbon monoxide detector. The modern equivalent of the coal miners’ canary, carbon monoxide detectors like these, combined with a smoke detector, will tell you when there’s life threatening gas around before the gas has a chance to do you harm
  5. Check the Carbon Monoxide detector’s batteries regularly. If there’s no power, there’s no warning.
  6. Never take a barbeque indoors, including into a tent or caravan. Carbon Monoxide could cook your goose before the burgers are done.

Picture: Fedor Kondratenko | Dreamstime.com

Dark nights: You’d be surprised at what people will steal…

‘Set a thief to catch a thief’ is an old adage, and like lots of old wives’ tales, contains a grain of truth. If thieves will steal a garden wall and dig up lots of daffodil bulbs, there’s nothing they’ll stop at. That’s why it makes sense to think like a thief to beat a thief. Safety Storage Centre will show you how…

It’s funny how things stick in your mind. I recall the newspaper article that recorded how a homeowner had built a low brick wall outside his terraced home, only to wake the following morning and discover it had been stolen. Every coping stone and brick had been taken away. But it wasn’t the audacity of the theft that I remember the article for; it was the homeowner’s comment:

I suppose it’s my own fault; I shouldn’t have left it outside!”*

His tongue was very clearly in his cheek when he said it, but that doesn’t detract from what he said. Thieves are very often opportunists, and will prey on trusting souls who, because they’re honest, expect everyone to be the same. Sadly, that’s not even close to the truth. The opportunist thief will steal now and think about what to do with his ill-gotten gains later.

Earlier this month Humberside Police issued a warning to motorists about not leaving their car keys on view near open windows and doors. A spokesman said:

Offenders have either been able to enter properties through open windows and doors before stealing car keys, or have, in some cases, forced entry to obtain car keys.

Once the keys are gone, the car won’t be there for long afterwards.

And at midnight on October 24th the threat grows greater as British Summer Time ends and darkness, the criminal’s great ally, falls far sooner. And it would be unwise to ignore it – the true cost of crime for householders and businesses could be as much as £800m, according to a nationwide survey.

Home Safety

How to beat the thief on dark nights

So how do you beat the ‘thief in the night’? My answer would be ‘think ahead’, and think like a thief. Only by doing that will you be able to eliminate the opportunities they thrive on.

Look for weak points. Imagine you were a thief. How easy would it be to get in and steal something? Here are six of the best ways to protect yourself, though you’ll no doubt think of others of your own. Adopting these six strategies will go a long way to making your home and business more thief-proof

1. Change your mindset: Don’t leave things lying around. Children’s toys, garden tools, your own bike are all ‘fair game’ to thieves. Put them out of sight in the garage behind a locked door. Encourage other family members to do the same. It’s a good life lesson for the children too. Businesses need the same approach; don’t leave valuables in the yard; bring them inside.

2. Lock it or lose it: Get good stout padlocks locks and hasps. Consider bars at shed or garage windows Better still, if your garage is a new build, have it built without windows at all, as a friend of mine did. There can be no forced entry through a window that doesn’t exist!

3. Protect things in vans: Who believes the sticker on the side of the van that says ‘no tools are left in this vehicle overnight? Modern trades require heaps of expensive tools, and they very often are left in vans. Building in a van box to a van will make sure valuables cant be taken. (Great against opportunist thieves when the van’s out on a job during a winter afternoon; remember that it can start getting dark at about 3pm in the depths of winter)

4. Hold back the night, turn on the lights: Those are lyrics of a song by The Trammps. They weren’t written about security for your home and business, but could well have been. If darkness is the thief’s friend, take it away from him with a security lighting regime. PIR sensors make lighting effective throughout the hours of darkness, the costs are relatively low, and the sudden shock of a light coming on may well scare off a would-be thief.

5. Multi-layer your security: Don’t rely on only one piece of security. Take the Police car key warning earlier in this blog. The lessons from that are that you should not only lock your doors and windows, but should not leave keys – or other valuables – close by them. At night, for example, what’s to stop your keys from going into your bedroom with you? They’d be safer there than on a shelf or windowsill inside the door.

6. Consider a safe: Durable, high-quality safes for home use, as well as business, don’t have to cost the earth these days. There are even models using the latest biometric technology to lock them, and these are large enough for home and small business use.

*This really is a true story…

For more information on safety storage solutions to protect your assets and valuables visit www.safetystoragecentre.co.uk