Eviction time – changing the locks

If you’ve had trouble tenants, you’ll know the commotion getting them out your property can cause.  You’ll also know that it’s not a simple case of changing the locks and throwing their possessions away. Unfortunately, if you take this course of action, it could land you in more hot water than your unruly tenant – as incorrect eviction is a criminal offence. First, you’ve got to give them a Section 21 Notice if you want the property back after a fixed term, or a Section 8 Notice if they’ve broken the terms of the tenancy. If they don’t leave by the date specified on the notice and they are behind on their rent, you can apply for an accelerated possession order. If they still don’t go, applying for a warrant for possession means bailiffs can forcibly remove them and their possessions from your property. Believe it or not, a key factor as to whether an eviction goes ahead is whether there is a locksmith there at the same time as the bailiffs. If there’s not, the eviction can be postponed and you’ll be back to square one. Before you arrange the eviction, find a trustworthy and professional locksmith who won’t let you down on the day. Once the property is empty, it can become a target for disgruntled ex-tenants who are keen to cause trouble. Therefore, having all the door and window locks changed is a prudent move and can ensure your property doesn’t get accessed and vandalised, for example. What if my tenants are violent? If you’ve had threats of violence from the tenant(s), it’s best to inform...

The rise of lock snapping in the West Midlands

Since this time last year, West Midlands Police have had to deal with a minimum of 2,000 burglaries a month. And it’s now reported that lock snapping is the forced entry method of choice in the area[1]. But what is lock snapping, and why should you be worried about it? If the doors on your property just have the usual Euro Profile Cylinder lock that’s often installed with uPVC doors, your home could be a burglar’s dream. Armed with just a set of pliers and a screwdriver, burglars can get into your home quickly and easily by snapping the lock barrel in two, before removing the outside part to expose and undo the lock. Lock snapping allows burglars to get into your home quickly, quietly and quite often, without you even noticing. Many thieves now target homes in this way in the dead of night when everyone is asleep, not giving you the opportunity to protect yourself, your home, or your loved ones. It’s not just electronics and other valuables that thieves are attempting to steal either, if intruders manage to gain entrance to your home and you’ve got an expensive car, you may well find your car has disappeared from the drive too. So, what can you do to protect yourself against lock snapping? The only way to protect yourself against lock snapping is to have your locks updated to anti snap locks. There are several on the market, but at Chubb Locksmiths we use ABS Anti Snap Locks, widely regarded as one of the best solutions available. While there is a small cost associated with having your...

Chubb makes international list for best locksmith blogs

At Chubb Locksmiths, we work hard to ensure that you’re all well informed on home security and all issues related to locks. That’s why we’re super proud to announce that we’ve beaten off stiff, international competition to be featured at 69th place in Feedspot’s Top 100 Locksmith Blogs and Websites. The list features locksmith blogs from around the world, including Australia, America, the UK and Canada. Our blog has been highlighted as being one of the most frequently updated, and finishes higher than numerous other UK locksmiths. Feedspot is a modern Rich Site Summary (RSS) Reader, which means when you’re trying to keep up with news and content on multiple web sites, you can read everything easily in one place. To make sure you stay up to date with the latest news from Chubb Locksmiths why not follow us on Twitter and Facebook?...

Help! I’ve lost my house keys. Do I need to replace the locks?

Most of us use our house keys at least once a day, so it’s inevitable that at some point we’ll lose them and wonder what to do next. While it’s relatively unlikely that a burglar will be able to gain entry through a set of lost keys, it does largely depend on how you lost them and where. Stolen handbag If you’ve had your handbag stolen, for example, the likelihood is that your keys will be in the bag, along with sensitive personal information, such as your address. Therefore, getting your locks changed as soon as possible is crucial in keeping your home and family safe from intruders. Leaving keys in the door The other potentially lethal situation that we sometimes come across, is where homeowners have lost their keys but have a vague inkling that they left them in the front door. If this happens, it’s best to get the locks changed as a matter of urgency, since you never know who might have swiped them from the door. Leaving keys inside the house If you’re in a rush, it’s easy to accidentally leave your keys in the house and lock yourself out. If this happens to you, call a reputable locksmith who will help you get into your home. Whether they pick the locks to get in, or have to drill through the locks and replace them with new ones, this process shouldn’t be overly costly. Don’t try and break into your home Although losing keys is an inconvenience, trying to gain access to your property by smashing windows or prising open doors is an expensive way...

Lichfield tops burglary chart

Many local residents will have been surprised to see Lichfield listed as a burglary hotspot in a recent survey published in the regional and national press. The figures produced by Privilege Home Insurance, a subsidiary of Direct Line, don’t make great reading for those who live in the borough, suggesting that the average insurance claim by victims of burglary in the cathedral city is more than £5,000. Statistics collated for the period between June 2016 and April 2017 reveal that the average household intruder got away with £5,180 worth of cash and valuables from burglaries in the Lichfield area, the highest in the country. Burglary rates in the area remain well below the national average in comparison to other areas of the West Midlands and the UK, but the figures do suggest Lichfield properties are vulnerable to high-value burglary, especially in the summer months and during the Christmas period. Lichfield was closely followed by St Albans in Hertfordshire (average £4,892) and Durham in County Durham (average £4,833). The area with the lowest average claim was Bath in Gloucestershire, at £1,322. Other West Midlands areas featuring in the top 20 included Coventry (average £4,255) and Wolverhampton (£3,744), closely followed by Birmingham (£3,691). Privilege Home Insurance say results of their survey highlights the importance of an adequate contents insurance policy for the home, protecting high worth valuables and refraining from leaving large amounts of money unprotected. Relatively low burglary figures in Lichfield also suggest that homeowners in the region can avoid such significant loss by improving home security systems, deterring criminals and protecting properties from attack. If you would like to...

Keeping your business premises secure during summer

With summer in full swing and ice cream season well and truly underway, it can be easy to forget about increasing security at your business premises. But with summer a prime time for thieves and opportunists, not being on the ball with your office security could cost you more than just a stolen computer. Often, businesses are home to important documents, contracts and personal information, which if lost or stolen could be irreplaceable. By not taking steps to ensure that your security is in tip top shape, unwanted intruders could have a devastating effect on your organisation. So, what are the best ways to improve the security at your business premises? Shut windows and doors It can be tempting to leave windows and doors open during hot weather. While it can make the office feel breezier, leaving the building door ajar can leave you open to unwanted visitors. Not all thieves creep around in the night, a large number of burglaries happen when people are in a premises. While it is important to have air flow in a working environment, make wise choices about which windows and doors you open, and which ones you don’t. Finally, don’t forget to remind your staff to shut them all if they’re last out. Give keys to people you trust With employees coming and going at different times of the day, it can be tricky for them to get in the building if they don’t have their own set of keys. Make sure you only give sets of keys to senior employees who you trust to lock up safely and securely. Giving everyone...

What makes your home an easy target for burglars?

If there’s one statistic that will make you feel uncomfortable it’s this – in the UK a home is broken into every 32 seconds – that’s 2,880 per day. If that’s not enough to make you lock your doors and shut your windows, we don’t know what is. There are many things that can make your home an easy target for burglars and many of them are within your control. Here’s our top ten list: Hedges to hide behind While you might love the privacy that hedges and bushes provide, so do burglars! Try and strike a balance between privacy and not creating a hiding place for thieves. Bins Bins can offer the perfect platform to stand on, whether they provide a hop over to your back garden or the ability to reach your landing window. Try not to store your bins in a way that allows a thief to get into your home. No security systems Not having any security measures in place can be all it takes to encourage a burglar, so think about installing systems such as an alarm or video camera, which can be all you need to keep burglars at bay. Piled up newspapers Burglars love an empty house and will often prey on the properties that look empty. When you go on holiday, nothing gives the game away more than newspapers and mail piling up at the front door. Give a key to a trusted neighbour or family member and ask them to clear away any mail. Unlocked doors and windows It sounds obvious, but every year thousands of people get burgled by...

101 in Home Security When Moving House

When buying a home, security is often a high priority for finding the right property. We do our research on crime in the area and check to see if the house has a security alarm system and security lights. However, the truth is, a large percentage of people are neglecting one of the most important aspects of home security when they move in to their new property. One major security issue that is so often overlooked is that most people don’t even consider changing the locks when they move into a new home. Most of us are quite happy to settle into a new home without worrying about the locks on doors and windows as long as they function properly and appear secure. This can be a big mistake. Why you should change your locks when you move in Moving house can be quite stressful, whether you are a first time buyer, or are moving years’ worth of furniture and belongings over from another house. With all the work to be done, it’s not surprising that so many people don’t factor in changing the locks. However, if you’ve just moved house, you are statistically more likely to be burgled! According to official Home Office statistics, you’re almost twice as likely to be a victim of house burglary in the first 12 months of moving home and nearly three times as likely to be burgled compared with people that have lived in a property for 10 years or more. Unless you know and trust the previous occupants of the house you are buying, there’s no way of knowing how many...

The Lock Down: All the latest from Chubb Locksmiths

Over the past few months we’re covered a wide range of topics here on the Chubb Blog, from advice on how to deal with a break-ins to safeguarding your home when you’re away on holiday. Here we’ve put together a list of our latest entries for you to enjoy! Are patio doors a security risk? There’s usually something we can do to increase our home security, and focusing on patio doors and back doors can be a good starting point… To read the full article, click here Simple Steps: What to Do If Your Home Has Been Broken Into If your home has just been broken into, it’s pretty likely that you will feel quite shaken up – whether belongings have been taken from you, or damage has been caused to your property or not, a house break-in feels very violating… To read the full article, click here Encouraging your children to keep your home safe from burglars The home is normally the heart of a family, where people feel safe, secure and content. But when home security is lax and burglars get in, it can destroy that feeling forever and make you feel vulnerable in your own home… To read the full article, click here Turn up the Heat with these Summer Home Security Tips Holidays, festivals, hot weather and barbecues all signal the arrival of summer, but with them comes a countrywide increase in burglaries and theft… Keeping Your Keys and Home Safe Recently we read about a spate of burglaries, where thieves have been stealing keys through letterboxes and even cat flaps! To read the full...

Are patio doors a security risk?

There’s usually something we can do to increase our home security, and focusing on patio doors and back doors can be a good starting point. Knowing whether your doors are a security risk depends on a number of factors, such as the style of door and the type of lock, and whether you’ve taken any extra steps to bolster their security. Sliding patio or French doors? One of the questions that security conscious home owners ask us, is whether sliding patio doors or French doors are safer. While historical manufacturing quirks have seen patio doors easily lifted off their runners, these days there’s not a huge amount of difference between them. However, there are things that you can do to both types of door in order to beef up security. For French doors, we recommend: Using mortice rack bolts, or Considering surface-mounted locking bolts Using mortice sash locks, which are very effective security tools If your doors open outwards, using hinge bolts And for patio doors we’d advise: Putting extra locks on if not fitted with a multi-locking system Using anti-lift devices that can stop the door being lifted from its track Sliding patio doors should have at least three locking points, plus an anti-lifting device to stop the doors being lifted up and removed. Bi-fold doors, which are an increasingly popular alternative to French windows and patio doors, should come with good built-in security measures – check with the retailer or manufacturer if in doubt. Bi-fold doors – the new kid on the block Many homeowners are now using bi-fold doors as an alternative to French or patio...