Summer is almost in full swing and that means more days spent outside in the garden, more nights spent with the windows open, and more weeks or weekends spent away. But what does this mean for the security of your home?
Summertime can be seen as golden for thieves and criminals as we can get distracted by the sunnier weather and warmer temperatures. Whether you’ve booked to go on holiday for a week or two or just spend a lot of time in your back garden, we’ve got some ways to help keep your home secure as possible this summer.
Make your home look natural
It’s a good idea to create the impression that someone is still home, particularly when you’ve gone on holiday for a weekend or a few weeks. You want to make your house look as lived in as possible whilst you’re out of it to help prevent your house from being targeted.
From leaving curtains and blinds open to leaving a little bit of mess in the living room, you can help to deter thieves. Opportunistic burglars won’t see any opportunity in a house that’s got someone in it!
Keep them shut
Don’t go leaving your doors or windows open when you can’t see them. If you’re going to have them open, you should be able to keep an eye on them at all times. That way, you can make sure you don’t get any nasty surprises of break-ins or robberies.
Of course, when we hit summer it’s becomes more and more common for you to keep your windows open when you are sleeping. However, it’s widely known that majority of domestic burglaries happen at night. If you’re concerned about your household in this way, you should install some sort of restriction on your windows so they can’t be opened wide enough for someone to climb in.
Be on guard
If you are simply schmoozing in the back garden and enjoying the sun, be careful not to get too relaxed. Keep an eye and an ear out as much as you can so you can see or hear anyone approaching the house – it might be guests for your barbeque party but better to be safe than sorry.
A recent development in security technology means you can even install a security camera at the front of your house and connect it to your smart phone. This is great for when you’re out in the back garden, out at the shops, or even sunbathing in Spain!
Keep valuables out of sight
Whilst expensive pottery and glassware is great for decoration, it’s not a good idea for you to leave them within strangers’ gazes when you’re away. If you’ve got them displayed openly on your windowsill without your watchful eye, you risk unwanted attention from criminals and the consequences.
Double up on locks
Don’t be afraid to go all out on your locks – they are off-putting to even the cleverest, strongest and slyest of thieves. As one of their biggest obstacles, your house will benefit from visible locks. Nothing says ‘you’re not getting in here’ more than quality locks on your doors and windows.
Inform your neighbours
If you are going away for a few days or more, you should inform your neighbours, or your friends and family that are local. It’s best to keep them in the loop about your whereabouts so they know to watch out for any unusual activity.
You could even give them a spare key for them to give your house the once round every so often whilst you’re away. For example, they could pick up your post as, after all, the last thing you want is the tell-tale sign of post piling up by your door.
Play with lighting
Another tactic that can be linked to making your house appear ‘lived in’ is to play around with your lighting. Having the porch light constantly off can be a giveaway that your house is empty, but leaving it on can be costly.
If possible, it’s worthwhile playing around with your lighting’s settings. You can use a timer to make it come on at certain points in the night. A bright light coming on is a sure-fire way to scare off any burglars!
Set your alarm
Having an alarm set while you’re away or out of the house is an obvious option for home security. Not only is it a way to deter criminals, it’s also a way to raise awareness to your neighbours immediately. This provides you with the reassurance that your house is at minimal risk.
There are so many options for home security these days, and it’s worthwhile making the most of them. Having your house targeted by criminals can be both traumatic and expensive, so investing in quality technology (and locks) is very sensible.
Have home insurance
Along with having household alarms, homeowners should have a home insurance policy in place. In the unfortunate circumstance of theft, or even natural disasters like flooding, you can be covered. There are so many home insurance policies out there, so shop around and find one that suits you, your situation and your budget.
If you’ve already got a policy in place, make sure you check through all the details so you can confirm what is protected in your household and what’s not. You want to be able to claim for any losses if you suffer from any unfortunate situation like robbery, fire or flooding.
Keep your valuables elsewhere
One way to save money on your home insurance, and to give you the ultimate peace of mind, is to keep your valuables out of the house in a safe place. Hiding your valuables under your bed doesn’t give you the security you need when it comes to experienced or even not-so-experienced thieves.
By investing in a safety deposit box, you can be assured that your most valuable possessions are under tight security 24 hours a day. The high-level security system of vaults and safety deposit boxes means you can feel at ease wherever you are, and even offer you the convenience of accessing your box whenever you want.
If you are interested in buying gold bullion, we’ve got something for you! Here you’ll find our super handy guide to buying gold bullion, telling you everything you need to know… and more. (more…)
Everyone has important documents that they want to ensure are looked after and fully secure, from financial records through to wills and other legal documents. There are many different options for document safekeeping that people can choose from, some more secure than others.
Whilst a file cabinet or a home safe does provide the reassurance that important documents are filed in an organised way and all together in a safe place, they can still fall victim to certain misfortune. If you are looking to safeguard your documents by using the ultimate protection, Document Safekeeping is the very best option.
What kind of documents?
Throughout your life and your career, it’s inevitable that you’ll pick up copious amounts of documents of significance. These kinds of documents are ones that you want to keep safe but with minimum effort – no changing codes on a weekly basis and no constant worry when you are away from home.
Document Safekeeping provides the ultimate security for all kinds of documents, including:
Titles and deeds
Wills and letters with instructions for family
Marriage, divorce and other certificates
Receipts, invoices and purchase orders
The benefits of Document Safekeeping
Something that shoebox underneath your bed doesn’t have: total security. By using professional services and secure facilities, you can guarantee the very best protection for your important documents.
Our clients are provided with a tamper-evident wallet to contain their valuable documents, which will then be transferred and held in a secure underground vault. On top of this high-level security unit, there are a number of other security systems in place to ensure the safety and protection of these documents at all times. These security systems include:
Digital CCTV cameras
Encrypted access cards to employees and customers
Highly-sophisticated alarm and surveillance systems
With this level of protection, you can feel assured that your valuables are safe from burglary and theft at all times, no matter where you are.
Natural disasters are unfortunately things beyond our control. Earthquakes and floods (among other things) can seriously damage people’s lives. Homes and personal possessions can be destroyed or damaged beyond repair or recovery with no warning. Our carefully structured vaults decrease risks of destruction.
By opting for professional protection services, you also lower the risk of essential documents and valuables being harmed in any domestic disasters like fires and flooding.
Easy to locate
The knowledge that all of documents of importance or significance are in one place is a huge reassurance to all of our clients. It means they are easy to locate for both the client and the client’s family should they need to. For example, in the unfortunate occurrence of a sudden death could require the family to find a will, or particular instructions.
Not only will all your documents be easy to find, but they will be easy to access as well. Don’t think that because they’re shut away in our secure underground vaults that you can only see them on a one-off occasion. No, you are able to come and access your documents as often as you need – and completely free of charge.
Out of sight, and because of our high-level security, out of mind. You’ll never have to worry about losing your passport before travelling, or misplacing essential papers of a work or domestic agreement again.
Eliminate clutter in your home
For the clean-freaks out there, there’s no denying the satisfaction of not having to worry about the huge amount of documents and files you collect over the years. Not only do you have the reassurance that they are safeguarded and under complete security at all times, but you don’t have to worry about keeping them tidy and organised at home.
Receipts and bills can often be discarded carelessly about the home, making them difficult to find and building up clutter. With professional services, you are encouraged to organise your documents as a one-off occasion, before sending them to be kept our underground vaults.
Document Safekeeping provides customers with a cost-effective solution to keeping their precious files in the safest possible environment. This lowers the risks of damage and theft which can often have very pricey results, and also reduces the costs of home contents insurance too.
You can’t always be there to keep a watchful eye over your home and your possessions which can cause some anxiety, particularly when you consider the risks and threats your home is susceptible to. However, it shouldn’t have to be a constant worry. We go through different options on how you can keep your home and most valuable possessions as secure as possible.
Home Contents Insurance:
Home insurance is made up of two separate entities: building and contents insurance. Organising contents insurance is entirely up to you as it’s not something that is compulsory. That’s why it’s important to know how you can get the very best for your money when it comes to home insurance.
Whatever policy you choose, it will cover everything that you take with you when you move home – items like your furniture, your television, but also your more valuable items that you want to protect from theft or damage.
The most common claims are made after burglaries or fires, but of course flooding has become an increasingly common problem too. Insurance policies and other methods should cover you on all bases, and provide you with the all-round peace of mind that you deserve.
At Sentinel Vaults, we realise that any saving makes a difference, which is why we’ve put together some top tips on how you can reduce the cost of your home contents insurance.
Search the Best Policies:
There are a lot of price comparison websites out there, so it’s worthwhile making the most of them and finding the best insurance policies for you and your possessions. This way you can assess the various quotes and figure out what works well for your circumstances, and the best deals you can get for your budget.
There are so many variations of policies that you can choose from, and prices can depend on many factors, from the area you live in to how much you are insuring. However, many insurance policies often fail to cover the full price of high-value items like works of art, antiques or jewellery, which is always something to consider.
Secure Your Home:
There are a few measures you can take to reduce the risk of unfortunate events like thefts, fires or flood damage to your home. For example, if you are looking to reduce the risk of burglary, you should invest in quality alarms and other security methods to ensure you and your neighbours can be alerted when necessary.
Fitting and maintaining locks and alarms, including fire and smoke alarms, should be an essential in all homes. It’s also beneficial to you, and to the people in your surrounding area, if you sign up to a Neighbourhood Watch regime. This will help to give you peace of mind that your home and your belongings are under watch as much as possible.
Take Care When You’re Not There:
It’s no surprise that your home is at its most vulnerable when you’re not there. Whether you are at work or on holiday, you are essentially leaving your home unguarded. This is why it’s important to secure your home as much as possible to prevent a break-in whilst you are away.
There are some measures – on top of taking out home insurance – that you can take to help give you peace of mind, including quality home security that we’ve already mentioned, as well as some extra precautions that are particularly important when considering your possessions of high worth or high monetary value.
Ensuring that you lock all doors and have alarms and other sources of everyday security installed is worthwhile to any home, as well as making arrangements to present your home as being ‘lived-in’ when you aren’t there. This could include getting a neighbour to park in your driveway, making sure post doesn’t build up on your doorstep, and perhaps having timer switches installed to lights or a radio to make it appear like someone is in.
Safety Deposit Boxes:
Another extra precaution, whether you’re in or out your home, would be to keep your high-value possessions in a safety deposit box, where they will be under constant patrol. By storing your valuables and most-prized possessions away from home, you can avoid their theft or damage from your home and thus, reduce the cost of your home contents insurance. Of course, you want to provide the best security for these valuables, and a safety deposit box can do just that.
Here at Sentinel Vaults, we only offer our customers the very best cover for their items of high importance or high monetary value. Our top security services along with our impressively low insurance policies can save you both worry and money. In fact, the cost of insurance through Sentinel Vaults can cost you a tenth of what it would if you were insuring your valuables at home.
You can find out more about our insurance policies here, and how you can get the peace of mind you deserve with our state-of-the-art security protection.
If you own or are looking to purchase gold bullion, it’s essential that you assess your storage options for your precious metals. Why? Because gold is extremely valuable and you want to avoid any potential risks of it being lost, stolen or damaged in any way.
There are a number of options you can look to for storing your gold bullion, as well as any other precious possessions you may have. Each of the options has pros and cons to a degree, and the best option for you is often dependable on factors such as the size or value of your collection.
Whilst the idea of keeping your precious possessions close to home might seem natural, it is the option that poses the highest number of risks. Realistically, whilst you may want to take full possession of your gold, you are not always there to protect these valuables – not to mention the fact that you don’t always have the ability to protect them.
Of course, those that own gold bullion will know the dangers of divulging any information about the prized possessions stored in their household, however that does not make them safe. Storing your gold bullion at home, in whatever quantity, means that it is more likely to be at risk to theft, fires, and natural disasters.
Whether you have made a large investment in the material or a smaller one, there are tips to take on if you want to store it at home. As we’ve already mentioned, discretion is key – although it is important that someone else is aware of your possession of gold in case of forgetfulness or, worst case scenario, something happens to you.
Home safes are always available and provide a reasonable amount of safety and security for important documents and valuable goods, but they are often the first thing for a thief to look to on an intrusion. Hiding your gold bullion in unexpected places is another approach; secret holes in the wall or fake books may seem like a thing in movies, but it means your gold is far less likely to be ‘stumbled across’.
Facilities with allocated storage and vaults for gold bullion are available for those that own it. Here it can be stored, sold and bought by many – all from one place. This makes it a particularly popular option for investors in gold bullion that are looking to sell at some point. Having their gold stored in a bullion vault means that it is situated in the prime position, right in the centre of the gold-buying marketplace, making the gold easy to find and easy to sell.
Safe deposit box
A safe deposit box is a popular option for anyone looking for safe and secure storage for their most prized personal possessions. That’s because it offers the ideal combination of high-level security of your goods and accessibility as the owner.
Safe deposit boxes present you with unmatchable security around the clock, avoiding the risks of home intrusion, domestic disasters and natural disasters. This is something that cannot be guaranteed for the average man or woman who stores their gold at home, no matter how good the hiding place is!
With state-of-the-art technology, specialised safe deposit box facilities like Sentinel Vaults, offer the 24-hour protection of your possessions, and one sole place that you can keep all your most important and valuable items that you can access whenever you want. So, not only do safe deposit boxes offer you the peace of mind with the knowledge your goods are safe and secure at all times, they offer you the flexibility that you want as the owner. It’s the hassle-free and convenient storage option that you so rightly deserve.
Get in touch
To find out more about our security services at Sentinel Vaults, get in touch on 01 667 8370 or email us at [email protected] today – we’d be happy to help.
Just how secure are your valuables at home? With the unfortunate rise in crimes like break-ins and burglaries, as well as natural disasters like floods, your home may not be as safe as you think it is for all of your most valuable possessions.
There has been a significant increase in the demand for safe deposit boxes for a number of reasons, all down to the unmatchable security and protection that they can provide. We look at why Sentinel Vaults is the best option for your valuables and most prized possessions. (more…)
Why use a safe deposit box?
Safe deposit box use is on the rise. People are increasingly seeing the need to store valuables in an external location, where they benefit from heightened security in the hands of professionals.
Storing items in a safe deposit box frees you from anxiety about important and valuable items all being kept in your house, where they are at risk from burglars, fires and flooding. (more…)
Safety Deposit Boxes In UK Being Closed By HSBC – Not Closing Gold Vaults
Article written by Mark O’Byrne from Goldcore – Incorrect rumours abound around blogosphere that HSBC is rapidly and quietly closing gold vaults – HSBC are in fact closing down their safety deposit box facilities in vaults in branches – Banks internationally closing boxes as not profitable and move to “cashless society” – Incorrect speculation that HSBC move forcing gold clients to sell bullion – Speculation understandable given poor communications from HSBC and manipulation of precious metal markets – Salutary lesson to all – media and blogosphere – to be more rigorous An incorrect rumour that HSBC is rapidly and quietly closing gold vaults where clients gold bullion was stored and gold in the GLD ETF is stored has been swirling around the internet. After conversations with key players in the industry including a bullion dealer who used the safety deposit boxes for storage and delivery to clients, we can now confidently say that the speculation was incorrect. What HSBC is actually doing is closing its safety deposit box facilities some of which are in vaults and strong rooms in branches. The vaults are not specialist gold vaults rather standard vaults or strong rooms which contain safety deposit boxes. These safety deposit boxes hold all sorts of valuables – from legal documents, to family heirlooms, to art works, to jewellery and of course bullion coins and bars. Availability of safety deposit boxes is in decline in Britain and much of the world. Costs of security, insurance and opportunity to use such facilities in a more profitable manner are driving the closures. Banks in Ireland including the Bank of Ireland claim that the safety deposit boxes are “causing an unacceptable health, safety and security risk in some branches.” In our brave new world of the ‘cashless society’, the financial independence and freedom that a safety deposit box confers upon the citizen is frowned upon. As a consequence citizens are being deprived of the opportunity of having their savings, valuables and wealth stored outside of the increasingly precarious financial system and digital banking system. The implications of the rumours were significant. Analysts speculated that a precious metals market disruption might be imminent and with it delivery calls by clients who believe they own physical gold in GLD which HSBC most likely could not meet. Such an event would likely have a dramatic upward effect on the price of gold not to mention a catastrophic effect on the finances of those who believe they actually own physical gold in ETFs. Irish Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, being one recent buyer of the gold ETF. The misunderstanding regarding HSBC closing its deposit box facilities had led to speculation by people familiar with the underlying dynamics of precious metals markets. HSBC was implicated in a gold price manipulation scandal last year, and has been fined numerous times in the past decade for an array of corrupt practices. As “the largest COMEX/NYMEX depository”, according to their website, they are viewed by sceptics as having both a capacity and a track record to manipulate precious metals prices. About Sentinel Vaults Sentinel Vaults is Ireland’s premier safe deposit box facility. It is the country’s only certified member of the Safety Deposit Association and Ireland’s first and only independent safe deposit box facility inside an original bank vault. Sentinel Vaults is the only safe deposit box facility in Ireland that is certified, registered and accredited. This shows that Sentinel Vaults have passed strict due diligence and compliance to operate as custodians of safekeeping. The discreet underground facility is located on the prestigious Waterloo Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Security in the vault has been upgraded to surpass bank standards. They offer peace of mind by providing state-of-the-art, modern security to keep savings, gold, silver, platinum and palladium coins and bars, bitcoin, jewellery, heirlooms, wills, deeds and other sensitive documents safe and secure.
With over 26,000 homes burgled in Ireland each year, it is crucial to know that your savings and valuables are safe and secure. There are a number of ways you can reduce the risk of being a victim of burglaries.
Safe Deposit Boxes
Flats and Apartments Security
Safe Deposit Boxes
Jewellery and cash are the most commonly taken items, and it is recommended that only small amounts of cash should be kept in the home. While there are a number places in the home to store savings and valuable items; i.e. a loft, a home safe, a hole in the ground, etc, these options are not secure and are vulnerable locations when it comes to potential intruders. StopTheBurglar.ie recommends Sentinel Vaults, who offer peace of mind by providing state-of-the-art, modern security to keep savings, gold, jewellery, heirlooms, wills, deeds and other sensitive documents safe and secure.
Sentinel Vaults is the only safe deposit box facility in Ireland that is certified, registered and accredited. This shows that Sentinel Vaults have passed strict due diligence and compliance to operate as custodians of safekeeping. It is imperative that customers realise the importance of using an accredited, certified and registered safe deposit box facility.
A general rule to follow is that the handle should not be the only means of keeping the window closed. A locking system should be fitted within the framework and the handle is used as a means of engaging the internal locking system.
Windows are one of the weakest entry points in the home so it’s good practice to invest in some security for your windows especially on the ground level. StopTheBurglar.ie recommends the following:
NoGo Window Pane Lock
With the NoGo Window Lock the discreet lock is fixed to the inside of the upvc or wooden double glazed window frame, securing it and making it impossible for the glass panel to be removed.
The Window Restrictor is ideal for restricting the opening of a window for child safety or security. Restrictors are perfect for rooms that regularly require ventilation i.e Bathroom. Burglars prefer houses that they can get in and out of as quickly as possible.
Sash Window Lock
The Sash Jammer/ Sash Guard window lock is a simple and easy to fit additional security device for your upvc windows or doors. The Sash Jammer / Guard simply screws into the frame of your door or window and the arm pushes over the opening part of your window or door preventing it from being forced open.
Bulletproof windows that are tested to withstand the impact of 9mm handgun shells fired from close range. The bulletproof window may be specified for individual areas of your home or a total external and internal security solution featuring security windows and doors at key points throughout the house.
According to recent crime statistics front doors are the burglar’s preferred point of entry into the home. Therefore, when considering enhancing security around the home, doors should be one of the top priorities. You can improve home security by making simple adjustments to your front door. StopTheBurglar.ie recommends the following:
Security doors are manufactured to the highest quality standard (EN1627 European Standard) and contain the best locking systems to keep your family and property safe. These security doors use a combination of steel and wood to provide strength and resistance to unpredictable weather.
Door Reinforcement Bar
In Ireland, front doors open inwards, making it very easy for the burglar to enter your home by forcing the door and frame or kicking it in. Secure Locking Bars will stop a burglar kicking in your door to enter and rob your home. These are a cost effective solution to secure your doors without changing your existing door. The bars can take the pressure of the frame which is the weakest part of any door.
Euro Profile Cylinders
StoptheBurglar’s range of Mottura high quality Euro Profile Cylinders are bump resistant, snap resistant, drill resistant and pick resistant. The cylinder shell is protected by a specially patented anti-wrench reinforcement, making it even more resistant to attempted break-ins and forced extraction of the cylinder.
While it may be easy to bolt on or screw-on locks and bolts to wooden doors, for most PVC door manufacturers if you tamper with the actual door frame it voids your warranty. If you have a uPVC door that needs a simple but extremely effective security chain then the Secure Ring is ideal as it doesn’t void your warranty and provides extra strength where you need it.
French Door Lock
Patlock’s French door lock and conservatory double door lock is a home security product and the ultimate visual deterrent for would be intruders, while providing home owners with instant peace of mind.
Sliding Patio Door Lock
The most common security weakness with sliding patio doors is to be found in their fitting along the running rails. In some instances it is possible to lift the door completely out of the running rail. The placement and angle of the door lock prevents the door from being lifted up and also prevents the door being pulled out.
Alarm systems are a worthwhile investment in the protection of your home and family. Studies reveal that it is far less likely that you will become the victim of a burglary at home if you have a correctly fitted and well maintained burglar alarm. It is important not to just have an alarm installed, but also have it monitored and use it even when you are at home. StopTheBurglar.ie recommends NCFS Alarms.
NCFS Alarms are PSA licensed and have a wide variety of burglar alarms to add to your residential security system to help give you more peace of mind and better burglary protection in your home than ever before.
Flats and Apartments Security
Burglars will often target blocks of flats because they can easily gain access to them through a communal entrance, which may have poor access control. Once inside they will often go straight to the top floor flats first, as there is less likelihood of passers by seeing them whilst they break in.
Main front doors of apartment blocks with auto entry with a key code or fob should not be mistaken as security doors and not to be depended on for your security. Strangers can enter too easily and doors and frames of apartments are not strong enough to withstand being kicked in, or the door cylinder snapped or bumped.
Experts say that the wood used in apartment entrance doors and frames will not keep the burglar out, therefore, StopTheBurglar.ie offer a range of options to be added to existing apartment doors to give the door and frame more security.
A house deed or title deed is a legal document that records who owns a particular property. It is important to keep these valuable documents safe as you will need them if you want to sell your property. They may also be needed should you wish to settle disputes with your neighbours about the boundaries of your land.
If your property is mortgaged, the bank may keep the house deed until the mortgage has been fully repaid. When the final payment on your mortgage has been made, the bank will then hand over the house deed to you to signify that you have become the owner of the property. You then have to decide how you will store the house deed safely.
The majority of solicitors do not want to hold house deeds for safekeeping as there is much risk involved on their part. If the deeds were to become lost or damaged while with the solicitor, the property owner would hold the solicitor responsible. For similar reasons, banks no longer provide a safekeeping service for new or existing clients. It is for these reasons that many people are choosing to store house deeds in their homes, however, this too can be a high risk option.
There are a number of dangers associated with storing house deeds at home. The documents are exposed to risk of theft, flood or fire and are very expensive and time consuming to have replaced. Even home safes are prime targets for potential burglars and can be a liability.
Sentinel Vaults is the country’s first and only independent safety deposit box facility inside a bank vault and offers both safe deposit boxes and document safekeeping services.
Discreetly situated among embassies, financial institutions and other reputable businesses on the prestigious Waterloo Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Sentinel Vaults is open 7 days a week and secure VIP parking is available.
The facility is manned onsite by highly trained staff and is monitored 24/7 by Chubb Security. This original bank vault has been upgraded, reinforced and fortified using the latest technology in security and construction, with consultation by Chubb Ireland. The underground vault contains two VDS graded vault doors, surpassing standards set by any other bank vaults, along with Sentinel Vaults’ sophisticated 6 Level Security System, making it one of the most secure vaults in the world.
Sentinel Vaults offer title deed storage from as little as €125 per year, and have a number of options to cater for every need. For more information or to arrange an appointment, visit www.sentinelvaults.ie or call 01-667 8370.
Private & Secure Safe Deposit Boxes.
Sentinel Vaults Limited trading as Sentinel Vaults. Company Registration No: 529736. FCA Registration No: 607043 Data Protection Commissioner No: 14733/A ICO No: ZA010283