How to Prevent your Car From Freezing Over this Winter

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With temperatures starting to get a bit lower, it is important to be mindful when looking after our cars. We have all experienced the dread when we briskly walk out to our car in freezing weather, only to find our windscreen and car locks are frozen over. If you have some de-icer to hand, then the problem can be solved pretty easily. However to save money on endless cans of de-icer, there are measures you can take to prevent your car from freezing over in the first place.

Dip your Car Key Into Vaseline

To prevent your car door lock from freezing over, dip your car key into Vaseline or spray WD-40 over the key, then put your key into the lock and turn back and fourth a few times to lubricate the lock. Once the lubricator is applied to all parts of the lock, repeat this process for good measure. This should be done at least once a week in Winter months according to Accuweather. To melt ice on an already frozen car lock, the same process also works. However, be careful not to force the key into the lock as this may break the car key.

Put a Windscreen Cover over your Windscreen during the Night

If you want to avoid that sheer annoyance when finding a frozen-over windscreen, put a windscreen cover or folded sheet over the screen, using your windscreen wipers to hold the sheet in place. Additionally, to protect your side mirrors from frost, place a plastic bag over each mirror and secure them with rubber bands.

Rub Half an Raw Onion over your Windscreen and Mirrors…

This is an unconventional but very cheap way to prevent frost from forming over your windscreen, windows, and mirrors. Simply rub half of an onion on the entire Windscreen and you’ll be readily prepared for chilly morning.

Avoid using Hot Water and Ice Scrapers to Clear the Ice

Although it seems like an effective way to melt ice, hot water is extremely dangerous to use on a frozen-over windscreen. The quick temperature change from cold to hot can cause cracks in the glass, which is expensive to fix. The hot water will also just freeze again and you’ll be back where you started!

There is also a risk of damaging your windscreen and mirrors by using an ice scraper, so it is best to avoid them altogether and use a more suitable alternative.

If you have a broken car key or car lock, contact us on 01392 461200.

 

More on keyless car theft (relay theft) and how to keep your car safe

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More than 600,000 cars were stolen in the UK in 1992, but thanks to improved vehicle security and a crackdown on thieves by the authorities that number began falling drastically. By 2016 there were just 56,000 vehicles stolen in England and Wales, according to Office of National Statistics figures.

But last year, there were 89,000 vehicles stolen in England and Wales, a 56 per cent increase over the previous year and keyless entry cars seems to be the reason for the rise. Thieves use sophisticated tech to fool the car into thinking the key is nearby, allowing them to enter the vehicle and drive it away.

What is keyless theft?

The process criminals use to steal a car via keyless theft – also known as relay theft – is relatively simple. First, they buy a relay amplifier and a relay transmitter; these electronic gizmos can be purchased from the darker corners of the internet.

Next, they identify a house with a nice car parked outside and, by using these gadgets, can detect whether the car features keyless entry and go.

One criminal then stands by the car with his transmitter, while a second waves his amplifier around the perimeter of the house. If the car key is close enough the amplifier will detect its signal, amplify it and send it to the accomplice’s transmitter.

This transmitter then effectively becomes the key, and tricks the car into thinking the real key is nearby, whereupon the thieves are able to open the car, get in and drive away. The whole process can take as little as 60 seconds and can be completed in near silence and as for safety reasons the engine won’t just cut out when the key is out of range, there is very little to stop the thieves.

Manufacturers are already working on new systems. A few new models already have set-ups that aren’t vulnerable to relay attacks. The functionality is the same, but they cannot be fooled by relay devices.

How to avoid keyless theft – top tips

Keyless theft sounds almost like the perfect crime – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to stop it from happening to you. We spoke to some of the industry’s leading security experts to find out what you can do.

Don’t forget the basics

Owners shouldn’t forget to take standard security measures, ensuring their car is properly locked and keeping keys far away from doors and windows. This will minimise the chances a crook will be able to find and amplify the key’s signal and is general good practice, as it’ll prevent thieves from easily breaking in and swiping them. Keeping your car keys in a metal tin can block signals.

Can you switch off your key?

Though it’s not always obvious, requiring a double button press or a combination of pushes on the key. Check your manual or speak to your dealer to find out if your key has this function.

Physical barriers

You could also purchase an aftermarket security device such as a steering wheel lock, a driveway parking post, or even a wheel clamp. Even if the thieves are able to access and start your car, these should prevent them from driving away – and many criminals will be put of by this

Tracking devices

According to statistics vehicles fitted a tracking device have a 96 per cent recovery rate when stolen. The odds reduce to 50 per cent for those without. Meaning a car tracking device is a excellent way to help ensure should the worst happen, your can is recovered.

Signal-blocking pouches

Consider purchasing a Faraday pouch to keep your car key in. These pouches contain signal-blocking materials that stop your key transmitting its code, preventing crooks from being able to detect and amplify the signal.

Is there anything more you can do?

Other steps you can take to keep your car safe include checking if there are any software updates for the car itself and remaining vigilant for unusual activity in your area.

Carmakers themselves are working on countermeasures to combat the issue of keyless theft, with new frequency technologies, software and keys among the developments taking place. Richard Billyeald added that: “if owners are worried about keyless theft, they can contact their dealer to see if the system can be disabled.”

New Technology for Car Keys

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Car keys could soon be a thing of the past as technology progresses forward to develop

keyless vehicles using “near-field communication (NFC) protocol” currently used for contactless payments on our smartphones.

Cars could be opened using your fingerprint scanned into your phone whilst holding it near the door.

The wireless keys may also be used by hire and car-sharing industries with a download of the passcode to gain assess.

This new system would also enable any shared digital pass to be revoked when a car is sold eliminating the risk of lost spare keys being used to gain entry.

This technology is already being offered by BMW.

For full details of the above please check out the link below.

http://www.theweek.co.uk/94508/how-apple-backed-smartphone-tech-may-soon-replace-your-car-keys

How to protect yourself against relay theft

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Keep your car secure, be aware that storing your keys near the door enables car thieves to easily steal your vehicle.  Using a radio signal thieves take seconds to gain assess to your vehicle and drive it away.

Advice has been to store your keys in the fridge or microwave to prevent signal detection.

An easier option maybe to purchase a metal lined pouch for peace of mind.

Thieves can steal from you even if your car is parked near you and you are enjoying a coffee in a café!

For full details visit https://www.thesun.co.uk/motors/5616339/the-10-gadget-that-could-stop-tech-savvy-thieves-from-stealing-your-motor/

Lock out thieves during warmer weather

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We keep banging on – but it takes seconds for a thief to break in and a lifetime to get over it

Residents are being reminded to lock out thieves as the warmer weather looks set to continue.

During the warmer weather there can often be a rise in the number of sneak-in burglaries – a sneak-in burglary is where the burglar gets into the property through an open door or window and does not have to force entry.

And, as people take advantage of the nice weather so too are burglars who are targeting houses where a door has been left unlocked or a window left open.

Taking a few crime prevention measures can help make all the difference in stopping the property from being targeted, and as police do all they can to catch those responsible they are asking for the public’s help by making it even more difficult for thieves.

Motorists are also reminded to shut the window and remove any valuable items from display when they leave their vehicles unattended as opportunist thieves look to take advantage of poor car security as well.

“Being a victim of burglary has a huge impact on victims, no-one wants their home to be targeted, or valuable items taken from their vehicle, and while my teams across the county are actively targeting those criminals we know are responsible we’re asking for the public’s help in making their home and vehicle less desirable to thieves.”

  • “If you are in the garden make sure no-one can get into the house without you knowing, lock the front door and close windows that can be easily accessed.
  • “When you leave the house close all windows and lock all doors, it takes a few moments to double check but could make all the difference.
  • “Don’t leave valuable items such as phones, keys or wallets near an open window and never leave them in an empty vehicle. Never leave the vehicle with a window open or unlocked and again double check the vehicle is locked.
  • “Be aware of what is in the garden and make sure there is nothing that can be used to access the house, for example ladders or storage units that could be climbed on to access a window and make sure gardening equipment is stored in a secured shed, garage or outbuilding.”

5 tips that help you fight against locking your keys in your car.

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It’s something that can be done so easily but will ruin your day. Here are 5 tips you can follow to help prevent the dreaded car keys locked in your car scenario!

  1. Create an exit strategy. Most of the time you lock your keys in the car when you are trying to carry a million things at once and you leave the keys behind. So set a clear routine of exiting the car. Sounds silly but it does work
  2. Use a lanyard. With a lanyard, when the keys come out of the ignition, they can go right around your neck before you even get out of the seat.
  3. Try a carabiner. A carabiner is one of those metal rings with one spring-hinged side. They are often used in mountain climbing, but they are great for just clipping things together and keeping you organised.
  4. Keep a wristband on your keychain. Again, on the same theme. A wristband allows you to just chuck your keys on your wrist and helps free up your hands.
  5. MAKE A COPY KEY. The best thing to do is get a copy made and keep it somewhere like your purse and wallet.

 

 

 

Devon Security day to day work

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We don’t like to turn down any job that shows itself to Devon Security. Here are just a couple of the jobs we have worked on over the past few weeks.

Client locked out of a 2018 Skoda Superb in Exeter

Customer-managed to lock his keys in the boot of his car, the vehicle was less than 2 weeks old!

Replacing an NHS digital lock-in Sidmouth

This was a ‘one of a kind’ type of job, it really showcases why you should always use professionals. It was the worst attempt at a lock fit we have ever seen. The ‘handyman’ who fitted it didn’t last long…Just look at the picture and make your own judgment

Lost key in Axminster for a Smart for 2 cars.

The job wasn’t quite as straightforward as explained over the phone, but we managed to sort out everything in the end.

As you can see from the day to day work that we do, we really do cover loads of different area’s so it’s always best to pick up the phone and give us a call.

Even if it is something we cannot help with we will be able to steer you in the right direction to someone who does.

Protect yourself against burglars in hot weather

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The heatwave may be shortlived, but the career of a burglar may go on for years. We have got some great tips and advice from you below as recommended by the UK police forcesHomes with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures. Good window locks and strong deadlocks can make a big difference.

Taking just a few steps can make a big difference in keeping your home safe from burglary. Here are a few tips:

  • Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you’re just out in the garden, remembering to double-lock UPVC doors (lift handle and turn key)
  • Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox (remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox)
  • Install a visual burglar alarm
  • Install good outside lighting
  • Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property
  • Leave radios or lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied
  • Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition
  • Secure bikes at home by locking them to an immoveable object inside a locked shed or garage
  • Keep ladders and tools stored away; don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home
  • Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property
  • Ensure rear fencing is in good repair
  • Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property i.e. trim high hedges
  • Mark your property with postcode and house number and register your property for free with Immobilise (opens in a new window)
  • Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme (opens in a new window)
  • Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows
  • Store any high value items (i.e. jewellery, passports) in a properly secured safe or bank vault

Doors and windows

In most burglaries, the criminals broke into the house or flat through the door, either by forcing the lock or kicking it in. So make sure your doors are strong and secure. Consider fitting a bar for extra strength; a locksmith can advise you on how best to do it.

Glass panels on doors are particularly vulnerable. If you have one on your door you could replace it with laminated glass, which is stronger. You can also buy a film in a DIY store that you can stick over the glass to make it harder to break.

Home security and DIY shops sell inexpensive, key-operated locks to fit most kinds of windows. Fit window locks with keys to all downstairs windows and those upstairs that are easy to reach.

Distraction burglary

If you’re not sure who is at your door, don’t open it. Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they are claiming to be from i.e. gas, electricity, water and police. Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider – Do not use any telephone numbers provided by the caller – they may be bogus. The ‘Waterboard’ no longer exists, it is an obsolete phrase used only by bogus callers.

Going away on holiday

Make your home look like someone is living in it:

  • Use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights and radios on when it goes dark
  • Cancel any newspaper or milk deliveries
  • Use the Royal Mail’s ‘keepsafe’ service – they keep your mail for up to 2 months while you’re away. Mail sitting on your doorstep is a sign that you are away
  • Trusted neighbours may be able to help you by collecting your post, opening and closing curtains and they could park their car on your driveway
  • Avoid discussing holiday plans on public social networking sites – burglars can use any information you post on there to their advantage

Motorcycle Security Tips

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Whilst we supply and cut keys for motorcycles where you may have lost or broken your key it is important to think about the security aspects of owning a motorcycle.

Bikes are stolen by joy riders, stolen to order, or stolen to be broken down as parts, and can often be out of the country before you know they’re gone. Despite this, less than half of all bikes are protected by bike locks or any other security devices.

An unsecured bike is an easy target for thieves as it can be wheeled away, lifted or bundled into a van. The more security measures you make, the less attractive your bike will be to thieves and by adding approved security devices to prevent theft, you could reduce your insurance premium .

We have compiled a few tips on how you can keep your bike safe.

Motorbike Alarms and Immobilisers

Does your bike have either of these? By having an insurance approved combined alarm and immobiliser this would deter most thieves.

Motorbike Locks

Perhaps the simplest and most visible deterrent, are large motorcycle chain locks or motorcycle cable locks. These should always be secured to an immovable object, such as a ground anchor, a lamppost, or another bike. Always try to thread the chain or cable through your frame if possible, as many bikes are stolen for parts and one wheel either way won’t stop some thieves from taking your bike.

Motorbike disc locks can be a deterrent to the casual thief, but they will only slow down a professional by a few seconds. Professional thieves will often simply lift your bike into a van and drive away, unhindered by any lock attached to the bike itself. So you should never rely on these alone. That’s why most bikers will own a disk lock as well as have an alarm immobiliser.

Garage

If you have a garage, make sure you use it. Many bike thefts occur from the owner’s home because they get complacent and leave their motorbike outside over night. Don’t leave your bike out for all to see, always put it away in the garage as soon as you arrive. Make sure your garage is properly secure. If it’s easy to break into you could actually be helping the thieves by giving them cover in which to work. If you can, put a ground anchor in the garage and lock your bike to it.

 

Also remember to alarm it. It might be locked in the garage but its still possible for thieves to break in and steal it. Try and make it as difficult as possible for them.

Sensible steps to bike security

Even the strongest motorcycle locks and the most sophisticated motorcycle alarms will do you little good if you park your bike out of sight and give the pros time to disable them. So it makes sense to always park your bike where it can be seen, day or night, by passers by ( when not at home). Try to vary the places you park so that thieves don’t learn your habits.

Secure Parking

If you are out and about, most cities have a secure motorcycle parking area for bikers. Always lock your bike to something fixed to the ground such as security loops, stands, lamps or a road signpost. This makes it more difficult to pick the bike up.

Locking your bike and following the other security steps may seem like a hassle, but it’s nothing compared to the stress and cost of having your bike stolen.

If you need new or duplicate keys for your motorcycle, if you have lost a key and need it replaced then get in touch.

Call us on 01392 461200 or use our FREE QUOTE form on the website https://www.devonsecurity.co.uk/free-quote

What To Do When You Break Your Key In Your Lock

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“I Broke My Key Off In My Lock – What To Do” This is a question that worries many homeowners. However, when you have broken your key in your lock, you do not have to worry as this is a salvageable situation, all you need to do is to call 01392 461200. We can piece together a broken key and make a new key from the broken one. However, the condition of the key is important. If you break the key and there are several pieces and some are slivers, then even the best locksmiths can’t fix this we would replace the entire lock system.

Bent keys are also able to be copied.  This depends, of course, on whether the bent key is for your transportation. It is important for you to not attempt to straighten the key yourself as you may end up breaking it or causing enough damage to it to prevent a copy from being made.

If you lose your keys, then the only option that the locksmith has is to replace the lock.

In most cases, Devon Security carry around everything we need to help  customers. There may be some occasions that we do not have the necessary items to replace a lock, but overall we will have everything needed.

Devon security do not make locks but perform functions like lock-picking, repairing locks as well as offer urgent key services. If you find someone breaking into your house, you need to call the police, but you may also like to call a locksmith service. Are you wondering why you should call them in addition to calling the police? Well, they will be able to tell you how the perpetrator broke in and also offer you other options to change your lock. It is important that you ensure that your home is safe and secure. This you can do by installing a secure lock system in your home. Locksmith service providers are quite efficient and they can offer different options to choose from. What kind of lock you want to install for your home depends on the kind of home that you have and the level of security that you are looking for.

We can advise how best to secure your home, testing your entrances and tell you how secure your home is or what you need to do to secure it further.

If you have a broken key whether it is a key for your home, car key or motorcycle key call us on 01392 461200 for a no obligation quote

 

Call us on 01392 461200 to arrange a home visit