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28 September

Home Security Month | Home security advice

It just seems to arrive earlier and earlier each year, doesn't it? We're still only in September but  you can already feel the excitement. Soon we'll have the adverts, the TV specials, and the shops will leave us in no doubt that it's that time of year again. Yes, of course I'm talking about National Home Security Month. Running for the length of October, this is the fourth consecutive year we'll be celebrating this event, and it acts as an annual reminder for us to do all we can to keep our homes secure as we move into the winter months.

As my own contribution to National Home Security Month, I thought I'd take this chance to give 8 important tips on how you can keep your own home secure. Some of these items will be familiar to regular readers, but a reminder is always worthwhile and the below list is well worth scanning from time to time just to check your security arrangements are up to date.

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25 August

What burglars look for!

Well, hello there. You may notice this month’s blog is slightly later than usual. Any connection between this, and the fact that the Olympics has been constantly on the TV for the last 2 weeks is purely coincidental, believe me.  Although wasn’t it great to have the sound of Breaking News notifications on your phone and find it signalled more British sporting success and not the latest death/resignation/terrorist atrocity, as sadly so often seems to be the case?

Anyway, now it’s back to reality, so today I thought I’d pen a refresher on the mistakes that people so often make with their home security, leaving their homes and property at greater risk from the threat of burglary and theft. I’ll use as the basis of this a survey carried out by Crimewatch and the BBC which found the things that burglars find most appealing about a property, and I’ll expand on a few of these.

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11 July

Need a locksmith in Barnsley?

Well, what a month it’s been with Brexit, then the resignation of half of the people that brought us that, not to mention departures from most of the cabinet and shadow cabinet. And of course the PM gone, with quite possibly a new PM by the time you’ll be reading this. Not forgetting the England football manger – also gone. Heck, if the Queen abdicated right now I can’t say I’d be shocked, such is the general sense of uncertainly we find ourselves in. Happy summer! 

In this atmosphere of one calamity leading to another, today I’d like to talk about you getting locked out of your house. No, that’s not a threat, honestly. I just want you to imagine it. An annoying situation, undoubtedly, but the decision you make when it happens can influence whether it remains a minor annoyance or turns into a fully fledged disaster. The disaster in this case would be falling prey to a disreputable locksmith...

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07 June

Barnsley locksmith advice

That EU Referendum, hey? Is it possible to remember a time before the campaigning started? No, I'm not sure it is.  The saturation coverage seems to be never ending, and whatever the result on the 23rd June, it'll frankly be a relief when it's all over. Of course, with the latest polls showing things are about 50/50, I'm not about to alienate half of my potential customers by coming down on one side or another. No, rather I'm going to use the referendum as an excuse to make this plot halfway topical, by crowbarring in a referendum-esque theme.

The Yes/No decision I'll look at in this blog is now one about the common market, open borders, or Nigel Farage's beer-drinking. Rather, it's one that every burglar makes when looking at a house and deciding whether to attempt a break-in or not. I'll be looking at some of the factors they take into account before making their Yes/No choice. It's a tenuous connection to the referendum, I know, but it's what I'm going with.  And hopefully by looking at this list, you can quickly discover things you can do to help prevent your house being the burglar's next target.

The Burglar's Referendum then. Let's start with the "in" campaign.

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03 May

Outside security advice

I'll be honest, I've had this blog ready for the last 2 months as it was due to start "Well, the weather's improving and Spring is here",  but following the freezing temperatures and the hail, sleet and snow of late April, it's just never seemed the right time.  But now we're in May and, touch wood, the wintry showers may be behind us, and with a promised heat wave upcoming, I thought I'd take the risk of posting it.

A seasonal problem for this time of year is that people see summer on the horizon and take the opportunity to buy new garden furniture, tools, barbecues, or even garden swings and slides for the children. Many of us will also take on DIY projects, although few will finish them (Fine, I'll get those gutters cleared out ONE DAY) and will invest in new ladders or equipment to help.

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09 April

History of locks, part 5

As if by magic, the clocks have gone forward, the evenings are getting lighter, and the temperature is finally getting warmer. And as if that isn't enough good news for one paragraph, there's also the matter of the fifth and final of my blogs looking back on the history of locks. If you need to catch up on the previous four they're still on this site over the last few months, so check them out for the story so far. But today we reach the thrilling denouement, and rest assured, that unlike in Dallas it won't all have turned out to be a dream. Although you may wish it had been. 

So to recap, we've investigated the Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Romans, we've looked at the innovations of Robert Barron and Jermiah Chubb; and we spent last month looking at Barnsley lad, Joseph Bramah. For this blog though, we'll whizz across the pond to the US and finish up our journey with the man who is arguably the name most associated with locks and keys today, nearly 200 years on from  his birth. Yes,  you may have guessed already - we're talking about Yale.

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03 March

History of locks, part 4

Spring is in the air (if you ignore the below-freezing March temperatures) and it's time for the fourth in my series looking at the history of locks and locksmiths. The previous three can all be found elsewhere on this site, dealing with the Ancient Egyptians and Romans, as well as 18th century lock innovations by the likes of Robert Barron and Jermiah Chubb. However, this month we're going to concentrate even closer to home, looking at Barnsley lad, Joesph Bramah, one of the most important individuals in lock history.

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07 February

History of locks, part 3

Valentine's Day is on the horizon and I can't think of any better way than to celebrate this fact than with the third in my series of blogs looking at the history of the development of locks. In fact, and here's a free tip for you, why not print out the story so far from December and January, along with today's entry, and read them all to your loved one on Valentine's Day morning as the ultimate romantic gesture. I imagine your luck will be in for the rest of February. No need to thank me, really. 

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10 January

History of locks, part 2

It’s 2016, and what better way to start off the New Year than to continue on from last month’s jaunt through the history of locks? That’s a rhetorical question, by the way, so there’s no need to collar me on the street and start telling me the wide and varied ways of starting the New Year that would be better than this. Instead we’ll just assume there is no more preferable option than reading a continuation of the time line of lock invention and move on.

So, where did we leave the story last month? I guess we should do some sort of “Previously on 24...” catch up, but I’m pretty sure last month’s blog is forever etched in your memory and that your every thought over the Christmas period was devoted towards Ancient Egyptian locks. Which, believe me, would still have been many times preferable to watching the never ending episodes of Mrs Brown’s Boys that infiltrated the TV schedules like a particularly insidious virus.

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12 December

History of locks, part 1

I was driving between jobs the other day, listening to the heady mix of traffic reports, phone-ins, and bizarre adverts that you only find on local radio, when a song came on that transported me back to 1985. Not literally, fortunately, as otherwise I'd have been breaking the law driving the van, but the strains of The Bangles singing Walk Like an Egyptian took me back to the time of a Tory Government, uncertain foreign affairs, and protests in the street. How things have changed, hey? 

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