4 Tips to Remain Secure While Renovating Your Home

Tradesperson in Melbourne checking home security during renovations.

New renovations can really brighten up your home, creating that ideal space that you’ve always dreamt of. The last thing you want during this process is to have someone violate the security of your home, causing theft of your valuables or damage to the property.

Unfortunately, we’ve heard some true horror stories of opportunistic thieves taking advantage of renovations on a home. Do your research and implement these simple measures to protect your property and valuables during renovations.

Communicate with and Research Your Contractors

Not all builders / contractors are created equal. When selecting the right contractor, do your research about them, check any reviews, plus ask what training and credentials they have. Ask when they’ll be at your property and how many will be working at your property. See what measures they have in place to protect their clients/customers.

Install Effective Lighting

Keeping any entries/exits well lit at night is a valuable addition for any property. The last thing a thief wants is to be lit up like a Christmas tree and spotted in the act. Security lighting (like motion sensor lights or lights in fixed, difficult to remove positions) also works well in a space of active renovations, reducing any cover criminals may have in a normally dark or dim area.

Relocate Valuables to a Safe Area

Do you particular valuables such as jewellery or family heirlooms that you’re concerned about? Consider moving these to a safer, locked area of the house or if need be, keep them at the residence of a friend or family member that you trust. High security storage services also exist in Melbourne and parts of Australia.

Use Locks With Quality Keys or a Access Control System

Ensure your property has high quality locks and if you need to provide your tradesperson with a key, use the types that cannot be duplicated easily without a particular level of authorisation from you. Access control systems exist that allow you to control who enters your property. When integrated with various security products, access control systems can also record who enters and exits your property and at what time they do.

If you’re looking for more advice about securing your home during renovations, contact our expert security team. We’ll provide you with industry leading solutions and product options to suit your home and family.

Tools and Resources to Check Australian Crime Hot Spots and Stats

Australian police tape around a crime scene.

Included is a state-by-state/territory list of online tools that provide you with statistics about crime, hot spot information and various details about reporting a crime in Australia.

Victoria (VIC)

For Victoria, the Crime Statistics Agency regularly release statistics, tools and information via their website, crimestatistics.vic.gov.au.

You can also view Victorian crime by location.

Tasmania (TAS)

A yearly Crime Statistics Supplement is created for Tasmania. The recent 2018-2019 report can be downloaded as a PDF.

New South Wales (NSW)

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) provides a Crime Mapping Tool and publishes regular reports. Visit the BOCSAR crime statistics page to get access to these reports and tools.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

ACT Policing regularly release online news article, crime statistics and data. Visit their Crime Statistics page to view crime stats by location, certain time periods and by various offence types.

Queensland (QLD)

Multiple options are available to view crime stats and information related to Queensland. The Online Crime Map from the Queensland Police Service gives the user the ability to view the types of crime in an area, including the ability to filter the type of criminal activity and when it occurred. The Queensland Crime Statistics page includes a column chart, detailing the number of offences in a selected area, the type of offence and when they occurred.

South Australia (SA)

Numerous crime statistic reports and a crime map are available from the South Australia Police website.

Northern Territory (NT)

To access crime statistics for the Northern Territory, access the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency website. These are updated monthly.

Western Australia (WA)

The Western Australia Police Force website contains a Crime Statistics page. This includes year to date crime comparisons and details about the amount of criminal activity in particular areas of WA.

4 Processes to Secure Your Business Property

Using key card to securely protect a business.

Implementing effective security practices for your business will help deter criminals, enhance the safety of your employees and improve the trust of your customer or client base.

Criminal activity towards businesses is something business owners need to be aware of. According to the Crime Statistics Agency Victoria, crimes relating to “Property and deception offences”, which includes theft, increased in 2019 compared to 2017 and 2018.

The 4 processes included here to secure your business property are useful for small, medium and large-sized businesses.

1. Instill Security Conscious Habits into Your Team

The security of your property can easily be hardened by instilling security conscious habits throughout your team.

As simple as it may sound, make sure your employees lock up if they’re the last at your location. Train them on using any computers in a safe and secure manner, along with ensuring software is up to date where applicable.

Require strong passwords and multi-step authentication where possible. This can relate to access control systems and various digital, web or intranet systems that your team uses. These extra long passwords and multiple verification methods may take a little bit of extra effort at some points, though these extra security methods can greatly enhance the protection of your business.

2. Access Control Systems

Protocols to control the access of anyone entering or existing your business is an incredibly effective method of tightening your security. Modern access control systems and biometric systems allow you to use a range of different methods of verification. A very common method of access verification is equipping your staff with key cards and sensors that verify the key card allows access, thus unlocking the door.

3. Ensure Entrances and Windows Have High Quality Locks

Not just a tip for homes, high quality locks do make a difference in protecting your commercial property. Make sure all windows and doors include strong locks that can withstand a degree of tampering. Locks can also deter opportunistic thieves.

4. Lighting and Surveillance Make a Difference

Criminals, particularly the burglar type, don’t want to be under the spotlight nor do they want to be recorded. Lighting and CCTV systems are great visible deterrents. If a crime were to occur, the footage can help you report the issue to the police. Make sure your light fittings and cameras are difficult to reach, remove or damage for any opportunistic criminals.

If you have questions about enhancing the security to protect your business and you’re in the Melbourne area, contact our expert team. As licensed security technicians with over 33 years of experience, we’ll use our industry-leading knowledge to help you quickly, thoroughly and cost-effectively.

4 Easy Methods to Improve the Security of Your Home

Melbourne based homes in St Kilda.

Enhancing the security of your home can give you that extra piece of mind, knowing that your loved ones and property have a security advantage. Unfortunately even the safest of neighbourhoods can experience burglaries. These simple security methods can really make the difference, helping you keep thieves and vandals away from your home and if the worse were to occur, help you catch them or more so, report them to the police easily.

1. Add Exterior Lighting

House burglars don’t want to be in the spotlight, drawing attention. Make sure the entrances to your home are well-lit. You can also place your lights in fittings / covers that require tools to remove, making it more difficult for burglars if they try to remove light bulbs to darken the area.

2. Install Cameras

CCTV cameras act as a fantastic deterrent, scaring off potential vandals or thieves. Place cameras in positions where they can cover all entrances/exits to your home. When selecting a camera, watch out for cheap products – they can leave you with more headaches than solutions. High quality outdoor cameras exist on the market that can endure the rain and brutal Australian conditions. Depending on your system, the footage can be accessed by your devices using mobile apps or web-based applications, giving you the ability to easily monitor your property and record problems if they occur.

3. Make Use of a Security Consultation

Licensed security experts and some locksmiths can provide you with an onsite security consultation where. They will inspect your property, confirm with you your security goals and then provide you with a range of recommendations to suit you. Use only quality Australian licensed / certified security providers that are experienced with residential and/or commercial security.

If you’re in the Melbourne area and are looking for a high quality, trained and licensed security consultation for your property, our expert team are able to assist. Simply contact us to find out more and book your consultation.

4. Utilise Integrated Smart Technology

The internet of things tech and similar smart technology can help you automate and protect your property easily and conveniently. Many modern camera systems allow you both view and listen to video and audio from the camera, using mobile apps or web browsers. Various smart lights can also be configured to turn on during certain times of day or turn on at random patterns, particularly useful if you’re away as this can give the image that someone is home and moving through the rooms.

Bonus Tip: Get a Dog

For some, you could already have a dog, it could be a fantastic addition to your family or a dog may be not as straightforward as these other methods for some home owners. The fact is though that dogs are fantastic deterrents for residential properties (and can be for commercial properties as well, such as card yards/wrecking yards).

According to The Guardian and 12 former burglars interviewed by Co-op Insurance, loud barking dogs are one of the greatest deterrents that would scare them off from breaking into a place. Many burglars are opportunistic and want a quick robbery job, avoiding complex situations where they could draw attention.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a CCTV System

Factors of a CCTV system to consider.

CCTV has become a standard of many security systems used throughout the world today. Lower costing systems have enabled more and more people to protect their residential or commercial property. There are numerous cameras on the market, some of these are great, some of these can leave you with more problems than they solve. We focus on high-quality CCTV systems that work well in the Australian environment. If you want a CCTV setup that works well for you in Australia, there are some factors you should consider to make an educated purchase that suits your situation.

Lighting

The lighting in and around your premises will affect the cameras that suit your unique situation. Improving lighting can help here, such as at entrance or special points so the cameras can pickup images better. There are also multiple cameras on the market that work well in low-light or very dark conditions.

Monitoring the System

There could be situations where you want the system to be monitored easily and continuously. Options to monitor a CCTV system include mobile apps, web browser-based applications and onsite computers / monitors. If allocating time staff to the role is difficult, consider a monitoring service from a security provider. As part of our specialisation with security products, we do offer a very high-quality 24-hour monitoring service with various options available to suit your needs.

Ease of Use and Complexity

Consider the scale of the CCTV system that suits your requirements and the level of complexity you’re comfortable with. Your security system should integrate seamlessly and as comfortably as possible, so you can focus on business, projects or personal life.

We really see a difference when quality security systems are used throughout properties, including a simpler user experience for the operator, extensive capabilities and better durability. If you’re interested in further information, contact our team today.

COVID-19 Scams on the Web and Phones

A person using a computer for web browsing.

At a time when more of us are at home and we’re aiming to do the best for the communities around us, we need to be aware of people maliciously taking advantage of the COVID-19 situation in the form of scams on the web, via emails or even by phone in some cases. Most web-users have had to deal with a scam or dodgy site and unfortunately, this stuff still exists during such a difficult period.

We’re passionate about helping people protect what’s important to them and while our focus is on physical security products, this short article will highlight the importance of smart security on a digital front, as more and more of us use the internet in different situations during this challenging time.

According to Scamwatch, which is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), they received 94 reports of COVID-19 scams between the 1st of January 2020 to the 20th of March. These scammers are attempting to obtain people’s personal data, sell dodgy COVID-19-related products and steal people’s hard-earned money.

The good, smart habits that we use to protect ourselves on the web and in general also translate over to dealing with COVID-19 scams. If you do experience a scam of any sort, you can make a report on the Scamwatch website.

These scams and malicious attacks can come in multiple forms, including:

Phishing Emails and Phone Calls

Numerous reports have detailed that users have received phishing emails and phone calls impersonating entities such as government organisations, the World Health Organisation and various businesses.

Fake / Dodgy Products

Various malicious websites are offering products that claim to offer vaccines or cures for COVID-19, though are ultimately of no use and just take your money. At the time of writing this, no vaccine or cure for COVID-19 currently exists.

Misinformation by Text, Social Media or Email

Malicious texts, social media posts/messages and emails are being sent out from impersonators and fake organisations, offering users a cure or vaccine for COVID-19 or other information.

Do not respond to unsolicited calls, emails or messages that request intricate personal information or financial details. Hang up on these callers or delete these messages.

Mobile Malware

Users are reporting malicious apps that can potentially infect your mobile device with malware or steal personal information. Some of these apps pretend they’re offering information about COVID-19.

Do not install apps from unofficial sources. Do your research and read legitimate reviews before installing any applications on your devices. Keep your device security up to date.

This is just a shortlist of the scams out there. It’s always a good habit to play it smart on the web and when protecting what’s important to you.



As always, we’re open and our team is here to help you with protecting your physical property.

Why You Should Upgrade Your Access Control Technology

A man about to upgrade access control technology.

Using up to date access control technology can enable you to protect your property easily, quickly and remotely. Increasingly, more and more businesses, organisations and homes are using this technology to easily protect their premises while allowing or restricting access as need be. The benefits have been fantastic for commercial and domestic users.

This fantastic technology needs to be maintained though. Administrators / owners should regularly review who has access to their system, depending on the size of the system, its goals and the amount of users. Developments in technology also create numerous benefits for the administrators and users of access control systems. These benefits can include the ability to manage your system remotely, enhanced user privacy, security bugs fixed and more.

Manage Your System Remotely

Newer access control systems give you the ability to manage and monitor the entire system remotely. Depending on the system you have, this can be done by using the related web page, smart phone / tablet app or the device provided to complement your system. You won’t have to visit the location anymore to change user’s access privileges.

Privacy for Access Control Systems

Privacy is more and more of a concern for users in the age of information, spurring forth more innovations in protecting their data. While it is fantastic technology we have at our fingertips in this case, it also comes with great responsibilities. Your users may want a particular level of privacy when interacting with your system and also want to know their details are safe. An up to date access control system will be ready to tackle various threats thrown at it while also protecting your user’s data.

Security

Delaying upgrades can be dangerous with various security products but particularly with access control systems. As security issues and risks develop and grow in quantity, these can quickly become a weak point that if targeted, would leave your premises or property in potentially serious jeopardy.

Improvements in User Convenience

The interfaces and features of access control systems are continuously upgraded to provider greater flexibility and accessibility options for users. Quality manufacturers and designers of security software use leading research-backed methods to deliver better and better interfaces that are easier for you and your users.

If you’re interested in the benefits of upgrading your access control infrastructure, contact our team now on 1300 315 522 or send your enquiry.

What Are the Types of Outdoor Security Cameras?

Outdoor security camera mounted on a blue wall.

Protecting your property with outdoor security cameras can be a fantastic addition to your overall security. Not only do they keep their eye on the premises and record footage, though they also act as a powerful deterrent.

There a lot of options on the outdoor security camera market – some of these options are great and some should be avoided. Included are a selection of outdoor cameras that can be used effectively for commercial and domestic security purposes, along with advice on what to look for.

Wireless Outdoor Security Cameras

Wireless options exist which can be easier to install. Keep in mind that just because a camera states it is wireless, they still require a power source and this can often come in the form of power cable. Generally, their wireless feature is that they transmit their video and audio data wirelessly. Some wireless cameras do transmit their data wirelessly and also use batteries for a truly wire-free option. If going for a battery-powered option, make sure to keep an eye on their battery life.

Find out more about wireless security camera systems.

Solar Powered Cameras

Solar powered camera options exist for a potentially wireless camera or a method to get power to the camera in a place that can’t be easily accessed. These generally include a small solar panel that charges its internal battery. Like anything solar-based, they are reliant on the sun and constant shade can become a problem for them. If installing a solar powered camera, ensure that its panel receives as much sun as possible.

IP Cameras

An IP camera (internet protocol camera) is a form of digital video camera. As the unabbreviated name implies, this camera transfers video data and receives control inputs by use of the internet/networks.

These cameras include an impressive array of features that can be useful for commercial and domestic purposes. These features include and are not limited to:

  • Remote storage options.
  • Remote viewing access.
  • HD recording.
  • Can be powered over Ethernet.
  • Video data encryption.
  • Two way audio.

Many IP cameras on the Australian market are made to endure the outdoor elements, with water tight and UV resistant cases.

Learn more about what IP cameras do.

Be Aware of Inferior Products

Not all security cameras are created equal. Cheap knockoffs do exist along with generally poor constructed cameras and they can cause a range of headaches for the user.

Some of these cheaper cameras have poor quality seals that aren’t water tight after basic usage. This can lead to the camera being damaged and failing if water is to get in.

UV resistance is an area where some cheaper or not suited cameras can fall short too.

Given the harsh climate of Australia, a well constructed outdoor camera will make a big difference to its lifespan and how useful it will be for you.

If you require advice about the ideal outdoor security cameras for your needs or are after a quality security camera, contact our expert team at Twenty First Security. Our fully trained and qualified technicians have decades of industry experience behind them and can advise you in-depth about the best security cameras to suit your situation.

When You’re Going Away, Keep off Social Media

Man going away and using social media on his phone and laptop.

Lots of people love what social media has brought us, being able to update friends and family with our new special moments easily and keep in touch with those close to us. While this level of digital connection does provide many benefits for people, we should be aware of the privacy or security issues that could arise from improper use.

Multiple surveys and studies over the years have unveiled that quite large amounts of social media users will post about their holidays while they’re still away. According to Suncorp, it is particularly more common among people between the ages of 18 to 35 to post about their holidays (around 50 percent of this user demographic). This method of showcasing one’s current holidays to the world may come back to bite some people, as burglars often use this information to confirm if people are away from their home. Educate your children and those close to you that posting about their current holidays on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter can have drawbacks. Focus on enjoying your holidays and you can share the details with your friends and family afterwards.

External of not publicising your holidays on social media while you’re away, there are other things you can do and be proactive with to protect your property. Don’t leave your bins out and let your mailbox get overfilled while you’re away, as these are two pieces of information that a burglar can use to see if a home is unoccupied. If you do need to have the rubbish taken while you’re away, ask a trusted friend, neighbour or family member to put out and bring your bins back, and also check on your mail and leave it somewhere safe for you to collect when you return. You can also invest in smart light technology to create scheduled and randomised lighting throughout your house, giving the appearance that someone is home and moving through rooms.

A home and business security professional can also assist you with methods to protect your home and any other properties you own, such as if you have a business or any properties for storage. Home security systems are available that provide a fantastic addition for protecting your property and deterring thieves. These can include visible security cameras and burglar alarms. If you’re in Melbourne and looking to enhance the security of your property, particularly if you’re going away, contact our team at Twenty First Security for a no-obligation discussion about your requirements.

Smart Lights for Improving Home Security

Smart lights for improving home security.

There are a lot of options for a home that can help improve its security. Resilient locks, security cameras and a protective pooch are some of the many choices Australians go by to keep their property protected.

More than a way to show off to guests about how convenient technology makes your life, LED smart lights can be an effective addition for the overall security of your home.

Using their lighting schedule functions, smart lighting can be set to turn on at specific times as set by you via your smartphone or computer. These act similar to more traditional light timers though with the added convenience of controlling them via your devices throughout your home or when you’re away. Specific 9-5 schedules could be created and lighting schedules can also be randomised. Variations can also be included alongside some standard schedules, to give the idea that people are home at random times.

Some smart lighting devices also include an “away” mode or similar. This will turn lights on and off randomly during a scheduled time frame, making it seem like someone is home and moving through different rooms.

LED smart lighting is also incredibly energy efficient compared to other traditional forms of light bulbs. Even with the standby power usage (an incredibly small amount), LED smart bulbs are great on your power bill. According to Choice, many smart LED light bulbs use similar amounts of power compared to a standard LED light bulb. The remote management and automation can be useful too for ensuring your lights are turned off when you need them to be and not drawing excess power.

Smart Light Motion Sensors

Some smart lights on the Australian market can detect nearby movement and will turn on for a set period of time. The sensitivity can be set via the connected app on your phone or computer so large insects don’t set them off.

Turn Lamps into Smart Lights with a Smart Plug

Smart plugs are powerpoint adapters that turn any standard lamp with a power plug into smart lighting. With a few of these placed throughout your house, you’ll be able to create scheduled and randomised lighting patterns. Plus, you have the convenience of controlling these devices remotely from your mobile devices or desktop / laptop computer.

Smart plugs can also assist with generally any appliance they’re attached to. They’re great if you’re away from home and want to be sure you turned something off.