Should I Invest In a Burglar Alarm?

If you’re looking to strengthen your home security, you might very well consider the benefits of a burglar alarm. With the wide range of burglar alarms to choose from, it’s easy to find an effective solution for any property.

Whatever your security setup, a burglar alarm is always a wise investment, and this article takes a look at some of the reasons why.

Deterrent

Many burglaries are opportunistic, carried out by thieves who spot vulnerable properties. A burglar alarm on your home immediately tells burglars that you have considered and taken positive action towards your home security. Criminals do not want to draw attention to themselves, and a burglar alarm presents an effective obstacle to achieving this.

Some people opt for dummy alarm boxes – non-functional boxes which resemble real alarms. They can be effective for lower risk areas, but many burglars will be able to spot the difference between dummy alarms and the real deal. Having a functional burglar alarm installed is both a reliable deterrent and an effective response should a break-in occur.

A burglar alarm could save you money

Homeowners could benefit from reduced insurance premiums if they install a burglar alarm on their property. Homes with an operational burglar alarm are seen as a lower liability than those without. Lack of a burglar alarm suggests to your insurance company that your home is fundamentally less secure, and thus more prone to unlawful entry.

A burglar alarm could be a quick and easy way to lower your premiums due to the added layer of security. To see if you can get a discount on your policy, check with your home insurance provider.

Secure your valuables

The heart of any security system is the protection of your belongings. We all have things we need to keep safe, whether we live in a small cottage out in the countryside or Buckingham Palace in London. A burglar alarm system is designed to safeguard your valuables. If a burglar does gain access into your home, by breaking a window or kicking a door down, for example, the burglar alarm will offer an immediate response.

Burglars thrive on going about their business undetected. A burglar alarm sounding off alerts you, your neighbours and, depending on the system, the police, to a break-in. This eliminates the element of surprise and forces the intruder to react. The typical response is to flee the scene, thus keeping your belongings safe and sound inside your home.

A burglar alarm communicates to thieves that they have been identified, taking control of the situation out of their hands. Not having an alarm means they have no reason to prematurely flee, leaving them with much more time to examine, locate and steal your most prized possessions.

A range of home alarms to suit your needs

Technology and security have seen rapid development over the years, and now there are a range of alarm systems available to cater to all kinds of requirements.

Bells-only alarms are usually installed on homes which are lower risk. These systems will sound the alarm as soon as a break-in occurs, but are not monitored.

Monitored alarms benefit from constant connection to an outside security company. When the alarm goes off, someone from the company will contact you to make sure everything is in check and to ask for a password which you would have set up when the system was installed. In cases where there is no response or password given, the authorities are called in to deal with the potential break-in.

Wireless systems and wired systems are the two main choices for home security. Wireless systems make it easy to accommodate extra sensors and are typically cheaper overall compared to a wired alarm. Wireless alarms can also be taken to a new home should you move house, and are much quicker and easier to install.


How to Choose the Perfect Lighting for Your Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. It’s where you gather with your family to cook and chat to each other about your day. You spend so much time in there that it is important to make it a welcoming environment and lighting contributes to that considerably. Here are the best types of lighting for kitchens, and where to place them to create the perfect environment.

Track Lighting

You can find track lighting in many different shapes and sizes. It makes an ideal base for you to hang pendant lighting or spotlights from. You can position the lights in different places on the track, allowing some lights to create an atmosphere and others to provide focus for tasks. Track lighting can be curved or straight, and looks great with a stainless steel finish.

Under cabinet Lighting

Under cabinet lighting is one of the most ideal forms of task lighting that you can buy for your kitchen. You can place the lights underneath wall cabinets above your work surface, to provide better lighting for chopping and cooking. You can get the lights as a strip, or as small discs which can be recessed or left on the surface. If you purchase LED undercabinet lighting, you will hardly ever need to replace the bulbs, making them a great cost effective lighting solution.

Pendant Lighting

Pendant lights hang from the ceiling, and are much more decorative than traditional ceiling lights. They make a great lighting solution for areas of the kitchen where you perform tasks, as well as areas where you socialise. For that reason, interior designers often place LED pendant lights over islands and dining spaces. You can use smaller pendant lights under 12 inches in small spaces, so that they don’t overwhelm the room.

Wall Lighting

In kitchens, wall lighting fixtures usually take the form of a sconce. The sconces usually match whatever form of ceiling light you have; be it a pendant or a chandelier. Sconces work well on a tiled backsplash or by a piece of art.

Recessed Lighting

If you would prefer your kitchen lighting to be more functional than decorative, then recessed lighting is the best way to go. Recessed lighting is installed within the ceiling with some trim around it, and is ideal for lighting up the whole kitchen. You can also use it as accent lighting above seating areas, but pendant lighting tends to look better for this from a decorative perspective.

Top Tips for Perfect Kitchen Lighting:

  • Zone your lighting according to its use – task (cooking/working), mood and dining (ambient) and decorative (feature). Try to have elements of all three.
  • Consider dimmable lights for more flexibility.
  • Put direct lighting anywhere where you will be preparing or cooking food. Recessed lighting will look tidier in these areas, and undercabinet lighting can really help when you’re trying to find a particular utensil or ingredient.
  • Try not to have too many ceiling fixtures, as they can look cluttered.

Planning effective lighting for your kitchen doesn’t have to be difficult. Try to use a mixture of styles to create the best effect. Above all, kitchen lighting should look good and be functional too.


How to Reduce Landfill Waste From Your Home

Landfill sites represent a blight on human history, with waste festering in piles buried underground. This is a temporary solution to our waste problem which can no longer be allowed to go on.

But with more and more waste being produced each day, what can we do to stem the tide of waste entering landfill sites? For the sake of the environment, let’s take a look at ways in which you can reduce household waste from ending up at a landfill site.

Common household waste

Plenty of the things you have in your household waste can be recycled. Rather than throwing them into your normal bin, invest in a divided bin.

The following materials can all be recycled with ease, either through council services, skip hire or local bins in your community:

  • Plastics
  • Glass
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Garden waste
  • WEEE items

You’ll need to check that items like plastic are recyclable by looking for the universal recycling symbol, which is three arrows creating a triangle. This can usually be found on the bottom or side of an item.

WEEE items can often be recycled at specific locations, but if the item is in good working order, you might consider selling it online or giving it away for free online using sites such as freecycle.org.

Visit your local tip

When it comes to those items you can’t put in your council bin collection, it might be worth visiting your local tip to dispose of waste. This is great for larger garden waste and any waste from DIY projects such as rubble and wood.

If you’ve got metal you need to dispose of, try your local scrap metal merchants; you might find that you get a little bit of cash for your old car parts and any other bulky metal items. Should you need help knowing where to put your waste, most tips have staff you can ask first.

Donate old clothes

Most people simply throw out their old clothes in the bin, but this can be avoided if you collect up enough clothes to take to your local charity shop. If your clothes are in good condition the charity might make some money.

If you know your clothes are beyond use, you can always simply donate them as raw materials at a local clothing bank. Local collections also happen door-to-door with free bags provided.

Be smarter with your food

In the UK, we waste so much food that in 2015 we threw away 4.4 million tonnes of it, costing billions of pounds. These items are more likely to be biodegradable, but get added into a cycle of waste which needs to be broken.

By cooking only what you need, you avoid throwing large amounts of food away. If you cook something and don’t finish it, it’s a good idea to pot up your leftovers as they can often make extra portions to save for another day. You might find you need to change your shopping habits in order to avoid fresh fruit and vegetables deteriorating before you get a chance to use them. If you have anything you think might be close to an expiry date, try to use it up and avoid the wastage.

Protecting virgin materials

There is an added bonus to all your recycling, as it means fewer virgin materials will be used up in the production of clothes and household goods. This is due to a lack of demand for raw materials if we recycle what we already have instead of sending it to landfill sites.

Another positive effect of this type of thinking is that less energy is spent in cultivating those raw materials – so it’s a double win for the environment!