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Do you have cheap, sub-standard door locks?

Would you want your valuables gone in less than 60 seconds?

Experts have warned that criminals may not even need that long to break into properties that are not properly secured amid an increase in burglaries where cheap, sub-standard door locks have been picked.

Recently published data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed a 7 % increase over the past four years in the number of break-ins where the lock had been tampered with but not forced/damaged.

However, residents and business owners may be left out of pocket if they have installed sub standard or poor quality locks on their doors as insurers do not typically pay out when there has been no forced entry.

So the thought of losing possessions and being denied an insurance pay out could be crippling, given that the average amount lost in a burglary is over £3,000, according to the ONS.

Many locksmiths and security professionals from all over the country have said that they had seen a rise in the number of burglaries where locks had been picked. A typical household cylinder lock can be cracked in less than 10 seconds by experts, and criminals can do it just as fast. We at SOS Locksmiths Southend on Sea have learnt these skills in a professional environment, but burglars can learn to pick a lock easily from youtube videos.

Despite this, many people fail to change their locks when they move into a new property. Insurers are likely to pay out only if there are signs of forced entry and tend to reject claims if locks have been picked, doors have been left open or burglars have obtained a copy of the keys.

If you live in a rental property then you may be at an increased risk of break-in as previous tenants could still have copies of the keys. If you are renting a property as your landlord if they will change the locks, if they are not willing then as the tenant it would be advisable to get them changed yourself.

Upgrade your locks today!

SOS Locksmiths Southend on Sea can supply and fit quality locks that meet British standards requirements from as little as £75, all locks should have the British standard kitemark on them and be labelled BS 3621 they should also  ideally be fitted by a professional locksmith to meet insurance and police standards. So make sure all locks are BS 3621, which is the British standard for security.

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Top Tips to Secure Your Property at Night

Top tips to secure your property at night. Before you go to bed, make sure you carry our some simple steps to make your home and valuables more secure whilst you sleep.


  • Are your cars on the drive? Are the windows shut and the doors locked? Remove all valuables from sight.
  • Is the side gate shut and locked, sheds and garages secure?
  • Are all your doors closed and locked? Don’t forget that for a uPVC multi-locking doors you may have to lift the handle, but until you turn the key on the inside, you have not locked all the locks in place.
  • If you have a burglar alarm, it acts a deterrent. When you go to bed at night you can activate the zones that are unoccupied.
  • Don’t forget to check the patio door, someone may have closed it but did they lock it?
  • Ensure all windows are closed and locked, especially if you live in a bungalow or have flat roofs in unoccupied rooms. If you need a window open for ventilation, consider lockable window restrictors.
  • Think about replacing your front door with one that doesn’t have a letter box. A burglar can look through your letterbox and use a rod or similar to steal your keys as they hang in the hallway.
  • Fit CCTV to your home. Current systems are not expensive and will act as a deterrent, you can connect via an app or TV in your home.
  • Get a dog. Dogs are a great way to ward off intruders.


Effective Crime Prevention is all about awareness, so if you would like any further advice please contact SOS Locksmiths Southend on 07757282914 for a free no obligation security survey.


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10 steps to avoid burglaries in your home

Burglaries occur at all times of the day and night, many of which are entry via a rear door or insecure or open windows. Follow our 10 steps to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of crime.10 steps to avoid burglaries in your home


  • Ensure all windows and doors are locked securely
  • If possible, ensure all windows are closed if you are not in the room. If you do leave a window open be particularly mindful of low level windows or those above porches.
  • Leave a light on in the evenings if you are not home.
  • Keep valuables out of sight.
  • Property mark valuable items.
  • Dispose of packaging and boxes carefully. Do not advertise your good fortune to criminals.
  • Ensure ladders and tools are not left lying around and ensure all outbuildings are secure.
  • Be Vigilant and keep an eye on your neighbour’s property, call in anything suspicious seen.
  • If you are going on holiday, please ensure milk, newspaper deliveries are cancelled.
  • Consider using timer switches to turn on lights, radio etc. If possible get a trustworthy friend or neighbour to check the property, collect the post and open and close the curtains.
  • Try to give the impression someone is at home.


Effective Crime Prevention is all about awareness, so if you would like any further advice please contact SOS Locksmiths Southend on 07757282914 for a free no obligation security survey.


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Home Security on a budget – 10 Security Tips to make your property more secure and less attractive to burglars.

Your budget post-Christmas may be limited, so here at SOS Southend on sea Locksmiths we have compiled a few ‘home security on a budget’ tips ways to help protect your home or business, some tips won’t even cost you a penny just simple tips to make your property less attractive to burglars.

Tip 1 – Protect your sheds/outbuildings

Fit a padlock to your shed

Fit a padlock to your shed

For full home security make sure you protect your sheds/outbuildings, just a simple hasp and staple and a medium quality padlock will only cost you about £10 from any DIY store and a very easily fitted usually just a screwdriver required but once fitted to your shed door will make in a lot better protected.

Also a simple shed alarm, it’s a simple to fit contact alarm, you just need batteries and a screwdriver but may put off a potential thief.

Fit a security Light to deter burglars

Fit a security Light to deter burglars

Tip 2 – Home Security Lights

See the light, if you have a security light fitted make sure it works if it doesn’t replace it fairly simple but if you are not comfortable with basic wiring then get a professional.

If you haven’t got the funds for an electrician, then you can get solar powered security lights (NO WIRING REQUIRED) sound silly but they work by storing electricity in the battery during sunlight hours and then has enough power stored for the night you can pick these up from £10-£30 depending on the quality you require. Fairly simple to fit either just a screwdriver to fit to fascia boards or drill and raw plugs into the wall.

Fit timers on all you lights so it always looks like someone is home.

Tip 3 – Timer plugs

Is anybody home, you can fit simple timer plugs to lamps around your house to go off and on at different times especially if you are not home. This makes it appear that someone is in you could also fit one to a radio so it would also sound like someone is home, these can be picked for £3-£5 each and just plug into any plug socket very simple but effective.

You can also get a special light that flickers so it looks like a TV is switched on, these can be purchased for £8-£15 a bit more expensive but a very good idea. All these are simple but effects home security tips.

Tip 4 – CCTV

Fit home CCTV around the outside of your house

Fit home CCTV around the outside of your house

I can see you, CCTV is a very good deterrent, it can be costly but can also be done on a budget. You can pick up a simple system (2 cameras and Dvr recording device) for as little as £60 if you shop around.

If this is going to stretch your budget to much you can pick up dummy cameras for as little as £8 and fitted in a highly visible location will look like the real thing, so will put off most burglars.

Ensure you have locking handles on all windows

Tip 5 – Windows

Windows 10, or however many you have, if you have double glazed windows make sure they are shut properly and locked but do not leave the key in them!!! You can also fit something called a sash jammer which is cheap but effective and easy to fit just a screwdriver again, you can pick them up for as little as £2 each.

If you have wooden windows, you can fit locking handles for £3 – £5 each dependent on the type of window.

Tip 6 – Rear Entry

Make sure you fit a 5 lever British standard 3621 deadlock

Make sure you fit a 5 lever British standard 3621 deadlock

Rear entry, people are usually more concerned about maximizing home security on front doors but most burglars will attempt to gain entry at the rear of the property as they are usually out of site and can take longer to get in without being noticed.

If you have a wooden rear door you should have a 5 lever British standard  3621 deadlock fitted anything less will not protect your home. This is one of the things you can not be cheap with,  get a professional locksmith to fit it as this will cover you with your home insurance and can even reduce your premiums, check with your insurer.

If you have a Upvc double glazed door or doors then make sure the cylinder (where the key goes in) is not sticking out more than 5mm they are vulnerable to lock snapping which is a method used to gain entry.

You can have anti- cylinders fitted which stops this but they would need to be fitted by a professional  locksmith.

Tip 7 – Sliding doors

Slip and slide, If you have sliding doors on your property there are a few ways to protect against a few common methods used by burglars. Older sliding doors are prone to lifting which is fairly quiet and quick to prevent this you can fit sliding thumb bolts you would need reasonable diy skills and a drill, they cost about £6-£20 each alternatively you could get a locksmith to fit them.

Check the quality of your front door lock

Check the quality of your front door lock

Tip 8 – Your Front Door

Front door, your main point of entry. Wooden front door with just a nightlatch (Yale type lock), these are very susceptible to break-ins, they are very easy, quick and quiet especially if you have a letterbox in the door.

You should have a deadlock fitted preferably 5 lever British standard 3621 as these are very difficult to get open without the key it can take a qualified locksmith hours to gain entry. These should be fitted to police and insurance standards by a qualified locksmith, if you would like SOS Locksmiths to fit one for you just give us a call.

Double glazed Upvc doors, You should always make sure you deadlock the door (lift the handle turn key) but make sure you take the key out, whether you are in or out, as these doors are very easy to break in to if they are not locked correctly. Also check that the cylinder does not stick out more than 5mm as they are vulnerable to being snapped. If you are concerned your locks are not adequate call your local locksmith to carry out a free home security check.

Cheap Home Security Alarm System

Cheap Home Security Alarm System

Tip 9 – Wireless DIY Alarms

Alarm bells are ringing, Not cheap but some of the new DIY wireless alarms are very good, features like smart phone connectivity (sends a notification to your phone when alarm is triggered and very easy to fit just basic DIY skills required and no wires to hide.

A reasonable but relatively cheap kit starts around £160 but can go into the thousands for high spec monitored systems. These systems are more of a deterrent as when was the last time you went to investigate when a neighbour’s alarm went off?

Nosy Neighbours are the cheapest home security

Tip 10 – Neighbourhood Watch – cheapest home security!

Nosey neighbours, last but probably the best bit of advice, if you have curtain twitchers for neighbours they are probably one of your best defenses against intruders and for neigbourhood home security, as they will be the first ones on the phone to the police when someone is up to no good.

Also, talk to your neighbours let them know when you’re going to be out for a while or away, so they know if there’s a bump in the night it may be an intruder.

Just remember some of these tips won’t cost you a penny so are worth remembering and if you ever need us in an emergency just give us a call we are available 24/7 That’s Russell at SOS Locksmiths Southend on sea 07757282914

If you would like us to call round to carry out a FREE security upgrade check then click here to find out more.



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Don’t let Thieves Steal your Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner there are many opportunities for thieves to strike and break-ins to happen due to all those Christmas presents laying around the home tempting them in. So this Christmas be prepared and don’t let thieves steal your Christmas!

Think about it: If you put presents on view i.e. under the pretty glowing tree or anywhere that can be seen from outside of the property then you are encouraging burglars as they know it will be quick with high value unopened items all in one place they could be in and out in a couple of minutes.

Top tip this Christmas: Keep presents hidden in the loft, cupboards or anywhere that is not visible or obvious to a thief. Also keep higher value gifts separately then burgers will have less chance of finding them and thieves stealing your Christmas.

If you are out for the evening at perhaps a Christmas party, then make sure you leave spare keys with someone you trust as I have been to many lock outs where the person has lost or had handbags stolen whilst out enjoying the Christmas merriment. If you do manage to lose or have  your keys stolen whilst you are out, then make sure you call a qualified locksmith to get you in and change your locks as if someone else has  your  keys they may know where you live or could have followed you, so it is always best to have your locks changed just in case.

Post-Christmas security tip: Make sure you don’t leave empty boxes from high value Christmas presents, piled up outside your house waiting for the bin men as this shows anyone passing what new items are in your house and will make you a more attractive target to thieves. So make sure you destroy them and hide them in your recycling. Lastly make sure you deadlock doors and windows especially around Christmas time as burglaries increase drastically around this time of year. If you’re not sure if your locks are up to scratch then call a qualified locksmith for a free security survey. So make sure your home is secure and have a happy burglary free Christmas.

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24 Hour Emergency Call Out

No matter what time of the day or what day of the week, SOS Locksmiths will be there for lock outs or lost keys.

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Locked out or lose your keys?

If you are locked out or lose your keys, SOS Locksmith will help you back inside your home.

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Home Security Upgrades

SOS Locksmiths can provide you with a free security upgrade check.

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New & Replacement lock fitting

Damaged and faulty locks can be opened, repaired or replaced. SOS Locksmiths will do the most cost effect job based on your needs.

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